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Victor Jimenez

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Spain is Finished

Posted: 13/10/2012 22:43

Only buffoonery, folks. Yet, the disturbing, crude impression that the Spanish government falls to pieces while the economy of the country reaches its last legs is growing plausible as the month goes by.

Here we have a failed state incapable to deal with domestic national diversity and a domineering class, whether in politics or the business sector, outdone by the changing times although insanely holding to nineteenth-century antics, all before the indolence of its neighbours. Wait a moment... this should ring a bell among the British audience: exactly, today Madrid finds itself where London sat at the end of the 1990s. And it is a sorry, backward spot. Would a Spanish Tony Blair-grosso modo-like leader step forward, please?

Bear with me, because there's some data about to come our way: in Wall Street, many believe that what you just read might be strictly within the realm of possibility. A renewal. BBVA, one of Spain's banking giants, sold a few days ago $2 billion in senior bonds to investors. According to analysts at Link SSV, BBVA "opened books Thursday morning and received demand for $2.5 billion during the first 30 minutes, reaching $7 billion later in the day."

There is more. Pimco, the world's largest mutual fund, reportedly raised by 9 percentage points its holdings of sovereign bonds from the most indebted European countries for its Total Return exchange traded fund. The mutual fund would have spent $2.9 billion in debt from Banco Santander (which needs no introduction), and others. Black Rock would have added debt from Santander, too, to the $3 billion Total Return Fund. And Aliance Bernstein, would have purchased BBVA's bonds for its $5 billion High Income Fund.

"It's finally positive news for the Spanish financial sector," Bankia Bolsa researchers said, "as it implies a receding aversion against bank risks." You could well say that again, Bankia: 14 international banks have shown their interest in placing Banco Popular's securities from a 2.5 billion euro capital increase, and at home, almost 94 percent of CaixaBank shareholders agreed to get paid their dividend in stock.

This isn't market confidence making a Hello Dolly return, which would lack credibility if so sudden. However, it should make you suspicious of those shouting 'knock them when they are down'; some out there would rather be buying cheap to sell high, right?

Spain walks through a no one's land, filling the euro zone and the wider European Union with utter despair. "Replacing former debt or taking on long-term fresh debt, at a below-the-market rates [...] will look as a poor second, or third, best if some politicians and the media insist on attaching humiliating connotations to the word rescue," former World Bank director Luis Martí naïvely denounced on The Corner this week. But while Madrid asks for nothing, the unnerving finger of the blame keeps pointing at president Mariano Rajoy for our global, impending recession.

What appears clear is that an old Spain must die for the heartier Spain to rise. It won't be the first time.

 

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