Liars, Damned Liars and Spanish Banks


Raging Bull-shit

Spain’s banks are back on track” was the upbeat message announced to great fanfare at the last meeting of the Spanish Banking Association (AEB for its Spanish acronym), Spain’s biggest financial sector lobbying group.

The most visible sign of improved health was in the sector’s profits. In 2013 the AEB’s member banks notched up 7.2 billion euros in profits between them — a significant step up from the previous year’s delusory 2.8 billion-euro loss. During a presentation optimistically titled “End of an Era: A New Chapter” Miguel Martín, the AEB’s outgoing president, attributed the dramatic turnaround to the sector’s “reduced need for allowances and provisions” following its “exceptional restructuring” in 2012.

According to Martín, Spain’s banking reform has led to a “stronger, more viable, more efficient and more competitive” financial sector – good news not just for the banks, but for everyone. As Spain takes yet another giant step towards…

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