Enron, Italian Style

Parmalat, a $9.6 billion dairy giant, implodes in Europe's biggest corporate-accounting scandal

From Milan boardrooms to Parma dairy farms, Calisto Tanzi was long viewed as a model Italian entrepreneur--modest, hardworking and, above all, generous. Over four decades, as he built Parmalat, the food company he founded in Parma in 1961, into a worldwide giant with annual sales of $9.6 billion, he showered the town with his philanthropy. A pious Catholic, Tanzi helped pay for a major restoration of Parma's 11th century basilica. He poured cash into the local pro-soccer team, restored the theater and financed programs for the poor, AIDS patients and drug addicts. "He has got that impulse in him to just...

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