Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Juego de la negociación bancaria

As Calomiris and Haber have put it, there's no eliminating the politics from banking. Certainly true in Spain;
...over a space of 20 years or so, the flagship savings bank [Caja Madrid] became a refuge for dozens of politicians who were granted a seat on its board as a reward for their loyalty or internal power.
The positions were handed out by the three main parties — the Popular Party (PP), the Socialist Party (PSOE) and the United Left (IU) — who imposed their choice of chairman and appointed most of the members of the board.
With predictable results, that are now coming to light;
Besides providing nearly bottomless funds for board members and executives’ personal expenses over the course of 10 years, Caja Madrid also paid the salaries of dozens of political leaders, freeing up their parties from having to shell out the money themselves. The savings bank also financed other party expenses through its foundations, which handed out a collective €1 million a year.
And sus esposos;
The wives of Salvador Victoria and Francisco Granados, two regional commissioners under ex-Madrid premier Esperanza Aguirre, sat on the board of Caja Madrid Pensiones and took home 1,800 gross a month each. Neither one of them had the financial skills to occupy those positions — but then again, neither did many of the politicians who sat on the board of Caja Madrid.
But they were qualified to use credit cards of the bank;
Of the €15.6 million spent by credit card holders between 2003 and 2012, almost €6 million was drawn out of ATMs or used to purchase clothing, accessories and groceries.
I.e., not for legitimate business expenses connected to banking. Which is a heavily regulated industry in Spain, as it is elsewhere.

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