Wealth redistribution in progress.
The last five years have been a bumper period for banking scams and scandals in crisis-ridden Spain. From Bankia’s doomed IPO in 2012 to the “misselling” of complex preferentes shares to “unsophisticated” retail bank customers, including children and Alzheimers sufferers, all of the scandals have had one thing in common: the banks have consistently and ruthlessly sacrificed the welfare and wealth of customers, investors, and taxpayers on the altar of short-term survival.
Some commentators claim that the problem of banking instability in Spain has been put to rest in recent times, thanks chiefly to a robust, debt-fueled recovery, a tepid resurgence of the real estate sector and the transfer of the most toxic assets from banks’ balance sheets to the festering balance sheets of the nation’s bad bank, Sareb. They could not be more wrong.
Despite the untold billions of euros of public funds lavished on “cleaning up” their balance sheets and the roughly €240 billion of provisions booked against bad debt since December 2007, the banks are just as weak and disaster-prone as they were four years ago.
And now, it seems a new scandal is in the works…
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