Hungary's Savvy Banker

János Fekete, 65, a guest at the TIME European Board of Economists session, is the favorite Eastern banker of Western bankers. As deputy president of the National Bank of Hungary, Fekete has raised hundreds of millions of dollars in loans that have helped keep afloat Hungary's distinctive and partially decentralized brand of Communism. Says one European banker who has negotiated with him: "If Hungary weren't a Communist country, Fekete would be the chairman of a private bank and ride around in a Rolls-Royce." He actually drives a Soviet-built Lada.

The gregarious central banker...

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