The Phaserl


Former TBTF Bank Chief Receives Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free Card

by Don Quijones, Testosterone

Just over two weeks ago, Miguel Blesa, the former president of Spanish savings bank Caja Madrid, was sentenced to jail for his alleged role in irregularities in the bank’s purchase of City National Bank of Florida.

It felt like a historic moment. Finally, after five long years of false hopes and dashed dreams, a TBTF bank chief had been sent down for his role in the lead-up to the financial crisis. With the pounding of his gavel, it seemed that Judge Elpidio José Silva had sent Spain spinning into some weird parallel dimension, a quixotic universe where the richest, most powerful and most corrupt individuals could no longer operate above and beyond the law.

It seemed too good to be true, and in the end it was. This week, reality returned with a jolt when Madrid’s High Court, under concerted pressure from both Blesa’s defense team and the public prosecutors, decided to overturn Judge Silva’s ruling. Two days later, Blesa walked out of El Soto prison a free man, to be reunited with his family and the millions of euros he amassed while laying the foundations for the biggest bankruptcy in Spanish history.

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