Saturday, September 27, 2003

From Ansa
Giovanni Kessler capogruppo of the DS in the commission Telekom Serbia notes that Trantino told the commission that the anonymous letter accusing Paoletti arrived 8 January 2003. The letter was mailed 5 December 2002 and the Italian mail is not as slow as it once was. In an interview with Il Foglio Trantino says that the letter arrived a month before Paoletti testified (soon after it was mailed). This means that he lied to the commission which he presides.
To check see
and in particular
“Quando arriva il primo anonimo con oltre un mese di ritardo (e questa la prova che non c’era regia, perché avremmo avuto invece notizia immediata) convochiamo Fabrizio Paletti…” (Trantino quoted in Il Foglio)

Comunico che la Commissione ha acquisito i seguenti atti segreti: …uno scritto anonimo, con allegato, pervenuto in data 8 gennaio 2003.

extracted from

click on resoconti
click on Gen 2003 in the calender to the left
click on the first appearance of stenografico (refers to Seduta antimeridiana di gioved? 9 gennaio 2003)
search for anonimo or segreti or scroll down to line 14 of the Comunicazioni del presidente .

Comunico che la Commissione ha acquisito i seguenti atti segreti: documentazione, trasmessa da Telecom Italia con lettera pervenuta in data 7 gennaio 2003, concernente il riparto tra OTE e Telecom Italia dei costi sostenuti per l'acquisto di Telekom-Serbia; tabulati, trasmessi da TIM con lettera pervenuta in data 8 gennaio 2003, delle chiamate telefoniche in partenza e in arrivo sul telefono cellulare concesso in uso da Telecom Italia al signor Gianfrancesco Vitali; uno scritto anonimo, con allegato, pervenuto in data 8 gennaio 2003.

Here Trantino acting as the president of the commission clearly claims that an anonymous letter arrived the 8th of January 2003. There is no support for this claim as no such anonymous letter has ever been presented to anyone. In contrast an anonymous letter accusing Paoletti was mailed December 5 2002. In his interview with Il Foglio, Trantino says that Paoletti was summoned after a delay of one month. The statement made Sept 2003 to Il Foglio appears to be a confession that the statement made 9 January 2003 to the commission in the capacity of president of the commission was false.

This confirms the accusation made by Giovanni Kessler cited by ANSA

''Eppure - dice Kessler - nel verbale della riunione della commissione del 9 gennaio si dice che la lettera anonima in commissione era arrivata il giorno prima, vale a dire l'8. Invece il timbro postale apposto sulla lettera anonima risale al giorno 5 dicembre,

It appears the the onorevole presidente Enzo Trantino lies not only to journalists but also to the commission which he presides in his official communication as president. L’onorevole presidente Trantino does not risk prison for actions clearly taken in his capacity as a legislator and necessarily protected from judicial investigation by parliamentary immunity required (in such cases at least) to protect the separation of powers.

I think it is clear that, were it not for such immunity, he would be guilty of the crime of suborning perjury. It is odd that the question of whether he should be removed as president of the committee is still debated. To me it is clear that he is a criminal and, but for the necessary principal that judges must not judge the action of legislators acting as legislators, he should be sent to jail for his efforts to assist a criminal design based on perjury.

I hope that l’onorevole presidente Trantino has the dignity and honor to denounce me for criminal calumny or, at least, to sue me for slander. Otherwise, we must assume that he is a criminal who does not dare allow any judge to judge his actions by leaving the shelter of parliamentary immunity which is for him, like the criminals who he has attempted to assist by his campaign of lies, a necessary refuge.

Unfortunately I have been unable to find an e-mail address for l'onorevole presidente Trantino or a way to e-mail this non anonymous accusation to the commissione. Therefore, it is possible that a failure to denounce me will indicate only that l'onorevole presidente Trantino does not know about this obscure accusation and not that he agrees he is a crimminal protected by parliamentary immunity or a coward.
Today I said omigod it looks like La Repubblica has done something right for a change. I wasn't
criticizing Italies largest circulation newspaper in particular. I should have said that I am amazed that 2 Italian journalists managed a good bit of investigative reporting. The best point is that their
strong accusations against Enzo Trantino (president of the commissione Telekom Serbia) and Carlo Taormina(currently resigning from the commissione and from parliament and suing La Repubblica) are largely basedon contrasting their claims with the public transcript of the hearing which is available on the web.

for some reason the URL given in the article is from which a good bit of clicking is
needed. For English reading Italians I provide a slightly more direct link.

then click on resoconti
then click on Gen 2003 in the index/calender to the left of the page
then click on "stenografico" under Seduta di martedi 14 gennaio 2003
then click on a button with a right pointing triangle 4 times until
page 25 audizione dell'avvocato Fabrizio Paoletti appears

As claimed by Bonni and D'Avanzo in La Republicca 26 Sept 2003 the name Marini, Igor appears first
in a question posed by Enzo Trantino
PRESIDENTE. Lei conosce Marini Igor?
and not in a statement by Fabrizio Paoletti. This is, as noted by Bonni and D'Avanzo, in contrast
with a later claim by Trantino.

Again as claimed by Bonni and D'Avanzo Trantino asked Paoletti if he was acquainted with
people on a long list including D'Andria, Renato, Rubolino, Giorgio and Salvatore and Nicolo Spinello

and also

Volpe, Antonio; ; Mortera, Mario; Corloni Flavia; Pascucci, Vittorio; Marciano Ercolino, Vincenzo;
Romano Melchiore; Verzella, Luigi Goffredo; Ambrosio, Francesco, Strauber, Roland; Rubolino Giorgio;Maslovic, Ducilio; Fox; Conte Vitali; Dimitriejevic, Srdja; Jacob Zaglina and Judeni Gaddani.

This does contrast markedly with Trantino's claim that Paoletti led him towards the alleged bribe of
leaders of the current opposition. One might almost think he had something in mind when he began
questioning Trantino.

Carlo Taormino did indeed ask Paoletti if he knew someone named Pintus and if he knew the Nicaraguan ambassador to the Vatican. However, if he sues La Repubblica he might point out that his question was CARLO TAORMINA. Conosce Pintus? not "conosce tale Curio Pintus" and that the currently posted transcript does not quote him asking "conosce Robelo ambasciatore del Nicaragua in Vaticano" which Bonni and D'Avanzo describe as a mistake,
since the Nicaraguan ambassador in the Vatican is, of course, named Robledo. In fact the
exchange (as reported on the web page) is as follows

CARLO TAORMINA. Conosce Ropledo?


CARLO TAORMINA. Ropledo, ambasciatore del Nicaragua in Vaticano.

Now it remains to this day entirely mysterious why the dimessionando onorevole Taormina thought that a committee investigating the purchase of 29% of Telekom Serbia should know if a Roman lawyer accused in an anonymous letter of having some involvement in dishonest side deals knew the Nicaraguan ambassador to the Vatican, but there is no evidence on the web site that Carlo Taormina got the name of the ambassador wrong.

One odd thing in the article is that in the list of names, Trantino is quoted only for the surname and given name. The rule of style that reptitions are to be avoided means that his monotonous questions are paraphrased (not in quotation marks). To me this is odd. When I see two words in quotation marks in a sentence which is largely not in quotation
marks I automatically suspect that a meaning has been distorted by removal of the context. Reading the transcript, I agree with Bonni and D'Avanzo that Trantino had some source of (mis)information other than Paoletti and that he was questioning Paoletti with a theory in mind. This would be important if he later attempted to imply that Paoletti had led the committee to it's later misadventures with Marini. This depends on a claim which Trantino is alleged to have made after January 14. Actually I trust Bonni and D'Avanzo but I am amazed that a desire
to improve the style of Trantino would lead them to quote in bits and pieces and cast doubt on all of their quotes.

Still I sure wish I had written that article.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Now what was the last post about ? It is a response to an article by Paul Samuelson remarkable because he wrote “I have made my point and, but for the last, with words of just on syllable.” His point was that it is not rational for an extremely long lived investor to invest each period to maximize the one period geometric mean return on his/her portfolio. Latané had argued that it was rational because, by the law of large numbers, the very long horizon payoff to such a strategy would almost surely be greater than the payoff to any other. Samuelson’s point is that almost surely is not surely and for many utility functions of very long run payoffs, extremely unlikely events can be so painful (or pleasant) to matter. Thinking of this I was reminded of the Saint Petersburg paradox. I didn’t mention it because Petersburg is 3 syllables long. This was noted by Blaise Pascal (whose parents were kind enough to give him a one syllable first name). Blaise was not sure it was a paradox. It is exactly the argument that extremely unlikely events can be extremely important. Most people (including Pascal most of the time) think it is silly. A way of understanding this widespread view is to assume that utility functions are bounded above and below (the below part was explained to me by Peter Mollgaard). That is to assume we are capable of only a finite amount of pleasure or pain. Oddly standard utility functions are typically unbounded either above or below and so Petersburg paradoxical. Samuelson recognised this problem in a related context, but conventiently forgot it when dumping on Latané.

So let’s say that there is a highest possible happiness U and a lowest possible misery u. Events which occur with probability espsilon if we follow Latané’s strategy but not Samuelson can cost us only at most epsilon(U-u). As espsilon goes to 0, this term, the “if you lose you could lose real big” term goes to zero. So why isn’t Latané right for utility functions which are bounded both above and below ? Hmmm. Hard to answer that one using words of just one syllable.
I must be dumb. I do not get what Paul meant when he said “if you lose you could lose real big”. He said not to use one strange rule to buy stock, since, if you lose you could lose real big. He is not sure Blaise was right. He thinks joy and pain can be just so big. Why does he care that if you lose you could lose real big. If you buy by that strange rule the chance you lose is so so small. If the chance is so so small and if Blaise was wrong, who cares ? Why are the one strange rule guys dumb ? Help me smart guys. I do not get it.