On 3 February, the Rafael del Pino Foundation and Ediciones Península organised a dialogue entitled "Economists, politicians and other animals", with the participation of Miguel Ángel Fernández Ordóñez, former governor of the Bank of Spain, and John Müller, assistant to the editor and columnist for the daily El Español.
Miguel Á. Fernández Ordóñez has been Secretary of State for the Economy, Trade and Finance and Budgets, President of the Court for the Defence of Competition and Governor of the Bank of Spain, a position he held between 2006 and 2012 when the greatest economic and financial crisis since the Great Depression occurred. Economist and senior civil servant - he is a Commercial Technician and State Economist - he was involved, as a member of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank and from the Executive Committee of the Financial Stability Board (FSB), in the radical shift in European monetary policy and in the drastic transformation of the regulation and supervision of the global financial system. Under his mandate as Governor of the Banco de España, a profound restructuring of the financial sector in Spain took place and, in particular, the reform, restructuring and concentration of the savings banks was carried out.
On the occasion of the presentation of the book "Economists, politicians and other animals", the Rafael del Pino Foundation hosted a dialogue between its author, the former governor of the Bank of Spain, Miguel Ángel Fernández Ordóñez, and the journalist John Muller. Fernández Ordóñez asked why, in economic policy, politicians in Spain do not do what the experts recommend should be done. To explain this, he pointed out that not only politicians and economists intervene in the decision-making process, but also "other animals" such as journalists, private interests and international organisations. These interests often, but not always, determine the content of economic policy decisions. Among the most notable exceptions in this respect are the 1959 Stabilisation Plan and the Transition. In this respect, Fernández Ordóñez recalled that Spain's progress over the last fifty years has been extraordinary and that this has been possible thanks to copying the successful experiences of other advanced countries. The problem, in his opinion, is that in certain areas, such as infrastructures, education or the labour market, the good example of other nations has not been followed. The reason for this is the lack in Spain of what he called an "enlightened democracy", meaning a democracy in which there are mechanisms that oblige politicians to study before making decisions, to analyse, to consult with experts. He denounced the fact that not enough time is spent in parliament debating laws because the ruling majority has already agreed on their content. The problem stems from the fact that, as soon as a majority government is formed, either by inter-party agreements or by election results, the parliament ends and the majority government takes over. This situation creates vicious circles in the sense that the parties choose for their electoral lists those people who are best suited to this way of acting, not the most capable. In relation to the Spanish economic and banking crisis and the Bank of Spain, Fernández Ordóñez accused Mariano Rajoy's government of despising the supervisory body and of not allowing it to manage the banking crisis, despite the proven ability of its technicians. He also denounced that the same government's desire to destroy its adversary, magnifying issues such as the budget deficit or the banking crisis, led to a loss of confidence in Spain in the first six months of Rajoy's government. In his opinion, provoking such a loss is always a mistake. It was then and it is now when Spain has to go out to the financial markets every year for 400,000 million euros. Fernández Ordóñez defended the strategy of resolving the banking crisis by integrating institutions because this is what is done in other countries to resolve these problems, as it uses the capital of other institutions, generates synergies and allows the resulting institutions to have a certain size. In the specific case of Bankia, he explained, the alternative was to intervene in six savings banks, which would have required much more money because synergies would not be generated, and he wondered why, if it is considered that this was so bad, Bankia is not being broken up now. This document summarises what was discussed during the meeting held for this purpose at the Foundation. The Rafael del Pino Foundation is not responsible for the comments, opinions or statements made by the people who participate in its activities and which are expressed as a result of their inalienable right to freedom of expression and under their sole responsibility.
The Rafael del Pino Foundation is not responsible for the comments, opinions or statements made by the people who participate in its activities and which are expressed as a result of their inalienable right to freedom of expression and under their sole responsibility. The contents included in the summary of this conference, written for the Rafael del Pino Foundation by Professor Emilio González, are the result of the debates held at the meeting held for this purpose at the Foundation and are the responsibility of the authors.
The Rafael del Pino Foundation is not responsible for any comments, opinions or statements made by third parties. In this respect, the FRP is not obliged to monitor the views expressed by such third parties who participate in its activities and which are expressed as a result of their inalienable right to freedom of expression and under their own responsibility. The contents included in the summary of this conference, written for the Rafael del Pino Foundation by Professor Emilio J. González, are the result of the discussions that took place during the conference organised for this purpose at the Foundation and are the sole responsibility of its authors.