It has been almost nine years since Rodrigo Rato (Madrid, 1949), crossed the door of Caja Madrid to occupy the presidency of the entity. It was in January 2010. Now, as a consequence of his management, he is about to cross another door, the one of prison, after being sentenced to a sentence of four and a half years in jail.
In all this time, he has never shown repentance, despite the fact that he has appeared before the judge and before the deputies in Congress on two occasions. Moreover, it has even maintained a haughty and challenging tone. "I'm not a criminal politician. I'm not going to let her tell me about her as a deputy, "she answered Esther Capella, member of ERC, on January 9. Rato always claimed to be a victim, a scapegoat of the PP with whom they want to clean up faults.
Rato has a biography of a novel character and more now, with his next entry into prison. He has had a very risky life in politics, always linked to the Popular Party, and in the economy. It has been almost everything except President of Government; in fact, he is considered the Spaniard who has gone the furthest in an international position, managing director of the IMF, with the category of Head of State. With the same force with which he climbed positions in life, he has descended, reaching almost to the underworld.
Rato holds a degree in Law and a Master's in Business Administration from Berkeley (California). His father was the businessman linked to the Franco regime Ramón de Rato Rodríguez-San Pedro, who was imprisoned in 1967 for evading 70 million pesetas (421,000 euros) to Switzerland through his entity, the Bank of Siero. The same path followed Ramón Rato, Rodrigo's older brother, for the same reason. His mother was Aurora Figaredo Sela. Both Asturian families were owners of industries and hold noble titles.
Between 1996 and 2004 he was Vice President of Government and Minister of Economy with José María Aznar. Shortly after, with the support of President Zapatero, he reached the maximum in the IMF, until he abruptly resigned in June 2007, for reasons never explained. Some sources maintain that he returned to Madrid to try to be a candidate for President of the Government for the PP, something that he did not achieve because Mariano Rajoy blocked his way.
Then, in December 2007, he was appointed Managing Director of the international investment bank Lazard, as well as a director of Criteria (La Caixa Group) and of Telefónica. This remained until January 2010, when he disputed the presidency of Caja Madrid to Ignacio González, who was imprisoned for months after being implicated in the Lezo plot. Subsequently, González left with a bail of 400,000 euros.
Although the situation of Rato has been complicated a lot, the truth is that it has more pending cases with the justice: the alleged fraud in the accounts in the IPO of Bankia, a cause (temporarily suspended) for charging commissions of advertising contracts of Bankia and the network of companies in tax havens, with which it has defrauded 6.8 million, according to the police. The former banker has denied it and says he never took money from the European Union.
Since leaving politics, Rato made a lot of money in Lazard (before the judge there was talk of 1.5 million fixed and up to six bonus), in councils and Bankia, where his salary was 2.4 million. However, for his attitude in the case of cards blackIt seems that was not enough. Rato had details like withdrawing 1,000 euros in cash two days before leaving Bankia and paid a meal of 341 euros. In fact, Rato ended the old black in 2011 and reopened in January 2012 only for a few managers. This coincided with the reduction of the government salary in those months when it left the remuneration at 600,000 euros per year.
It is not easy to explain why this apparent need for more and more money, although some people who treated him speak of an aspiration to have the same economic level of the executives who rose to the presidency of large companies, such as Telefónica, Iberia, Altadis or Argentaria, who have become billionaires. Others add the key factor of impunity in which they lived in the elites of certain savings banks – and other companies – between 2010 and 2012. A private banking director, who asks for anonymity, refers to friendships. He argues that the concept of being rich "is directly related to the economic level of the people with whom you relate. For some, having two million is not a relevant amount because others handle double or triple. "
"They had a very politicized and unprofessional advice, but they wanted to charge as professionals," said the prosecutor of the case, Alejandro Luzón. "His attitude," he said, "was close to pillage and predatory, almost predatory." "Let's enjoy if the lean days come," said one executive in the mails on the cards. They have arrived.