Crisis management

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Serenella Bianchi was on the fast track in the treasury department at Italy’s Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL) when a $4 billion scandal in 1989 forced her to turn her attention – and the bank’s – to risk management. A manager in its Atlanta branch had illicitly granted a series of loans, unauthorised by BNL headquarters, to Iraq, helping to fuel that country’s military build-up in the 1980s.

“I was working in the treasury department, so I dealt with the consequent liquidity shocks,” she recalls

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