Berlin – Alvarez and Marsal, BlackRock, Oliver Wyman, Pimco: The names mean nothing to the average European.
But the financial consultancies have played a central role in all the eurozone bailouts and have so far invoiced taxpayers in Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain over €80 million.
Their “independent” expertise is used by the “troika” of international lenders – the European Central Bank (ECB), the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – to decide how much countries or banks need to prevent a default.
They are often hired without a public tender, posing questions on transparency and accountability.
They are sometimes hired despite potential conflicts of interest, which arise from links to investment funds and other financial service providers.
The consultancies also hire subcontractors, posing extra questions on who has access to inside information and how they use it.
Aside from local law firms, the subcontractors almost always include one…
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