Document: The act of Caja Madrid that gave the green light to the ‘B’ cards in 1988

 Document: The act of Caja Madrid that gave the green light to the 'B' cards in 1988 >


Within a week, the National Court has rejected two appeals filed by the ex-presidents of Caja Madrid and Bankia, Miguel Blesa and Rodrigo Rato, charged with the scandal of the ‘B’ cards of the entity. If last week it was Blesa who had the civil bond of 16 million euros, this Monday the Chamber has ratified the former managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), with the argument that there are “solid indications” that would point to an alleged offense of deseal administration .

The magistrates take refuge in minutes of June 20, 1994 and October 30, 1995, “cited by the Public Prosecutor,” to argue that both exdirigentes did not enjoy a “legal authorization of the governing bodies” in order to distribute the famous cards. At the moment the content of these acts is not publicly known, insofar as they are secret. However, a previous act, of 1988, demonstrates that legal powers were given to the then president (Jaime Terceiro) and later to distribute among the councilors a means of payment (then still to be defined) that would mean “a compensation system of the expenses that may be incurred by exercising the function “. Come on, what are the famous black cards.

As the document to which this journalist has had exclusive access (see image below) at the meeting of the Board of Directors of Caja Madrid held on May 24, 1988, the directors meeting there unanimously agreed that the then president (Terceiro), on his proposal, will develop a “system of compensation of expenses to members of the Board of Directors and members of the Control Committee” and he will fix the maximum amounts to be received by each one. This was the moment in which a green light was given to what would later be the cards, and the board then gave full powers to the president of the fund to determine amounts and other remuneration aspects of the directors.

From the beginning they were not considered as a card for expenses of representation, but as a method to compensate the expenses of the directors in the face of the evidence that the clients who were then charged were inadequate and “not comparable, under any premise, with those of other entities, savings banks or banks . It is necessary to dignify the role of director also in matters of compensation of the efforts and dedication of the entity, covering at least the costs incurred by the exercise of its function, “as noted in the minutes.

That is to say, it seems that from the first moment the cards were considered as an additional remuneration system destined to be discretionary and compensate for the low salaries that, comparatively, the directors of the Madrid box perceived, according to the president of the box at the time. And is that the figure of the counselor at that time only received per diems of a maximum of 25,000 pesetas and health and life insurance.

If we do not know the content of the minutes of 1994 and 1995, what this document shows is that the board of directors did give a clear mandate to its presidents to define a remuneration system that would be added to the allowances and that, for what it seems, was different (broader) to a mere system of representation expenses, as can be seen from the judicial order and the Prosecutor’s Office. Was this system extended to the managers of the cashier? Was it well accounted for in the balance sheet of the entity? Why were not the due retentions practiced if this should be done? There are still so many questions to know …

Stored in: Banks

Spain has helped with more than 107,000 million euros to its financial system. Much or little compared to the rest?

 Spain has helped with more than 107,000 million euros to its financial system. Much or little compared to the rest? >


The National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC) has just published its annual report on public aid. It is a synthetic analysis of the different guarantees, subsidies, subsidies, etc., contributed by the taxpayers for the benefit of certain economic sectors. As every year since the beginning of the crisis, it is the financial sector that has benefited most from the aid .

As shown by the CNMC (see chart below), Spanish financial institutions benefited until the end of 2012 (latest data available) of a total amount of aid of 107,453 million euros (excluding guarantees) , divided by direct injections of capital (59,743 million), rescues of impaired assets (28,395 million) and other liquidity measures (19,315 million). Not everything will be bad news, and as highlighted by Competition, all these loans and redemptions so far have meant an income for the public purse of 3,160 million in concept of commissions and other payments.

Well, that, that 107,000 million euros from the taxpayer in direct economic aid to the financial sector, according to the CNMC. This figure comes to join the hodgepodge of figures that since the beginning of the restructuring of the Spanish financial system have been suffering. In a previous post, referred to a study Funcas that estimated the rescue in the environment of 55,000 million euros. In another post of mine, the banking association AEB, for its part, made its own calculation (77,800 million euros) , while the Court of Accounts (107,900 million) came very close to the figure published by Competition this Friday. Mine, based on own calculations, was more in the vicinity of 159,000 million.

Is it much or little that we have spent the taxpayers in rescuing the financial system? Of course the amount, equivalent to 10% of our GDP (approximately) is a lot of money. A lot. But on the basis that any money used to repair the excesses committed by private companies is something that should be done as little as possible and covering the nostrils, the truth is that in comparative perspective the figures seem not too high in relation with other countries of our environment (see graphic).

Thus, the expense of recapitalizing entities in trouble represented, at the beginning of 2013, 5.7% of Spain’s GDP. And another 2.7% must be added in rescuing impaired assets and another 5.4% in “other liquidity measures”. In sum, a 13.8% of the Spanish GDP used to assist its financial sector . The Netherlands, with an advance of a year and a half, also addressed its own recapitalization of its banking, a company in which it spent 14.4% of its GDP (54,257 million euros). Similar figures show the United Kingdom, which between 2008 and 2011 used an amount equivalent to 13.1% of its GDP in rescuing City banking (156.108 million).

A separate chapter deserves cases like Ireland ( 522.6% of its GDP used primarily to rid its banks of brick), Greece (28.3%) and Cyprus (47.9%) , which practically went bankrupt as states by the fact of having to guarantee the solvency of their banks.

In essence, no country wants to use public money to rescue its financial system. It is somewhat unsightly, difficult to understand by the public and very expensive. But discounting that, the truth is that the hole covered in Spanish banking moves within reasonable standards compared to what has happened in the European environment since the subprime mortgage crisis broke out in the United States, back in 2007 It would not be convenient to forget it.

Stored in: Banks, Uncategorized

Differences of up to € 10,000 per year between average salaries per CC AA, Why is there a single minimum salary?


The Tax Agency has recently published an annual statistics on Labor Market and Pensions in Tax Sources (MTPFT). The data, although they do not have a census validity comparable to the one that can be provided by the INE data (Active Population Survey, Living Conditions Survey …), as it has been ordered to specify the AEAT, they do allow an approximation about the salary conditions and the price of labor in Spain.

It may be that one third of workers earn less than the minimum wage , or maybe two thirds are at most mileuristas, but the data by autonomous communities are those that have caught my attention (see box below). The inequalities are tremendous according to the territories. For example, in Madrid, the average annual salary reached 24,571 euros in 2013 . They are followed by Ceuta and Melilla (perhaps because there are many soldiers, and their salary tends to be higher) and Catalans, with an average salary of 20,806 euros on average every year.

On the other side of the scale are Extremadura and Andalusians, with average salaries of 13,626 and 14,473 euros per worker, respectively. That is, between the top and bottom ends there is more than 10,000 euros a year of difference . It is true that the costs of living, rents and the productive tissues themselves have nothing to do in some regions and in others, but it does not stop attracting attention when the volume of territorial inequalities in each community is verified.

This leads me to reflect on some aspects that are perhaps politically incorrect, but which I think should be addressed: Is it normal for there to be a single Internprofessional Minimum Wage (SMI) if the average labor costs of the workforce are so different in each territory? The same can be applied with the lesser known IPREM, which is used when accessing grants, grants, etc. The same, in essence, should perhaps also apply when granting housing subsidies. I do not know, I’m not sure, but I think maybe it would be good to open the debate. What do you think?

Stored in: Uncategorized

The Spanish public debt and the banks, this huge circle ¿virtuous or vicious?


Since the European Central Bank, in view of the financial crisis back in 2011, decided to open the tap of the free liquidity bar (the famous LTRO and other measures) was launched a sort of seemingly virtuous circle that basically worked like this : 1) Banks, faced with a dry interbank market situation, managed to access unlimited liquidity in order to carry out their operations and not enter into a solvency crisis. 2) To the extent that liquidity opened up a range of investment possibilities for the entities, they devoted themselves massively to investing in what they rented the most in the middle of the euro crisis and with a risk premium from the periphery triggered: sovereign debt. This is how the so-called Carry Trade was styled for years, an operation in which banks raise money at 1% (for example) and acquired public debt at 4%. A 3% profit with little risk . 3) The states of the European periphery, in need of debt and with all the suspicions about them, managed to finance themselves. Do not forget that in those moments the aversion was almost total.

As well. The crisis has since mutated. The outlook for the euro has practically become marginal and the risk premium has been lowered to more manageable levels. Thus, for entities such as BFA-Bankia, for example, which acquired huge amounts of Spanish debt, so many benefits have emerged that they could even return all the injections of public capital that they have been given only with the capital gains of it. Everyone happy then? Not so fast.

As the credit agency Fitch points out in a recent special report on European banks, there is a good chance that the new European banking supervisor (the ECB) will limit the maximum percentage of sovereign debt on the balance sheets of financial institutions . It is something recommended by the Basel agreements, which are mandatory for the countries present there. And Spain, in this context, would be one of the most affected countries.

Fitch’s figures are tremendous: Spanish banks have a total exposure to public debt of more than 282,000 million euros. In the event that the ECB imposes a limitation on the balance of 25% of exposure on total assets, it would have to get rid of more than 206,000 million euros of it (see graph). A barbarity of money that would automatically mean an increase in the risk premium and a collapse of European bonds, especially Spanish ones. In total, for the entire euro area, another 1.1 billion euros would have to be relocated among other investors. Is there a demand in the world for such amount of European bonds?



In the case of the Spanish debt that should be relocated, it would be equivalent to 20% of GDP . That is, a monstrous amount that would collapse the debt markets. And it is that the bias of the Spanish banks (and not only these, Italy much the same) has been buying Spain’s debt massively (see below), so much that its exposure far exceeds 100% of the joint capital of the banking. On the one hand because it gave a profitable profitability and on the other hand to fulfill this tacit pact to indirectly finance the governments through the liquidity of the ECB.



For the time being, and despite the recommendations of Basel, it does not seem plausible to undertake this process of massive divestment of sovereign debt . Neither seems there to be consensus nor does it seem that there is an immediate need, although it is true that sovereign risk and banking risk will continue to be linked as long as the balance sheets of the entities are so full of European bonds. It seems that the conjuncture would allow, therefore, to foresee a slow and modulated process of deleveraging.

In summary, once again what we see is that the decisions made by the regulators and the authorities at a given moment suppose a solution in a short term, but they can have even more serious consequences in a medium or long term. What was presented as a virtuous circle runs the risk of becoming a vicious one. Hopefully not the case of the banks in the European periphery. So far sovereign debt has been considered a safe and risk free asset , and except in the case of Greece has not been seriously considered a default in the euro area. But the precedent already exists and debt levels will continue to grow for at least a few years. If the doubts on the sustainability of the same return both the banks and the European states will be seen again in the eye of the hurricane.

Stored in: Banks

The richest Spanish cities are also the most unequal

 The richest Spanish cities are also the most unequal >



This Wednesday, the Foundation of Studies of Applied Economics (Fedea) has publicly presented its database on personal income of Spanish municipalities and their distribution. Basically, this meticulous work collects thousands of data of income declarations and groups them locally , according to all the town councils of more than 5,000 inhabitants (excluding those of the provinces of provincial government). In total, detailed information of 1,109 municipalities grouped by researchers Jorge Onrubia, both from the Complutense University of Madrid.

It is fantastic news to have this new database now. More in a country like Spain, where precisely the data is not our strong point. The penalty, on a journalistic level, is that the statistics collected by Fedea are referred only to 2007 (their commitment is to get all available until at least 2010), so few news headlines can be drawn from them. Another issue is his analytical interest (that’s why I talk about it in my blog) and especially his academic interest. In fact, one of the things that most stressed the drivers of this new database is that they expect it to be the germ of many future papers and doctoral theses .

In their public presentation, the authors have shown only a small part of the potential of this database showing some comparative statistics: Municipalities with higher average personal income, lower, higher inequality, Gini index by localities … Of all the shown, What has struck me most is the correlation (which, as we well know, should not necessarily imply a causality), practically perfect between average income and inequality .

That is to say: those municipalities where the personal income per respondent is higher (Alcobendas, Pozuelo de Alarcón, San Cugat del Valles, Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia …) corresponds to the cities that register higher levels of inequality among those that more they have and those that less (see graphs). This evidence is not perfect, but it does show a parallel in the case of municipalities with lower average income. Perhaps for many intuition could already be this, but I admit that I was very surprised to know the existence so clear of this correlation.

We are often insisted on from the dominant political-economic postulates with the idea that GDP growth reduces inequality, and that the former must be given priority in order to mitigate the latter. But the Spanish evidence at the municipal level shows a somewhat contradictory reality : Where the rents are higher, the distribution is less egalitarian, and vice versa. Obviously, the data by municipalities are perhaps not the most valid tool when analyzing economic inequality in a country, but they do allow to establish hypotheses and theories on how to reproduce and combat in a more effective way. If someone thinks that inequality is something to fight …

Stored in: Uncategorized

The Spanish banking system, the most concentrated in Europe

 The Spanish banking system, the most concentrated in Europe >


The mergers, privatizations and takeovers carried out in the Spanish financial system since the beginning of the crisis have resulted in Spain now enjoying the most concentrated financial system among the main European countries . That is, those that have a smaller number of different entities in relation to the size of the sector. It is one of the main conclusions drawn from the latest report on the situation of banks, published this Friday by the BBVA analysis team.

In the opinion of the bank’s analysts, the degree of concentration in the main European countries (Spain, Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom) is “very low”, and does not essentially affect competition. Based on one of the calculation indexes of the effective number of competitors (the Herfindahl-Hirschman method), BBVA Research attributes Spain a level of 832.7, just below Italy (848.8), and well below France (499.7) and Germany (363.7).

More depressing is the index based on market share of the main entities (see graphic below). There, Spain stands as the real queen of concentration , with a percentage of 57.4%, even above Italy (51.5%) and the United Kingdom (52%). This process of agglutination of power among the big banks ” has accelerated in Spain during the crisis , unlike the other banking systems studied,” they acknowledge from the entity.


And does this growing concentration have repercussions on competition? From BBVA Research they assure that there is NO direct relationship , based on the “specialized literature”, and that if there was any impact, in any case it will be “positive”. In his opinion “the low level of concentration calculated in all the countries studied leads us to think that banking concentration in the main financial systems of Europe is not an obstacle to competition between entities (…) and that, if there is In a relationship, the reduced banking concentration should favor the existence of high competition, “they say. They do not explain the mechanism by which this would happen.

Not all specialists think the same. In a recent report published by the Bank of Spain, it is noted that Spanish companies and families have greater difficulty in accessing credit and loans with respect to European citizens, mainly due to the current concentration of the Spanish financial system.

My opinion? A little less than 30 years ago, the Spanish banking market was essentially an oligopoly in which the prices of credit and money were fixed by what determined the seven largest bankers in Spain in the well-known meals that they celebrated in the Madrid restaurant L’hardy . It was anything but a free market, and if we managed to break this injustice it was because of the opening of the market to the savings banks and because of the decision of Emilio Botín to launch aggressive offers to gain market share. I think that in a market in which 20 different entities participate, it is more complicated for these agreements to repeat themselves. In a market where just a dozen actors play (half a dozen if we count the really big: Santander, BBVA, Caixabank, Bankia, Sabadell and Popular) it is much easier to agree , although your initial intention may not be. As I do not want to be completely negative, I believe that the banking union can be very useful, since in theory it will be easier for foreign entities to establish and compete in Spain.

We will tell you, whatever it is …

Stored in: Banks, Uncategorized

Fitch says it will lower Catalonia’s rating if it becomes independent, but that it would rise with “more fiscal autonomy”

 Fitch says it will lower Catalonia's rating if it becomes independent, but that it would rise with "more fiscal autonomy" >


We have two full days of reactions to the consultation-demonstration-protest of the past November 9 in Catalonia. I will not go to assess the results because there are already great and complete analyzes made by colleagues like Toni Ayala, (editor in 20 minutes Barcelona) and friends as the authors of Politikon or Public Agenda, among others. But apart from those of political scientists and journalists, the analyzes that have most attracted my attention have been those of the so-called international markets . That is, investment banking, large information groups, or rating agencies. #

Just an emergency report prepared by the credit rating agency Fitch, specifically dedicated to the Catalan conflict and the behavior of its public debt, has just come to my hands. Basically, this rating agency anticipates that the range of possible scenarios is very broad, although ” in extreme cases, such as a separation, there would be negative ratings , while in others, such as greater fiscal autonomy, there could be positive ratings. in the region depending on the circumstances, “they explain. However, from this risk assessment company they emphasize that the current refusal to give in to one another places us in an “unpredictable” future.

The Catalan public debt currently enjoys a BBB- rating, according to Fitch, just one step away from the considered junk bond , after the Generalitat was rescued through the Autonomous Liquidity Fund (FLA) and after “the tensions between the central and regional governments will increase because Catalonia unilaterally convened a non-binding consultation . “

In the opinion of Fitch analysts, the most likely scenario is one in which, in the medium term (end of 2016) , a transfer of greater powers and armoring to the Generalitat will be negotiated , with the “precedents” Basque and Navarre: More autonomy fiscal and tributary. This scenario, for the agency could be positive to the extent that revenues would rise. If there were no such negotiations, the rating agency maintains that there would be an escalation of friction between Catalonia and Spain, which in turn would increase the risks.

The worst scenario, however, is the one they place for an independence of Catalonia, even if it were ordered, “and much more if the rupture were disorderly,” they warn, to the extent that it would be obtained at the cost of leaving the European Union and the euro zone. “The public debt would have to be divided between two states. A solution similar to the one proposed by the United Kingdom with respect to Scotland would lead Spain (excluding Catalonia) to have a percentage of 120% of GDP, which would make it in practice invaluable . On the Catalan side the risk would come from not having more access to the liquidity of the European Central Bank, which in turn would worsen the rating of its sovereign debt and lead to capital leaks from the territory, as well as potential leaks of deposits from the main banks. Catalans (Caixabank and Sabadell), among other problems.

Also a very negative scenario in case of independence estimate that it would produce the analysts of the Swiss bank Credit Suisse. As this information published by Cinco Días and signed by Carlos Molina and Bernardo de Miguel shows, a hypothetical Catalan independence would entail at least ten problems and negative economic consequences for this territory and its citizens. Very different is the point of view of another Swiss bank (UBS), for whose analysts the markets should take the Catalan conflict “calmly, to the extent that the constitutional position of Catalonia is very different from that of Scotland,” they stress. In a more negative line for Spain, the analysts of the company IHS venture that a rupture not negotiated and the refusal to distribute the public debt to the extent that this would put in serious difficulties the solvency of the State. On the Catalan side, the greatest risks would be related to losing access to the European Union and other international institutions .

But not all “markets” think so catastrophically key: The news agency Bloomberg, in an editorial on Monday, advocate that Mariano Rajoy negotiate as soon as possible with the Generalitat the terms of a referendum on self-determination and to review the status of the region.

Stored in: Uncategorized

An ex-deputy: “The system of payment of travel in Congress and Senate is like that of the cards ‘black'”

 An ex-deputy: "The system of payment of travel in Congress and Senate is like that of the cards 'black'"  


The scandal that has arisen after knowing that the senator and president of Extremadura, José Antonio Monago, could allegedly charge the expenses of the Senate up to 32 trips in business class to the Canary Islands has brought the light a reality that until now had barely been subject to analysis by public opinion: travel expenses of their lordships. Three years ago there was a lot of commotion for the first class travel of MEPs, but that did not extend to our representatives in Parliament. # And the issue is none other than, to our surprise (or not), the expenses in travel senators and deputies have been a sort of free bar without control , a salary in kind paid by all taxpayers and without barely auditing a posteriori.

As reflected in the regulations of the Congress of Deputies, this “covers the expenses of transportation in public (aircraft, train, car or boat) of the deputies. It is a reimbursement of expenditure, that is, no amount is given to the parliamentarian, but the ticket is paid directly to the transport company . Exception made, of course, of the use of the car itself, in which case and after justification, 0.25 € per kilometer is paid “. In addition, those who do not have an official car have a “personalized” card with which to pay taxis in Madrid, with an annual limit of 3,000 euros.

This journalist has had access to a first-hand testimony from a former national deputy, who prefers not to reveal his identity. But what he says is significant: “The system of payment of the trips of deputies and senators was a bargain similar to that of the black cards: You could spend freely and nobody asked you . Since the establishment of democracy in Spain, parliamentarians have traveled for free, “he says from his experience.

During the legislatures in which this exdiputado exerted its position, the method for the trips was the following: ” They gave you a check book , generally the secretary of the Parliamentary Group, and then already you spent it in the trips that you thought convenient . This comes from the time when Iberia and Renfe were state, “he adds.

If we follow the argument that what happened with the ‘B’ cards of Caja Madrid is immoral and a supposedly unfair administration, is the indiscriminate spending on travel an embezzlement of public funds? That will have to settle the justice, but this exdiputated not bite the tongue: With the current bar of moral exigency, “if all the expenses of the parliamentarians were known, in the next legislature it will not repeat nor one “, anticipates.

Stored in: Uncategorized

The ECB finally publishes the secret letters with the Irish Government prior to its rescue: austerity in exchange for money


This Thursday, the ECB has not only decided to keep interest rates at historic lows and to advance that will carry out imminent massive purchases of assets (the so-called QE, of which I have spoken in previous post). Today, in an unprecedented event in the history of this institution , it has decided to publish the hitherto secret letters that led to the rescue of the Irish financial system, back in 2010. This exercise of transparency occurs at the request of the Ombudsman (the defender of the European people) and after the Irish press published some of the letters this morning. #

Let’s place the facts. Autumn 2010, European Union. For weeks now, the Irish risk premium has been triggered by the markets’ doubts about the future solvency of the Irish State, since the government had gotten itself into debt to rescue its financial system. As in the case of Greece, there was a real risk of contagion for other countries in the euro area (including Spain and Italy), which led to the European Commission, the IMF and the European Central Bank (then chaired by the French Jean Claude Trichet) to unleash a rescue plan for Irish public finances of at least 85,000 million euros.

Desde un primer momento, se planteó la sospecha de que el BCE fue más allá en sus habituales labores como supervisor monetario y pudo forzar al Gobierno irlandés a aceptar un rescate con duras condiciones macroeconómicas y una reestructuración de su sistema bancario. Pues bien, las cartas hechas públicas hoy lo dejan claro: Con la excusa de que la ayuda en forma de liquidez de emergencia facilitada a Irlanda podría “contravenir la prohibición de financiar a los estados”, Trichet exige al Ejecutivo irlandés que se comprometa a cumplir cuatro puntos, detallados en esta carta (ver extracto abajo):


“ 1) El Gobierno irlandés deberá mandar una petición de apoyo financiero al Eurogrupo.

2) La petición deberá incluir el compromiso de emprender acciones decisivas en las áreas de consolidación fiscal, reformas estructurales y reestructuración del sistema financiero, de acuerdo con la Comisión Europea, el FMI y el BCE.

3) El plan para reestructurar el sistema financiero irlandés deberá incluir la provisión de capital necesario para esos bancos que lo necesiten, y se obtendrán de los recursos financieros facilitados al Gobierno irlandés a nivel europeo e internacional, así como las herramientas financieras actualmente a disposición del Ejecutivo irlandés, incluyendo el dinero existente en sus reservas.

4) El repago de estos fondos puestos a disposición en forma de ayuda de liquidez de emergencia deberá estar completamente garantizada por el Gobierno irlandés, que deberá asegurar el pago de inmediatas compensaciones por parte del Banco Central de Irlanda en el caso de que se incumplan los pagos por parte de las instituciones beneficiadas.”

Es decir: Que efectivamente fue el BCE el que puso como condición imprescindible al país rescatado que se sometiera a una dura cura de austeridad para poner a tono sus cuentas públicas. Especialmente llamativa, para mi al menos, es la respuesta del ministro de Finanzas irlandés, Brian Lenihan, quien básicamente se dedica en su carta (ver extracto más abajo) a reivindicar todos los ajustes llevados a cabo hasta entonces ya garantizarle a “Jean Claude” que presentará a la Troika un programa “que incorporará reales y significativas medidas de reestructuración en relación con el sector financiero, reformas estructurales y consolidación”. Vamos, que sí, que sí a todas las exigencias .

Estas cartas apenas aportan nada especialmente novedoso o que no nos temiéramos. En España, sin embargo, seguimos esperando a que el supervisor publique las cartas referidas a nuestro rescate. Es cierto que Zapatero, al publicar su libro de memorias, publicó la carta sin permiso del Banco Central Europeo, pero sería de agradecer que la institución ahora presidida por Mario Draghi empezara a publicar , como venimos reclamando insistentemente desde este blog, aquellos documentos que nos incumben a todos los ciudadanos.

Por cierto, y en relación con este tema de la transparencia, una gran noticia: A partir del año que viene el BCE publicará sus actas de reunión , algo que lleva años haciendo la Reserva Federal. No es que sea una transparencia radical, pero es un primer paso para que la opinión pública pueda ejercer su labor de control y auditoría a una de las instituciones cuyas decisiones más afectan a nuestra vida diaria.

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La batalla subterránea entre Economía y el Banco de España por controlar el FROB


No hay tiros, ni bombas, ni declaración de guerra, pero desde hace meses el Ministerio de Economía y el Banco de España libran una batalla subterránea que se ha hecho más explícita que nunca en la última semana. Se trata del futuro diseño institucional del Fondo de Reestructuración Ordenada Bancario (FROB), cuando pase a ocuparse de la resolución bancaria a nivel español, dentro del llamado Mecanismo Único de Resolución, y cuya fecha límite será el 31 de diciembre de este año.

Bank of Spain

La labor de Autoridad Nacional de Resolución consiste en, una vez identificadas aquellas entidades financieras que pudieran ser inviables por sí mismas, intervenirlas con el fin de liquidarlas con el mínimo coste para el contribuyente y siguiendo un estricto orden de prelación en el caso de que hubiera que imponer pérdidas a los distintos acreedores (accionistas, bonistas, preferentistas…). Todas estas cuestiones se han venido definiendo a lo largo del último año, en el que se han determinado tanto el Mecanismo Único de Resolución como el Mecanismo Único de Supervisión (que será básicamente el Banco Central Europeo, en colaboración con los distintos bancos nacionales).

Pero vamos al motivo de conflicto. Que no es otro que el control último sobre el FROB. Tal como dejó entrever el ministro comparecencia parlamentaria de la pasada semana, su idea es mantener la estructura y diseño actual del Fondo. Es decir, que permanezca controlado por el Gobierno . Actualmente tanto la gobernanza como la Comisión Rectora de este organismo público están dominados en una proporción de 5 a 4 por miembros del Ejecutivo, frente a los miembros del Banco de España. Por si cabe alguna duda sobre la decisión directa de De Guindos en la labor del FROB, quizás conviene recordar las medallas que se ha puesto él mismo ante el envío a la Fiscalía Anticorrupción de las presuntas irregularidades detectadas en BFA-Bankia, Catalunya Caixa y Novacaixagalicia.

Por si fuera poco, el pasado lunes, y tal como ha hecho constar en un reciente artículo el periodista de El País Iñigo de Barrón, el Banco de España ha contraatacado, de forma elegante, pero no por ello menos descarada . En su último Informe de Estabilidad Financiera, publicado el pasado lunes, el BdE incluye un breve artículo añadido analizando el “reparto de competencias de resolución entre autoridades en países europeos”. Es decir, analiza cómo están diseñando el resto de países europeos sus autoridades nacionales de resolución y, sobre todo, sobre quién está recayendo su responsabilidad.

Y el Banco de España, como no podía ser de otra forma, arrima el ascua a su sardina, reclamando para sí un mayor control sobre la futura Autoridad Nacional de Resolución (es decir, sobre el FROB), justificándose en que es lo que están haciendo el resto de Estados: “En el conjunto de los países de la UE, solo la mencionada Finlandia y Dinamarca contemplan designar a una autoridad de resolución independiente del supervisor bancario. En otros dos supuestos (Polonia y Suecia) se prevé un reparto de las funciones entre la autoridad de supervisión (fase preventiva y/o activación del trigger o desencadenante de la resolución) y otra autoridad con funciones de resolución designada al efecto”, concluyen.

En opinión del BdE, a pesar de que hay un potencial riesgo de conflicto de intereses por el hecho de que la supervisión y la resolución dependan de una misma institución (cosa que de hecho ha ocurrido a lo largo de esta crisis financiera en España), son mayores las ventajas que justificarían que el FROB dependiera del supervisor bancario: sinergias, más eficiencia, menores problemas de coordinación y de duplicidades …

No sé finalmente sobre quién recaerá la responsabilidad de dirigir la Autoridad Nacional de Resolución, pero en los próximos meses se resolverá todo. Y no es un asunto menor: Si bien un banco central corre el riesgo de verse inmerso en un conflicto de intereses, lo cierto es que los Gobierno tienen quizás aún más posibles incentivos para hacer un uso partidista del mecanismo . Solo hay que ver el uso electoralista que está haciendo el Ejecutivo a raíz de las irregularidades investigadas en las antiguas cajas de ahorros.

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About me

 About me  I am a migrant from Gijon who now enjoys living as a couple in Madrid. Journalist who lacks almost everything to learn from this trade but who is passionate about the Bankia case. I hope to transmit it through this blog, while everyone (readers and myself) learn something new every day.

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