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Quotes of the month

“What’s the real value of Italian banks’ loan portfolios? The reality is that banks don’t know, because nobody knows” 

Stefano Visalli, founder and managing partner of Oxy Capital, gets right to the heart of Italian banks’ bad-debt problem

“When I joined the team, I told them…all my effort will go into structuring and carrying out the transaction. How you are going to pass it through Congress, I have no idea!’” 

Santiago Bausili, head of public credit for Argentina, recalls one of the many challenges the finance ministry team faced in securing the country’s return to the capital markets

“For us it’s very important to follow and know that Che’s spirit, and his political and economic policy thinking is present in all the work and all the policies of our central bank”

Irma Martínez Castrillón is following in the footsteps of the Banco Central de Cuba’s first Castro-era governor – a certain Ernesto Guevara

“I have customers in the bank who have to be led by the hand to give their left thumb impression. When you dispense the money, you have to tell them the amount orally, because they can neither read nor write”

Arundhati Bhattacharya, chairman of SBI, outlines some of the unique challenges she faces in running India’s biggest bank – on which many of its poorly-educated people rely

“One knows instinctively what best practices are, and I felt that I had to stick to them. I can’t talk about standards of governance and transparency and not apply them to myself”

Nazir Razak, chairman of CIMB and brother of the beleaguered Malaysian prime minister, on being drawn into the scandal around 1MDB

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