OPINION

Nomenclature

…Reports seem to converge on the reason behind the crisis in the merger between National Bank of Greece and Alpha Bank being not the degree to which the nascent financial institution has adapted to free-market principles, a problem which supposedly alarmed the highly paid managers. It is, rather, the much more tangible issue concerning the responsibilities, the powers and salaries of several privileged Alpha Bank managers who have been deeply distressed over the prospect that they may see their power and income diminish, but who are still strong enough to seek alliances with shareholders, unionists and interested strategic investors in order to block a merger which harms their interests. This is quite a problematic stance, of course. And still the right questions were not raised… No one questioned the identity of the executives who rebelled or asked how, if they are not representatives of shareholders, can they be entitled to block a strategic entrepreneurial move without taking the shareholders into account. No one questioned, in other words, the distorting role of managers in a firm with a large number of shareholders when they are not the owners and when the wide distribution of shares allows them to run the company according to their self-interest…