Fiona's Feed
Jul 6, 2012
via Breakingviews

Spain needs to get on with its to-do list

Photo

By Fiona Maharg-Bravo

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

Spain’s current government, like its predecessor, always seems behind the curve. It has made some progress in passing budget cuts and some structural reforms, but it’s not enough. Only recently did it start to mention additional measures to get the country’s finances under control. The hope is that it won’t fall short.

Jul 6, 2012
via Breakingviews

Bankia probe will help Spanish banking cleanup

Photo

By Fiona Maharg-Bravo

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

Bankia will face its day of reckoning at last. Spain’s parliament had disappointingly declined to investigate the events that led to the Spanish lender’s spectacular 23.5 billion euro bailout. But after a suit launched by one of Spain’s smaller independent parties, the country’s High Court has launched a high-profile fraud probe, meaning that bank’s former board members will have to face the music. At the top of the list is ex-chairman Rodrigo Rato, former conservative finance minister and head of the International Monetary Fund. This is a welcome step towards a necessary Spanish banking cleanup.

Jul 2, 2012
via Breakingviews

Plenty of room for wrangling over Spanish recaps

Photo

By Fiona Maharg-Bravo

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

Mariano Rajoy has won a victory, of sorts. Germany yielded to the Spanish prime minister’s request that the euro zone should be able to prop up his country’s teetering banks directly. If that happens, the state’s debt load won’t need to shoot up by 100 billion euros.

Jun 18, 2012
via Breakingviews

Why it’s hard to shut down a Spanish bank

Photo

By Fiona Maharg-Bravo

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

Joaquin Almunia, the vice-president of the European Commission, has prematurely weighed into the debate on possible conditions attached to the country’s 100 billion euro bank bailout. Before the rescue operation even began, he opined that liquidating a bank could make sense if the costs of keeping it alive with public money exceed the costs of shutting it down. This sounds sensible in theory. But in Spain, it’s not that simple.

Jun 11, 2012
via Breakingviews

Spain still vulnerable post mega bank bailout

Photo

By Fiona Maharg-Bravo and Hugo Dixon

The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

Spain is still vulnerable after its mega bank bailout. Madrid has finally got a credible plan for its lenders: it will receive up to 100 billion euros from its euro partners to boost their capital. But the state’s debt will rise as a result, the economy is still shrinking and the government has lost a lot of credibility. Spain may yet require a full bailout. That would really test the single currency.

Jun 7, 2012
via Breakingviews

Spain’s message keeps getting lost in translation

Photo

By Fiona Maharg-Bravo

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

With multiple government officials speaking at once, it’s hard to know exactly what Spain is thinking. Having one authoritative voice would help. One thing seems clear: the government is not yet asking for a bailout. Still, some outside help might be inevitable for the country’s banks.

Jun 1, 2012
via Breakingviews

Why Spain is under siege

Photo

By Fiona Maharg-Bravo

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

Madrid’s elites profess shock at the fact that the country has been pushed to the brink. Spain’s top companies have even put together a report outlining the country’s strengths, and asking investors to look at the hard data. But laying the blame on ignorant investors, evil foreign media and the euro zone’s paralysis doesn’t help.

May 28, 2012
via Breakingviews

Bankia’s whopping bailout is double-edged sword

Photo

By Fiona Maharg-Bravo

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

Bankia’s whopping bailout is a mixed blessing. The Spanish lender has asked the government for a higher-than-expected 19 billion euros to fill its capital hole. State support will shore up a systemic institution. But the scale of the cleanup implies other weak lenders are also short of cash. It is unlikely that Madrid can fill the gap on its own.

May 18, 2012
via Breakingviews

Botched bailout rebounds on Bankia

Photo

By Fiona Maharg-Bravo

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

Bank nationalisations are never pretty, but they are generally supposed to reassure savers. That’s why a report that depositors fled Bankia after the government last week took control of Spain’s fourth-largest lender is so troubling. The government has denied the report, and Bankia’s new chairman said depositors can be absolutely calm. Yet the latest share price plunge inflicts further pain on clients who participated in the lender’s IPO last summer.

May 9, 2012
via Breakingviews

Spain finally owns up to its banking mess

Photo

By Fiona Maharg-Bravo

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

Mariano Rajoy has bowed to the inevitable. It can’t have been easy for Spain’s prime minister to admit the country’s battered financial system could need more public funds. Even so, Madrid is preparing to inject 7-10 billion euros into Bankia, according to Reuters. Propping up the big former savings bank is only the first step in what is hopefully a definitive cleanup.

    • About Fiona

      "Fiona Maharg-Bravo is breakingviews´ Madrid correspondent. Fiona joined breakingviews in 2003 in London, covering media, transport, energy and Spain. Previously she spent a few months at the Financial Times as winner of the 2002 Nico Colchester Fellowship. Before becoming a journalist, Fiona worked nearly five years in banking, first at JP Morgan in equity capital markets and leveraged finance groups and then at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. She gained a BA/MA (Phi Beta Kappa) from the University of Chicago in Political Science and International Relations and a Diploma in Economics from Cambridge University."
    • Follow Fiona