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José Ramón Pin Arboledas, Professor, IESE, University of Navarra

A politician in the bankers' court

Wed, 30 May 2012 10:34:01 +0000 Published in

Miguel Ángel Fernández Ordóñez's vicissitude at the Bank of Spain resembles Mark Twain's story in "A Yankee in King Arthur's Court" (1889). An "outsider" of banking ends up as governor, controller and regulator of bankers, as the Connecticut American of the novel becomes minister and perpetual executive of the King of the Knights of the roundtable. With the difference that neither the resigned governor arrived at his post by chance, nor the bankers sought to maintain a legendary kingdom in which Justice would shine.

Civil servant, economist of the State, he carved his political degree program with precise steps. Secretary of State twice with Felipe Gonzalez, he worked for the IMF, presided over the Court of Defense of the skill and the National Energy Commission. Secretary of State under Rodríguez Zapatero, he became governor without the PP's agreement at civil service examination. He had not been a banker, much less a banker and, either due to ignorance, political interests or lack of courage, the banking crisis exploded in his hands. Managing bankers and, even more so, politicians who were bankers, was not easy; it required cunning, a firm hand and prestige. During the last few years, the Bank of Spain has lacked the first two and has destroyed the third.

To the point that even the rigorous Inspection Services have also order his departure and the Government commissioned private auditing firms to check the bank accounts. Even in Ferraz, the headquarters of his party, there was talk of it. For this reason, he has brought forward -one month- his departure. Curiously, days after Rubalcaba agreed, in meeting monclovita, to recompose the institutions with Rajoy. These are facts. Recovering the lost ground is not easy. It is up to the next governor. Let's hope he is right in his choice!