Saturday, 9 June 2012

Brave Hearts


American journalist and author Mignon McLaughlin once said, “Even cowards can endure hardship; only the brave can endure suspense” and yet for those locked in financial hardship as a result of the economic crisis, suspense has remained the regime of each and every day.  

For the individual, the cavalry never came and instead government talk has continued to prove cheap. Austerity measures have been relentless and the current penchant for saving the perpetrators of the financial crisis instead of the victims has left the very people who were responsible for economic pillaging obscenely rewarded and at liberty to defend their infinitely valuable contribution to a financial future they have completely obliterated for the rest of us.
Well versed in the unchecked practices of the banking fraternity at home in the UK, it is has proved unremarkable to discover the tentacles of corporate corruption have also been busy feathering elitist nests in Spain. However, with an estimated one hundred and twenty six billion dollar euro taxpayer funded bailout in the offing, the Catalan parliament has finally seen fit to set up a committee to investigate long standing allegations of banking malpractice. These claims in include multi million euro payoffs to senior banking executives just before their banks collapsed, “hundreds of millions of loans to executives, board members and their families” and 50% executive pay increases when profits were barely 7%. Arsenio Escolar, editor of 20 Minutos believes, “If we really knew the truth about Bankia and the other Cajas, the two big parties-the People’s party and the Socialists- would explode”.

Unsurprised to discover a great many actions under investigation are those of Bankia with whom I have held a now substantially underwater mortgage for the past eight years, I remain unsure if reported levels of financial fraud are pivotal to the  manner in which they have dealt with me or merely a product of it. Either way, I remained unable to fathom why Banca Caja which now trades as Bankia and is reputed to be desperately in need of funding, has made no effort to communicate with me for a very long time.

During the past four years they have:

  • Refused to allocate the payments we made into our account to cover our mortgage 
  • Ignored all my communications asking why
  • Refused to allow me to sell our apartment to a very keen cash purchaser 
  • Ignored all my purchasers efforts to progress this sale.  
  • Refused to discuss interest only loan restructuring to make us tenanting our property viable in the long term
  • Ignored all correspondence from all parties on the subject including solicitors 
In addition, I am reliably informed that not only will I not be pursued for the inevitable shortfall on the sale of our Spanish property when Bankia eventually get round to it, all outstanding bills relating to it (currently 12,000 euros and rising) will also be covered by the bank in accordance with Spanish property law.

While I am naturally delighted to enjoy one less instance of suspense about which I must be brave, I can only assume operating in this manner may well result in a one hundred and twenty six billion euro bailout proving vastly insufficient to secure the rescue of an economic money pit of this magnitude. Furthermore, despite widespread belief that money talks, I suspect the people of Spain are about to find out, as have those of us enduring the purgatory of the economic crisis elsewhere that no matter how large the bailout, all money will ever say to the individual is,

 “Good-bye.”

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