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30 марта, 02:11

Justice For All? Spanish Lessons On Corruption And ‘Draining The Swamp’

A civil guard informs people of an ongoing raid as part of a corruption probe in Torrejon de Ardoz near Madrid, Spain. Luis Gómez Romero, University of Wollongong Corruption has become a major issue in political agendas across the world, from Donald Trump’s promise to “drain the swamp” to the impeachment of South Korea’s president Park Geun-hye over cronyism claims. No country gets close to a perfect score in Transparency International’s 2016 Corruption Perception Index (CPI), which annually ranks nations by their perceived levels of corruption, defined as “the abuse of entrusted power for private gain”. Last year, the global average score was 43, indicating endemic corruption in the public sector of more than half the countries in the world. Spain is a salient example of this global trend. Over the last decade, the country has been plagued with high-profile corruption scandals involving money embezzled from regional governments and mismanagement in local-level urban planning and construction. Clichéd cultural explanations do not sufficiently explain the breadth and depth of this crisis. As early as 1748, Montesquieu described Spaniards in his seminal work, The Spirit of the Laws, as naturally obedient and generally indolent as a consequence of Catholicism and the mild Mediterranean climate. But this prejudiced view muddles cause and effect, because a culture of corruption is not the ultimate factor that undermines legal and political institutions. On the contrary, countries develop a culture of distrust and dishonesty between different branches of society as a consequence of high levels of corruption. A deceiving accountability Spain is a good case study for understanding the institutional causes of corruption. In 2013, the country dropped ten places – to 40 out of 177 – in CPI. In other words, at the height of the Spanish financial crisis that destroyed over three million jobs, corruption rose faster in Spain than anywhere else in the world except war-torn Syria. The economic debacle stimulated a debate about corruption, which became fierce amid austerity measures imposed by the Partido Popular (PP) government. Two new political parties, the leftist Podemos and the centre-right Ciudadanos made corruption a central issue in their platforms. Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy at a People’s Party (Partido Popular) event. Albert Gea/Reuters Spain’s attempts to limit corruption have subsequently intensified, with corruption investigations, arrests and prosecutions on the rise. The high-profile convictions in February 2017 of Iñaki Urdangarin – former Duke of Palma and husband to Princess Cristina, the youngest sister of Spain’s King Felipe VI – and Rodrigo Rato – former deputy prime minister under José María Aznar and former International Monetary Fund director – are seemingly landmarks in Spain’s struggle against corruption. Urdangarin was sentenced to more than six years of prison on charges that included fraud and tax evasion. He had been accused of embezzling around 6,000,000 euros in public contracts for conferences and sporting events through the Nóos Institute, a non-profit sporting company he ran. Similarly, Rato was handed a sentence of four-and-a-half years for misusing corporate credit cards while in charge of savings bank Caja Madrid and its successor, Bankia, from 2010 to 2011. The formula of corruption The appearance that Spain has achieved a great feat in transparency and accountability is deeply deceiving. In a classic work on corruption, political scientist Robert Klitgaard defines the formula that favours the proliferation of illicit behaviour among public agents in the following terms: monopoly + discretion – accountability. In other words, corruption flourishes whenever agents have monopoly power over clients, because they enjoy discretion and accountability is weak. Both Rato’s and Urdangarin’s cases fit Klitgaard’s formula. Rato and other Bankia executives used uncontrolled corporate credit cards to rack up around 12,000,000 euros in undeclared expenses. This spending spree is particularly outrageous because Bankia was bailed out in 2012 for 19 billion euros, the largest corporate loss in Spanish history. In relation to Urdangarin, the Spanish Constitution acknowledges the King (sic) as head of state and broadly defines his functions but issues no norms on central matters like the King’s budget or which members of his family should be considered constituent elements of the Crown. Iñaki Urdangarin leaves court after a hearing in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Reuters/Enrique Calvo This regulatory gap granted Urdangarin a discretionary power. Exploiting his royal connections, he siphoned off millions in public funds from local governments. The 2012 scandal triggered calls for the abolition of the monarchy. King Juan Carlos was not implicated in the investigation, but it was causal in his 2014 abdication to make way for his son, Felipe. The real problem, however, is that neither Urdangarin nor Rato is really facing the consequences of his actions. Justice, equal but different for all In his 2011 Christmas speech, then-King Juan Carlos addressed Urdangarin’s scandal by promising that “justice” would be “equal for everyone”. Today, his words amount to an insult for many Spaniards. Urdangarin and Rato have been formally convicted, but the lenient subsequent court proceedings in both cases have been perceived as a cruel mockery of justice. A parody of Urdagarin’s trial by Spanish comedians Los Morancos. Though Urdangarin’s prosecutors requested that he pay bail of 200,000 euros to avoid going straight to prison, the court decided that he should remain free without bail in Switzerland, where he currently lives, as he prepares to appeal his sentence. Rato was similarly let free without posting bail because the anti-corruption prosecutor did not ask the courts to take him into custody. Calling Rato’s behaviour during the trial “completely appropriate”, the Audiencia Nacional (National Court) saw “no need for precautionary measures”. Social media exploded in outrage after the judgements were published. Pablo Iglesias, the leader of Podemos, angrily contrasted Urdangarin’s and Rato’s impunity with the Spanish courts harshness toward individuals who oppose and resist the current political system, specifically referencing the plight of rapper Miguel Arenas Beltrán, aka Valtonyc, who was handed three-and-a-half years in prison for songs deemed to have insulted the Crown and to have promoted nationalist Basque terrorism. “Injustice is different for each of us,” Iglesias tweeted on February 23. “Songs will be written about this sentence and their authors will be condemned.” “Only poor people go to jail,” declared 23-year-old Valtonyc to the Spanish online newspaper Público. It will be quite difficult for him to fight the court’s decision. He now works at a grocery store and has spent all his savings in his legal defence. Corruption: the spirit of wild capitalism Corruption thrives on impunity, whose roots certainly reach beyond the Mediterranean. They can be traced to the binding forces behind privileged elites of a global capitalist system that increasingly runs wild. Cultural critic Slavoj Žižek asserts that societies are bound together by their guilty secrets more strongly than by their public principles. Social acts of transgression “reaffirm the cohesion of the group” as “everybody pretends to know nothing” about them, or even “actively denies” their existence. Corruption would therefore embody the “spirit” of wild capitalism. It binds us to the basic unwritten law of the system: anything is admissible if it helps you get richer. There are no moral or legal limits to the accumulation of capital. In the words of Richard Fuld, the former CEO of the now defunct Lehman Brothers: “Whatever it is, enjoy the ride. No regrets.” In his last international trip as US president, Barack Obama warned that populist movements from the left and the right have risen across the world from “a suspicion of globalisation, a desire to rein in its excesses, a suspicion of elites and governing institutions that people feel may not be responsive to their immediate needs.” But in Spain the courts have once again confirmed that powerful individuals have nothing to regret as they pursue wealth. The longer state institutions keep capitalism’s guilty secret, the harder it will be to break free. This Spain has now painfully learned. Luis Gómez Romero, Senior Lecturer in Human Rights, Constitutional Law and Legal Theory, University of Wollongong This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

11 марта, 18:00

Коломойский должен понести ответственность за ситуацию в ПриватБанке, — Бальцерович

Стабилизация Приватбанка, а также его дальнейшая приватизация будет ответственным заданием для власти. Об этом в интервью «Укринформу» рассказал сопредседатель группы стратегических советников по поддержке реформ в Украине Лешек Бальцерович. «Очень важно, как в дальнейшем будет развиваться […]

05 марта, 22:10

Deutsche Bank To Raise $8.5 Billion In New Capital, Announces Major Restructuring

Confirming last week's report of an imminent share sale, on Sunday the biggest German lender announced it would raise €8 billion ($8.5 billion) in new capital through a rights offering sale of 687.5 million new shares, and sell parts of its asset management business in its latest attempt to shore capital following €8 billion in losses in the past two years after a major operational and balance sheet restructuring was launched by CEO John Cryan in 2015, settling misconduct investigations and scaling back capital-intensive debt-trading businesses. The bank also announced that CFO Marcus Schenck, 51, and Christian Sewing, who oversees wealth management and consumer banking, would become co-deputy CEOs. The company will find a new CFO “in due course.” “A strong capital base is essential if we’re to succeed in charting this strategy,” Cryan wrote in a letter to employees. The share sale will “remove a major source of uncertainty. That should make us significantly more attractive for our clients.” The timing of the share sale takes advantage of the recent resurgence in Deutsche Bank’s share price, which has almost doubled from multiyear lows near €10 in September. The shares closed Friday at €19.14 in European trading. Last year, corporate clients and hedge funds pulled balances and other business from Deutsche Bank over concerns about its legal costs and weak capital position. Deutsche Bank on Friday night confirmed investor expectations that it needs a capital injection, saying it was doing “preparatory work” for a share sale and considering other strategic moves. The announcement marks the bank's third time to tap capital markets since early 2013. Since taking over in mid-2015, Mr. Cryan said he wanted to avoid selling shares, which will hurt existing shareholders, however it was concerns over the bank's capitalization, and at time liquidty, that prompted a vicious selloff in August and September of 2016, sending DB's shares to all time lows on concerns the bank's RMBS settlement with the DOJ would drain the company's funding to dangerously low levels. According to the bank, the share sale would boost its common equity Tier 1 ratio to 14.1% and set a new target of “comfortably above” 13%. The measure stood at 11.9% at the end of 2016, shy of the then-target of 12.5% for the end of 2018. In an amusing twist, during a media call, DB CEO said the Bank hopes to return to attractive dividend ratio from 2018, suggesting that while the bank is raising capital now, it hopes to return it back to shareholders next year. As part of the restructuring, the firm plans to cut more than €2 billion of costs from the €24.1 billion in adjusted expenses it had last year. The bank will cut another 1 billion euros by 2021. It expects €2 billion of severance and restructuring costs, most of which will come over the next two years. Deutsche Bank also said it would reconfigure its business structure, combining its global markets and its corporate and investment bank, reversing a separation of the investment bank a year and a half ago. The bank said it will keep its Postbank consumer division and still aims to reduce total costs to €22 billion by 2018. The megabank also said it will sell a minority stake in its asset management unit through an initial public offering in the next two years. That, along with asset disposals at the investment bank, will help raise another 2 billion euros of capital. The bank will propose a dividend in May of 0.19 euros per share. As the WSJ notes, Cryan has tried to preserve capital by cutting costs, axing employee bonuses and canceling annual shareholder dividend payouts. But those steps haven’t done enough. Cryan’s hopes were overwhelmed by multibillion-dollar legal bills, toughening capital regulations and sagging profits in key businesses ranging from German retail banking to deal-advising and trading. The bank said it expects around €2 billion in restructuring and severance costs in connection with its plans. On Sunday afternoon, after a meeting of the supervisory board, Deutsche Bank also said as expected that it plans to sell a minority piece of its asset-management business via a public sale of shares. The plan is part of a bid to stabilize that business after it has suffered a long spate of asset declines.   Selling a stake would dent the advantage Deutsche Bank gains from the asset-management division’s profits, which are predictable compared with more-volatile investment-banking and trading profits. A stake sale would allow the lender to hold on to a business that Deutsche Bank officials including Mr. Cryan have praised as an important part of the bank. A partial float could help the bank once again expand the division while boosting its capital incrementally, some investors say. Deutsche Bank also said Sunday it plans to fold its German retail-banking unit, Postbank, back into its ongoing operations. That is a reversal of costly plans announced in 2015 to separate the business in preparation for a spinoff. The bank was unable to find buyers willing to pay an attractive price for the unit in a crowded market where low interest rates have hurt retail-banking profits. As part of Sunday's announcement, DB said that Jeff Urwin, who led the investment banking division, will retire from the management board after a transition period, according to Bloomberg. Cryan will take direct oversight for the U.S. operations, and the firm is recombining its investment banking and trading units after splitting the two in 2015. Schenck will run the combined unit with Garth Ritchie, who currently leads the trading division. While the stock has largely priced in the recent share offering, made possible by the recent near double in the stock price, among the other winners of today's announcement are holders of the bank's Contingent Converts, which has soared from a low of 70 during the selling panic in September to just shy of par. The bank also announced the following new financial targets: 2018 Adjusted Costs of approximately EUR 22 billion and a further reduction to approximately EUR 21 billion by 2021, both include Postbank’s Adjusted Costs Post-tax RoTE of approximately 10% in a normalized operating environment Targeting a competitive dividend payout ratio for fiscal year 2018 and thereafter Fully loaded CET1 ratio to be comfortably above 13% Leverage ratio of 4.5% In addition to the capital raise, operational restructuring and fine-tuned projections, Deutsche Bank also provided an update on current trading activity. The bank said it "has made a positive start in the first two trading months of 2017." Among the highlights: Global Markets has performed strongly against a weaker comparable period in 2016 with Debt Sales & Trading revenues up over 30% while Equities Sales & Trading was flat year on year. Corporate Finance year to date performance was strong with revenues up over 15% year on year reflecting positive momentum in primary markets that drove significant increases in debt and equity issuance. Global Transaction Banking saw resilience in its client franchise, but single digit lower revenue performance in a macro environment that remains challenging and from the consequences of intentional reductions in client perimeter during 2016. In Private Wealth & Commercial Clients (PW&CC), revenues were flat versus the comparable period in 2016 as the impact of low interest rates was mainly offset by positive developments in investment products supported by asset and deposit inflows. In Postbank, operating performance was flat, but reported revenues were slightly down given the absence of one-off gains in the prior year and weaker hedging results. Deutsche Asset Management had a modest improvement in revenues as well as the reversal of negative asset flows seen in 2016. DB announced an analyst event will take place tomorrow, March 6, at 14:00 GMT in London to detail these actions and updated targets.

27 февраля, 20:15

Former IMF Chief Sent To Jail As Spain Prosecutes 65 Elite Bankers In Enormous Corruption Scandal

Via Matt Agorist of ActivistPost.com, In many other countries, excluding the United States, corrupt bankers are often brought to task by their respective governments. The most recent example of a corrupt banker being held accountable comes out of Spain, in which the former head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Rodrigo Rato was sentenced to four years and six months behind bars. According to the AFP, Spain’s National Court, which deals with corruption and financial crime cases, said he had been found guilty of embezzlement when he headed up Caja Madrid and Bankia, at a time when both groups were having difficulties. Rato, who is tied to a slew of other allegations was convicted and sentenced for misusing €12m between 2003 and 2012 — sometimes splashing out at the height of Spain’s economic crisis, according to the AFP. The people of Spain were outraged over the scandal as it was discovered during the height of a severe financial crisis in which banks were receiving millions in taxpayer dollars. Bankia was eventually nationalized and given 22 billion in public money. Although he was sentenced, Rato, who is also a former Spanish economy minister, remains at liberty pending a possible appeal because of highly connected elite status. Rato was brought down in a massive effort by Spain to get rid of corruption within the banking system. The problem had gotten so bad, that Spain decided to clean house, and 65 people, include Rato, were brought to task. According to the AFP, they were accused of having paid for personal expenses with credit cards put at their disposal by both Caja Madrid and Bankia, without ever justifying them or declaring them to tax authorities. These expenses included petrol for their cars, supermarket shopping, holidays, luxury bags or parties in nightclubs. According to the indictment, Rato maintained the “corrupt system” established by his predecessor Miguel Blesa when he took the reins of Caja Madrid in 2010, reports the AFP. He then replicated the system when he took charge of Bankia, a group born in 2011 out of the merger of Caja Madrid with six other savings banks, prosecutors said. According to the report: Rato was economy minister and deputy prime minister in the conservative government of Jose Maria Aznar from 1996 to 2004, before going on to head up the IMF until 2007. His subsequent career as a banker was short-lived — from 2010 to 2012 — but apart from the credit cards case, it also led to another banking scandal considered the country’s biggest ever.   Thousands of small-scale investors lost their money after they were persuaded to convert their savings to shares ahead of the flotation of Bankia in 2011, with Rato at the reins. Less than a year later, he resigned as it became known that Bankia was in dire straits. The state injected billions of euros but faced with the scale of Bankia’s losses and trouble at other banks, it asked the EU for a bailout for the banking sector and eventually received €41bn. Rato and others were probed, accused of misleading small investors in the listing of Bankia, which has since paid out €1.2bn in compensation. To highlight the utter corruption within the banking cartel that is the IMF, Rato is the third former chief to be ousted for illegal activity. For those who don’t remember, Rato’s successor, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was tried in 2015 on pimping charges in a lurid sex scandal. Naturally, he was acquitted — in spite of the fact that he admitted to engaging in illicit sex with prostitutes at a series of orgies that supposedly took place at the Hotel Carlton in the northern French city of Lille. The court sided with DSK and agreed that he had no idea the women he repeatedly filled the orgies with were being paid. Christine Lagarde, who took over from Strauss-Kahn and is the current IMF chief, In December, was found guilty of “negligence” for approving a massive government payout to business tycoon Bernard Tapie during her tenure as French finance minister. Despite being found guilty of corruption, Lagarde was not sentenced to a single day in jail. She has since been meeting with Trump’s Goldman Sachs-connected Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, noting that they’ve had “some very positive discussions.”

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27 февраля, 14:27

Экс-глава МВФ Рато приговорен к 4,5 годам тюрьмы за мошенничество с картами Bankia

Испанский суд приговорил бывшего директора-распорядителя Международного валютного фонда (МВФ) Родриго Рато к 4,5 годам лишения свободы по обвинению в мошенничестве с кредитными картами Bankia - одного из крупнейших банков страны.

27 февраля, 13:58

Экс-глава МВФ Рато приговорен к 4,5 годам тюрьмы за мошенничество с картами Bankia

Испанский суд приговорил бывшего директора-распорядителя Международного валютного фонда (МВФ) Родриго Рато к 4,5 годам лишения свободы по обвинению в мошенничестве с кредитными картами Bankia - одного из крупнейших банков страны, сообщают европейские СМИ.

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24 февраля, 00:45

Экс-директора МВФ Рато приговорили к 4,5 годам тюрьмы за махинации

Бывший глава Международного валютного фонда (МВФ) Родриго Рато приговорен к 4,5 годам лишения свободы за злоупотребление с кредитными картами в банке Bankia.

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23 февраля, 23:12

Ex-IMF chief sentenced over Bankia card scandal

Rodrigo Rato was chair of Spanish bank which offered incentives to top staff

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23 февраля, 23:12

Ex-IMF chief sentenced over Bankia card scandal

Rodrigo Rato was chair of Spanish bank which offered incentives to top staff

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23 февраля, 22:44

Экс-глава МВФ получил 4,5 года лишения свободы за финансовые махинации

Бывший министр экономики Испании Родриго Рато приговорен к тюремному сроку наряду с коллегами по компании Caja Madrid, которой он руководил

23 февраля, 22:35

Испания: экс-глава МВФ приговорен к тюрьме за использование "черных карт"

Национальная судебная коллегия Испании приговорила бывшего директора-распорядителя МВФ и экс-министра экономики Родриго Рато к 4 с половиной годам тюрьмы по делу о финансовых махинациях. Он и несколько десятков человек обвинялись в использовании так называемых "черных карт" банка Caja Madrid (позже Bankia), средства на которых скрывались от налоговых служб. Согласно версии обвинения, с помощью этих карт в период с 2003 по 2012 годы подозреваемые потратили свыше 12 миллионов евро на личные нужды.… ЧИТАТЬ ДАЛЕЕ: http://ru.euronews.com/2017/02/23/former-imf-head-sentenced-for-credit-card-fraud euronews: самый популярный новостной канал в Европе. Подписывайтесь! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=euronewsru euronews доступен на 13 языках: https://www.youtube.com/user/euronewsnetwork/channels На русском: Сайт: http://ru.euronews.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/euronews Twitter: http://twitter.com/euronewsru Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/101036888397116664208/100240575545901894719/posts?pageId=101036888397116664208 VKontakte: http://vk.com/ru.euronews

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23 февраля, 19:17

Бывшего главу МВФ приговорили к 4,5 годам тюрьмы за мошенничество

Высокопоставленные руководители банка потратили на личные нужды около 15,5 млн евро.

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23 февраля, 17:48

Экс-директор МВФ приговорен к 4,5 годам тюрьмы за махинации, - Reuters

Испанский суд приговорил экс-директора Международного валютного фонда Родриго Рато к 4,5 годам тюрьмы за злоупотребления с кредитными картами в банке Bankia. Об этом сообщает агентство Reuters. Согласно материалам суда, экс-чиновник признан виновным в присвоении и растрате на личные потребности средств с кредитных карт указанного банка...

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23 февраля, 17:36

Бывший глава МВФ приговорен к 4,5 годам тюрьмы по делу о мошенничестве

Бывший директор-распорядитель Международного валютного фонда (МВФ) Родриго Рато приговорен к 4,5 годам тюремного заключения по делу о финансовом мошенничестве. Соответствующее решение приняла Национальная судебная коллегия Испании. Об этом сообщает газета El Pais.Кроме того, к шести годам тюрьмы приговорен бывший глава банка Caja Madrid (позже Bankia) Мигель Блеса. Процесс, по которому проходят 66 человек, связан с использованием «черных карт» Caja Madrid, на которых хранились средства, скрывавшиеся от налоговых служб королевства. По данным следствия, с помощью этих карт в период с 2003 по 2012 годы подозреваемые потратили свыше €12 млн на личные нужды. Родриго Рато занимал с 2010 по 2012 год должность президента испанского банковского конгломерата Bankia. На суде он заявил, что ему никто не сказал о существовании каких-либо налоговых или нормативно-правовых проблем в связи с…

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23 февраля, 17:15

Бывший директор МВФ приговорён к 4,5 года тюрьмы

Бывший премьер Испании и экс-глава Bankia был задержан в 2015 году. Он подозревался в уклонении от уплаты налогов и отмывании преступных денег. Вскоре его отпустили, однако забрали паспорт, чтобы он не скрылся. Фигурантами судебного процесса были 65 человек. По данным следствия, они причастны к растрате около 12 миллиардов евро при помощи "чёрных карт" Caja Madrid (позже Bankia), на которых хранились средства, скрывавшиеся от налоговых служб королевства.

22 февраля, 12:15

В Испании только что произошло немыслимое

Неприкасаемость. Неприкосновенность. Иммунитет. Ненаказуемость. Эти слова и выражения часто ассоциируют со старшими чинами центральных банков, которые по закону могут действовать более или менее вне правовых рамок при тех полномочиях, которыми они обладают. Редко услышишь в связи с именами этих банкиров слова «обвинен», «подсудимый» или «под следствием». Но на этой неделе в Испании суд весьма впечатлил всех, нарушив эту традицию.

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20 февраля, 15:29

Судебная эпопея по IPO Bankia продолжается

Экс-главе ЦБ Испании Мигелю Анхелю Фернандесу Ордоньесе предъявлены обвинения в рамках расследования дела о первичном размещении на бирже акций одного из крупнейших банков страны - Bankia, сообщает El Mundo.

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20 февраля, 15:29

Судебная эпопея по IPO Bankia продолжается

Экс-главе ЦБ Испании Мигелю Анхелю Фернандесу Ордоньесе предъявлены обвинения в рамках расследования дела о первичном размещении на бирже акций одного из крупнейших банков страны - Bankia, сообщает El Mundo.

20 февраля, 12:00

The Unthinkable Just Happened In Spain

Submitted by Don Quijones via WolfStreet.com, Untouchable. Inviolable. Immunity. Impunity. These are the sort of words and expressions that are often associated with senior central bankers, who are, by law, able to operate more or less above the law of the jurisdictions in which they operate. Rarely heard in association with senior central bankers are words or expressions like “accused”, “charged” or “under investigation.” But in Spain this week a court broke with that tradition, in emphatic style. As part of the epic, multi-year criminal investigation into the doomed IPO of Spain’s frankenbank Bankia – which had been assembled from the festering corpses of seven already defunct saving banks – Spain’s national court called to testify six current and former directors of the Bank of Spain, including its former governor, Miguel Ángel Fernández Ordóñez, and its former deputy governor (and current head of the Bank of International Settlements’ Financial Stability Institute), Fernando Restoy. It also summoned for questioning Julio Segura, the former president of Spain’s financial markets regulator, the CNMV (the Spanish equivalent of the SEC in the US). The six central bankers and one financial regulator stand accused of authorizing the public launch of Bankia in 2011 despite repeated warnings from the Bank of Spain’s own team of inspectors that the banking group was “unviable.” Though they have so far only been called to testify, the evidence against the seven former public “servants” looks pretty conclusive. Testifying against them are two of Banco de España’s own inspectors who have spent the last two years investigating Bankia’s collapse on behalf of the trial’s presiding judge, Fernando Andreu. There are also four emails from the Bank of Spain’s inspector in charge of overseeing Bankia’s IPO, José Antonio Casaus, to the assistant director general of supervision at the Bank of Spain, Pedro Comín, that very clearly express concerns about the bank’s “serious and growing” profitability, liquidity, and solvency issues. Here are four brief excerpts: [April 8, 2011] “Bankia is unviable, both economically and financially. In the end, the FROB [Spain’s state-owned Fund for Orderly Bank Restructuring] will have to convert its debt into shares for the BFA [Spain’s state-owned banking group] and refund holders of Bankia’s subordinate bonds and “preferentes” shares. […] Find a buyer for the group.” [April 14,2011] “This is not working, it’s getting worse. […] Bankia’s capacity to generate resources is deteriorating.” [May 10, 2011, uppercase used by Causus for emphasis] “The endogenous solution put forward by Bankia — a public listing with a double banking structure without the necessary structural changes — WILL NOT WORK AND WILL HAVE A DEVASTATING IMPACT ON TAXPAYERS.” [May 16, 2011, 2 months before the IPO] “The (bank’s) board is highly politicized and unprofessional. It still has the same directors that led the former entities to need public assistance: [they are] discredited in the eyes of the markets.” As the court’s edict reads, the contents of the emails unequivocally demonstrate that the Bank of Spain’s management was perfectly aware of the “inviability of the group” as well as “the fabricated financial results it had presented.” Yet, together with the CNMV, it lent its blessing to those results, knowing full well they bore no relation to reality . Featured in the IPO prospectus, those results were crucial in luring 360,000 credulous investors into buying shares in the soon-to-be-bankrupt bank, not to mention the 238,000 people who bought “preferentes” shares or other forms of high-risk subordinate debt instruments being peddled by Bankia’s sales teams as “perfectly safe investments.” Most have since been refunded by Spanish taxpayers. The IPO prospectus was also signed off on by Bankia’s auditor, Deloitte, whose Spanish representatives are also warming the defendants’ bench. Deloitte was not just the bank’s auditor, it was also the consultant responsible for formulating its accounts. As El Mundo put it, first Deloitte built Bankia’s balances, then it audited them, in complete contravention of the basic concept of auditor independence [read: Deloitte About to Pay for its Spanish Sins?]. Given this deeply compromising, not to say illegal, set-up, it’s hardly any surprise that Deloitte was happy to confirm in Bankia’s IPO prospectus that the newly born frankenbank was in sound financial health, having made a handsome profit of €300 million just before its public launch. It was a blatant lie: in reality Bankia was bleeding losses from every orifice. Now, just about everybody who played a role in this momentous deception, with the exception of the government itself, is standing trial. That includes 65 former members of Bankia’s management team including its former President and ex-chief of the IMF, Rodrigo Rato, who faces charges of money laundering, tax fraud, and embezzlement. In his testimony to the court almost exactly two years ago, Rato argued (quite rightly) that the blame for Bankia’s collapse should be much more evenly spread out. Bankia’s public launch “was not a whimsical decision” taken by its chief executives, he said, but was the inevitable result of regulatory changes at the beginning of 2011. According to Rato, the CNMV even played an active role in drawing up the bank’s lie-infested IPO brochure. Now, two years later, some of Spain’s most senior central bankers and financial regulators find themselves in the rare position of having to explain and defend the actions and decisions they took that helped pave the way to the biggest bank bailout in Spanish history. It will be one of the first times that senior members of the global central banking complex have had to face trial for the consequences of their actions. That’s not to say that justice will prevail. Spain’s legal system is notoriously slow, especially when it’s convenient, and heavily politicized. There’s also the possibility that the ECB may intervene as it did in Slovenia’s investigation of its central bank’s alleged misuse of bailout funds. The last Spanish judge that dared to take on the financial elite, Elpidio Silva, sent Caja Madrid’s CEO Miguel Blesa to jail — not once, but twice – and was barred from the bench for 17 years. As such, the presiding judge of the current case, Fernando Andreu, would do well to tread carefully; he risks stepping on some very important toes. Now a hot new bail-in-able debt got cooked up by financial engineers in France. And it’s a big hit. Read…  Biggest EU Banks Embark on the Mother of All Debt Binges

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16 февраля, 18:44

See you in court: Spain’s banking clean-up

Print section Print Rubric:  Assigning blame for the calamitous near-collapse of Bankia Print Headline:  See you in court Print Fly Title:  Spanish banking UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Gene editing, clones and the science of making babies Fly Title:  See you in court Location:  MADRID ALMOST five years have passed since the near-collapse of Bankia, one of Spain’s biggest lenders, forced the country into a European banking bail-out. But inquiries into what went wrong continue—and widen. This week, for the first time, the investigations embroiled Spain’s financial regulators, including a former governor of the central bank, the Bank of Spain, Miguel Angel Fernández Ordóñez. On February 13th the national court indicted Mr Fernández Ordóñez and seven other senior regulators, ordering a criminal investigation but without specifying any charges. The ...

28 февраля 2013, 15:23

Убыток Bankia достиг рекорда за всю историю Испании

Bankia SA сообщил об убытке на уровне 19,06 млрд евро ($24,9 млрд) по итогам 2012 г., что является крупнейшим убытком в корпоративной истории Испании. Убытки связаны со списанием активов и убыточными видами деятельности.Убыток Bankia по итогам 2012 г. стал рекордным за всю историю Испании В 2011 г. убыток составил всего 2,98 млрд евро. В прошлом году банк обратился за помощью к государству.Bankia, самый большой из национализированных в прошлом году банков, планирует сократить около 4,5 тыс. рабочих мест и закрыть 1 тыс. отделений в этом году, что является требованиями регуляторов в ЕС.Банк также прекратит операции по ипотечному кредитованию, продаст ряд активов и сосредоточится только на розничном кредитовании. Как и другие банки, которые получили помощь от государства, Bankia перевел все существующие активы в секторе недвижимости в недавно созданный в Испании банк "плохих" активов.В банке отмечают, что надеются получить прибыль уже в этом году. В заявлении председателя Bankia Хосе Игнасио Гориголзарри говорится, что приоритетом является стремление "сделать Bankia прибыльным банком, для того чтобы вернуть обществу ту поддержку, которое оно дало нам".В прошлом году банк получил 18 млрд евро помощи от государства, но эти средства были выделены за счет ЕС. Всего Испания в прошлом году получила 41,4 млрд евро, для того чтобы спасти убыточные банки.