- In the wake of Giuseppe Orsi’s arrest last Tuesday, Finmeccanica’s board appointed COO/CFO Alessandro Pansa as the company’s CEO. At least until a board meeting coming in April, as the Italian government may want to pump new blood at the head. The matter is taking a political turn, with former prime minister Berlusconi going on TV to defend the paying of “commissions” in countries that are “not full democracies” if you want to close deals. With friends like these… Finmeccanica | FT | Bloomberg | Il Sole 24 Ore [in Italian] | Il Fatto Quotidiano [in Italian, with surreal video].
- In a release recapping their acquisition of AW-101 helicopters from Finmeccanica’s subsidiary AgustaWestland, the Indian government confirmed that it had “put on hold all further payments to Agusta Westland.” Since Mr Berlusconi may pull off a surprise electoral comeback in forthcoming elections in Italy, imagine then the awkwardness of his first meeting with Indian officials. In the meantime, the Times of India writes that documents filed in an Italian court point to bogus software and engineering contracts as the vehicles for the alleged kickbacks.
- Congressman Duncan Hunter [R-CA, HASC member], has a point in an interview with Politico, on how Pentagon officials have been handling their pre-sequestration communication:
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