Aristide or Aristid Blank, also spelled Blanc or Blanck (January 1, 1883 – January 1, 1960), was a Romanian financier, economist, arts patron and playwright.
His father, Mauriciu Blank, an assimilated and naturalized Romanian Jew, was manager of the Marmorosch Blank Bank (BMB), a major financial enterprise.
Aristide took up jobs within the same company, and, after seeing action in the Second Balkan War and World War I, began expanding its investments, branching out into maritime transport and founding CIDNA/CFRNA airlines.
This period witnessed his attempt at setting up a press empire around the twin dailies Adevarul and Diminea?a, and his brief engagement with Epoca.
Inheriting his father's position at the BMB, Blank expanded its activities and expenditures, setting aside money for graft, and allowing his staff to engage in accounting fraud.
By 1923, he was also engaged in Romanian nationalist politics, sponsoring propaganda writings and working alongside historians Nicolae Iorga and Vasile Pârvan.
He set up his own publishing house, Cultura Na?ionala, and a literary agency, which was for a while managed by philosopher Nae Ionescu—ultimately sacked by Blank upon the discovery of embezzlement.
Blank, who allegedly alternated mainstream politics with support for the far-left, found himself pitted against the antisemitic far-right, being brutalized by the National Christian Defense League and marked for retribution by the Iron Guard.
Beginning in the early 1920s, Blank cultivated Crown Prince Carol, who took over as King of the Romanians after a 1930 coup.
Emerging as Carol's economic adviser, Blank joined the resulting camarilla, an affiliation which shielded him from the consequences of BMB mismanagement.
The enterprise crashed in 1931, unable to absorb the effects of the Great Depression.
Blank was removed from his managerial position following intervention by the National Bank of Romania, but used political channels to preserve some measure of control, and was instrumental in toppling National Bank Governor Mihail Manoilescu, who did not wish to refinance the BMB.
His influence fluctuated for the remainder of Carol's reign; still unable to fully control the BMB, he still owned Discom, a lucrative retailer for products of state monopolies.
Public antisemitism and fascism took the forefront during the late years of Carlism and the early years of World War II.
This period saw Blank marginalized, and resulted in additional scrutiny of the BMB affair, at the end of which he was sentenced to pay 600 million lei in damages.
Blank reemerged as BMB manager after King Michael's Coup of 1944, but he and his business were finally repressed by the communist regime from 1948.
In 1953, he was sentenced to 20 years for high treason, but managed to have that verdict overturned in 1955.
After international pressures, he was allowed to emigrate in 1958, and lived his final months in Paris.
His children from his successive marriages and affairs include American soldier Milenko Blank and French press magnate Patrice-Aristide Blank.