Black legend of bank rescue | Economy

The financial rescue of Spain by the EU has just turned ten years old. And it is not cleaned of false legends. Like the one that it was the exclusive fault of the savings banks. And its overly politicized management.

It is true that most of the missing entities were boxes. And it is that the two previous crises were primed only in the banks. Between 1978 and 1983, 51 of the 110 existing ones disappeared or were swallowed up. And in the 1990s the big ones were reconverted: Banesto went bankrupt in 1993; two triple mergers that originated BBVA, and the current Santander, after absorbing Central and Hispano. With a billionaire cost, in pesetas, borne by the shareholders and by the State.

But the burial or rescue of 2012 did not only affect the savings banks: the Bank of Valencia was there. And in its extension (2017) Popular was scrapped. Although not some key savings banks, such as the largest, La Caixa. Not even the Basque ones (today, Kutxabank), in principle more politicized (and the most solvent).

Those political ties always had the bank. Before and during the Franco regime: the Garnicas, the Gómez-Acebos, the López de Letonas. And later, with former ministerial advisers such as Isabel Tocino (Santander), Francisco González (José María Aznar’s protégé in Argentaria and BBVA) or the head of the sectoral employers’ association, José María Roldán (then a guru and head of the ministerial cabinet).

In addition, the collapse of the boxes had two origins linked to prominent politicians. Its international trigger was the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers due to its immoral speculation with junk mortgages: its Spanish president was Luis de Guindos, who was very active, just until the North American matrix exploded. And the internal cause, the real estate bubble forged by the dynamic of outrages that unleashed the land law of 1998, promoted by Francisco Álvarez-Cascos.

The most impertinent myth of the rescue was the foundational one. It should not cost the taxpayer “not a single euro”, Mariano Rajoy and his minister Guindos swore. But the bulk of the 41,330 million of its European credit is a slab pending amortization; the bad bank (Sareb) shows a negative value of 10,000 million and saddles 35,000 million of debt to the State; and the total accumulated deficit amounts to 73,138 million (Eurostat). That, without counting the previous evaporation of 14,750 million euros taken until 2015 from humble clients pushed to buy “preferred” and “subordinated” obligations by abusive means.

He knows in depth all the sides of the coin.


Of course, thanks to that the financial sector was cleaned up. The problem is at what price. Not every cost is justified: the ignorio herd of the establishment applauds the European credit of 41,330 million: but they were less and more burdensome than the 112,000 quietly raised as provisions for doubtful loans from 2008 to 2012. Were they less euros when disbursed gradually and without scandalous phrases in FTlike those of Guindos (January 2012), denouncing holes of 50,000 million?

And the problem is the unfulfilled promises of gratuity. And for whose benefit? Not from the clients of the savings banks or from the banking service or cultural sponsorship in their territories. The savings banks accounted for more than half of the financial sector. A third was absorbed by the bank. And now (almost) all are all (banks). They dismantled their competitors, by absorption. So the ransom went to the boxes. But for banking.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button