Danièle Nouy, chair of the ECB’s newfangled bank regulator that doesn’t exist yet, had a term for it: “do whatever has to be done” so that the banking sector “is seen as sound and safe and transparent.” Is seen as.... Smoke and mirrors.
Entries in Europe - Spain (59)
By Don Quijones: By deciding to warn his customers about the risks of these toxic financial products — they should never have been sold to savers — branch manager Gómez Ortega set himself on collision course with the bank's head office in Madrid.
By Don Quijones: When a consortium, led by the Spanish company Sacyr, bid to expand the Panama Canal for $2 billion under budget, it was an offer Panama couldn’t refuse. What the government didn’t know at the time was how Spanish construction firms operate.
By Don Quijones: "We will not be taking any questions on the specifics of the Spanish situation."
By Don Quijones: Normally these two worlds co-exist relatively peaceably, barely cognizant of the other’s existence. Every now and then, their paths may intersect, only to quickly decouple. But this week they suffered a head-on clash.
By Don Quijones: On the surface and on the pitch, Spanish football has never been better. The national team of once-perpetual underachievers has won two European Championships and one World Cup in the last six years, a feat unmatched by any other European nation.
By Don Quijones: In most places these days, it’s probably easier to pass a camel through the eye of a needle than it is to pass a corrupt CEO of a failed bank through a wide-open prison gate. But a judge in Spain tried – and it's costing him dearly.
By Don Quijones: Despite having been caught with its hands in every cookie jar, Rajoy’s government still enjoys an absolute majority in parliament and can push through any law it fancies. Now it threatens to redraw Spain’s system of law and order – for its own benefit.
By Don Quijones: While many Spaniards may spit bile and venom at the merest suggestion of Catalonian autonomy, they would do well to ask themselves what happened to their own national sovereignty. How is it, for example, that Spain is taking orders on virtually all economic matters from men in black dispatched from Brussels and Frankfurt?
By Don Quijones: Two years ago, Mariano Rajoy rode a wave of public anger to victory in Spain’s general election. The man who could never win anything was suddenly gifted the closest any politician can hope to get to absolute power in an ostensibly democratic society.
By Don Quijones: There are things politicians should never do – assuming they want to hold on to their jobs. Using the dirty “s” word (sovereignty) is a definite no-no. Also high up on the list of “don’t dos” is threatening the interests of foreign creditors and bondholders.
By Don Quijones: Despite a miraculous economic “recovery,” EU-wide youth unemployment hit 24%. New records were set in Spain (56.5%), Greece (57.3%), Italy (40%), and France (26%). The warnings from history are clear: governments that allow youth unemployment to escalate, do so at their own peril.
By Don Quijones: Whatever you might read in the news these days, it’s not all doom and gloom in Spain. For a certain segment of the population, albeit quite a small one, life has never been better. They include Rodrigo Rato, the man who many blame for the biggest bankruptcy in Spanish history.
By Don Quijones: Four months ago, Miguel Blesa, ex-CEO of failed Caja Madrid and senior member of the governing Popular Party, was in jail. Accused of felonies ranging from irregularities in Caja Madrid’s purchase of City National Bank of Florida to wrongful “appropriation of funds,” Blesa was not even granted bail by the judge. But now he is free, and the judge is in trouble.
European regulators are desperate. The only thing known about the holes in bank balance sheets stuffed with decomposing assets is that they’re deep. No one knows how deep. No one is allowed to know – not until Eurocrats decide who will pay for bailing out these banks. How do we know? ECB President Mario Draghi said that.
By Don Quijones: If there is a two-word combination that strikes primal fear into the hearts of global senior bankers and representatives of international financial institutions, it is “odious” + “debt,” a legal theory that holds that the national debt incurred by a regime for purposes that do not serve the best interests of the nation shouldn’t be enforceable.
By Don Quijones: If recent reports from the Spanish government are to be believed, the Spanish economy is now officially out of the woods. Not only is the worst behind it, but it’s now positively humming along at a growth rate of, um, 0.1% per year. It is, as Finance Minister Cristobal Montoro put it, a “lesson to the world.” Oh really?
By Don Quijones: The Spanish premier Mariano Rajoy, steeped in a huge corruption scandal, took his unique brand of leadership onto the international stage, including the UN – with the most interesting results. While he was at it, he gave an interview on Bloomberg that quickly spiraled into such a disaster that he begged Bloomberg not to publish it. Oh my
By Don Quijones: If Spain and Catalonia were playing real, rather than figurative, Russian Roulette, the revolver would be loaded with two or three bullets. Now an extra one was slipped into a chamber: prize-winning economist Juan Valerde announced that Madrid may have to “bomb Barcelona” in order to put a halt to the region’s rising separatist aspirations.
By Don Quijones: Countries like Germany and Turkey have demanded explanations from the U.S. and U.K. governments regarding the NSA’s and GCHQ’s surveillance and wire-tapping program. But Spain’s Rajoy regime has remained conspicuously silent – despite the fact that this surveillance is a clear infringement of Spain’s domestic and external affairs.