May 26, 2020

Mafo: The governor who did not govern | Economy

Mafo: The governor who did not govern | Economy

It has been almost seven years since Miguel Fernández Ordóñez (Madrid, 1945), left the highest position at the Bank of Spain (from July 2006 to June 2012). Mafo, as it is known in the market, dealt with the biggest crisis in 70 years, an insulting housing bubble, a double recession that almost nobody anticipated and a savings bank system whose management and governance were not prepared for times of desolation. As if this were not enough, the government that appointed him, that of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, soon distrusted him and isolated him, while the PP Executive, took away the controls of the financial crisis, something unprecedented in the history of the Bank of Spain.

In these circumstances, it is almost impossible to leave with an airy management, but Mafo tried, again and again, in each public appearance. Although even the current governor, Pablo Hernández de Cos, who has said that after a financial crisis like that suffered, it is impossible for the reputation of the supervisor is not damaged.

Ordóñez was the governor who inherited the bubble created under the mandate of his predecessor, Jaime Caruana, and which is on its way to cost more than 54,000 million. Despite this slab, yesterday, at the trial of Bankia, where he testified as a witness, he did not assume responsibilities, did not self-criticize and gave off a certain arrogance. Mafo said yesterday that in the crisis of Bankia (22,424 million aid) was limited to doing "two things: an interview with Olivas", the president of Bancaja, "and approve" the merger of Bankia in the executive committee of the Bank of Spain , "Where I represented 25% because there were four members".

He insisted that Bankia was an adequate merger, despite bringing together two of the biggest patients in the market creating a systemic entity that was about to bring Spain to bankruptcy. "The Bank of Spain does not decide or approve mergers," he said. "They only told me how fat. The work has been done magnificently by my collaborators. I had other things to do. " Neither did he clarify under what conditions he approved, or not, Bankia's plan to continue alone, without public aid, although he needed 7,000 million that nobody knew where he could get them from.

By the way, he admitted that his number two, Javier Ariztegui, almost had to take out "the baseball bat" to force Olivas to discuss the merger with Caja Madrid. But Mafo did not do it. He even heard from the press about the resignation of Rodrigo Rato. Did the Bank of Spain really govern?


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