Good analysis of how some disgustingly greedy people can move a country to economic ruin. And can we please stop using the euphemism ‘bailout’? It is more accurate to refer to the financial assistance required for the immoral (and sometimes criminal) misappropriation of funds as ‘a fleecing of the taxpayer.’
Rato, Castellanos and others jointly own a commercial lot near Madrid that is leased to a third party, according to Ayala’s Jan. 10 statement to the court. They also controlled a company together while Rato, 64, was running Bankia, Ayala said.
At the same time, Lazard billed Bankia 9.2 million euros ($12 million) for work either assigned or executed during Rato’s 27-month tenure at the bank, court documents show.
Their relationship exemplifies how a network of leaders from the governing People’s Party helped their associates among the financial elite to profit while the country’s savings banks, known as cajas, racked up losses. That toxic combination flourished during the boom fueled by Spain’s entry into the euro in 1999 and served to deepen the crash that resulted in a 41 billion-euro bailout of Spanish lenders, according to Jacob Funk Kirkegaard, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington.