Home / #Solutions / Spain Sets Massive Precedent — Charges Its Central Bankers in Court

Spain Sets Massive Precedent — Charges Its Central Bankers in Court

First, Iceland, and now Spain has taken on the Big Bankers responsible for financial calamity, as the country’s highest national court charged the former head of Spain’s central bank, a market regulator, and five other banking officials over a failed bank leading to the loss of millions of euros for smaller investors.

This, of course, markedly departs from the mammoth taxpayer giveaway — commonly referred to as the bailout — approved by the U.S. government ostensively to “save” the Big Banks and, albeit unstated, allow the enormous institutions to continue bilking customers without the slightest fear of penalty.

Errant bankers and financiers, it would seem, typically manage to either evade actually being charged, or escape hefty fines and time behind bars.

Spain’s Supreme Court last year ruled “serious inaccuracies” in information about the listing led investors to back Bankia in error, thus the bank has since paid out millions of euros in compensation.

But Spanish authorities could not abide the telling findings of a yearslong investigation into the failed listing, as Wolf Street explains,

“As part of the epic, multi-year criminal investigation into the doomed IPO of Spain’s frankenbank Bankia – which had been assembled from the festering corpses of seven already defunct saving banks – Spain’s national court called to testify six current and former directors of the Bank of Spain, including its former governor, Miguel Ángel Fernández Ordóñez, and its former deputy governor (and current head of the Bank of International Settlements’ Financial Stability Institute), Fernando Restoy. It also summoned for questioning Julio Segura, the former president of Spain’s financial markets regulator, the CNMV [National Securities Market Commission] (the Spanish equivalent of the SEC in the US).

“The six central bankers and one financial regulator stand accused of authorizing the public launch of Bankia in 2011 despite repeated warnings from the Bank of Spain’s own team of inspectors that the banking group was ‘unviable.’”

As AFP reports, “The National Court validated conclusions made by prosecutors who concluded that when ‘an unviable entity has been listed on the stock market, its administrators or auditor should not shoulder all the responsibility.’”

Specifics of the charges have not yet been made apparent, but as The Economist reports:

“The court is questioning why they allowed Bankia to sell shares in an initial public offering in 2011, less than a year before Bankia’s portfolio of bad mortgage loans forced the government to seize control of it. It said there was evidence the regulators had ‘full and thorough knowledge’ of Bankia’s plight. After its nationalisation, it went on to report a €19.2bn ($24.7bn) loss for 2012, the largest in Spanish corporate history.”

Internal emails and documents played a crucial role in ultimately bringing the central banking officials to task for the failure of Bankia — inspectors bringing issues to the attention of superiors were allegedly ignored. One email cited by the Economist came from an inspector who warned Bankia was “a money-losing machine,” for which an IPO would not solve.

Another report, deemed “devastating by the court,” saw an inspector advise Bankia to seek a private buyer rather than proceed with the listing.

An inquiry into “the participation of other players, such as officials in the central bank,” was also urged by the National Court.

As the Economist points out, Spanish judges are generally reluctant to sentence first-time financial criminals to prison; though five Novacaixagalicia executives had five-year suspended sentences — levied for embezzlement in 2015 — abruptly enforced in January.

Meanwhile, taxpayers in the United States have yet to see Big Bankers criminally responsible for the financial ruin of so many Americans brought to any semblance of justice for their wrongdoing.

  • TOPDOG1

    The French solution (guillotine) was a proper and appropriate reply. These guilty bastards, especially the ones in the U.S. deserve it.

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  • ShroomKeppie

    When you consider that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were deeply involved with the latest US financial catastrophe, are you expecting the US courts to take the US government to task?

  • Ian.H Foster

    Don’t bank ia

  • Yes! We can still turn the ship around folks!

  • Undecider

    I’m sure the Masonic connections will provide minimum sentencing.

    • junktex

      Rothschilds

  • Phil Freeman

    So, we let these assholes steal our life savings by bailing them out of high risk bets they made with our money, without permission and they violated federal law doing it and no one goes to prison for the greatest theft of personal assets in human history? Fuck that! They knew exactly what they were doing. They need to rot in blue collar prison for 30 years, the time it took me to save what you fuckers stole! No mercy!

    • bsroon

      Nope – need to rot in a “Bubba is your daddy” prison.
      Give them unpleasant consequences.

  • SunflowerSurfer

    If our government was not controlled by the banks, etc we could and should do the same.

    • noncents

      Spain has been without a National government for over a year now. There might possibly be a connection.

      • Hi. Noncents. Although technically Spain has been without a national government for over a year, in reality, the same corrupt party has been governing the country with the same corrupcy. They didn’t even have to move one inch their chairs. The most astonishing thing is that VOTERS are blame for the absurd. The vast majority of voters of this party are Franco’s (dictator) little heirs. While these little Francos go on dominating banks, corps, industry and major businesses, this corrupt party will go on governing. Today for instance, they removed an attorney that was investigating the governor of the Murcia Province for corruption. This attorney has been persecuted, incriminated for little things like repars in his home, his computer was stolen, etc. Now he was removed and problem solved. The governor of the province of Murcia can go on with his “activities”. And voter will go on voting… “Hail Franco, who still lives”!!!

  • The Spanish people woke up after the 2008/2009 collapse, too bad the same can’t be said for the majority of Americans.

    Time for Americans to do the same.

    Owned & Operated
    https://youtu.be/njSV5LtVmR4

  • Excuseme to intervine, but I live and Spain and should correct the view transmitted in this article. In Spain they charge whoever, but they NEVER go to jail or RETURN any stolen money from people.

    We had one example of this, this same week, where the husband of the “Infanta” (kind of princess, sister of the king of Spain), has been condemned to 6 years of prision for different crimes, but nobody bets he will enter prision at all.

    The “Infanta” signed a rent contract from and for herself (she signs for both parties: landlord and renter) in order to evade taxes, and the attorney found NO evidence of crime. The Tax Ministry also found NO evidence of crime when the foundation where she is 50% partner, emitted several false invoices in order to evade taxes.

    I could give you hundreds of other evidences but just to summarize: don’t ever think that in Spain these kind of thieves go to jail or return the money stolen. If you don’t believe, see the case of Rodrigo Rato, ex Ministry of Economy, CEO of Bankia (bank) and the IMF.

    • noncents

      Thanks for the clarifications. This is not an uncommon problem, the “rulers” applying rules to others, while absolving themselves. We have it here in the USA too… only it’s for a semi-rotating monarchy… an oligarchy who absolve themselves of all sorts of crimes they commit on a regular basis.

      The most obvious and egregious being insider trading. Not only do the have insider information, they often invest in companies they are writing legislature for. Either they obfuscate their income via friends, or they use offshore accounts. Either way, they are blatant criminals who legalize their fraud while enforcing their monopoly via legalized enforcers.

      IOW, they can make anything legal for themselves, and often do, while punishing the rest of us for far lesser variations of their crimes.

  • bsroon

    One problem we face that is convoluted – but exists – the zionist connection. The banksters in the US and most other places in the world are Rothschild zionists and their (usually) pionist allies. For example – the US Federal Reserve is owned by 14 zionist billionaires including a couple Rothschilds, a couple Rockefellers and more of that ilk. (ill-k)
    The problem is their intent to control the world. They (emphases on Rot$childs) basically bought and forced israel on the world. Israel has a fall-back plan called the “Sampson Program”. They have nukes installed in major cities in much of the world and will detonate them to cause confusion, start wars, point fingers, etc if the world gets too tired of israel’s insanity and infantile psychopathic behaviors and it’s Holocaust of Palestinians…