Luis Carlos Croissier is a member of the board of Repsol, Spain’s biggest oil company. He recalls that proven global oil reserves are currently double the level they were in 1980. Croissier was also chairman of the CNMV, the stock exchange regulatory body, and responsible for the Spanish bourse’s “Big Bang”, at the end of 80’s. Before that time, he was Industry Minister in Spain’s Socialist party.
Articles by Fernando Barciela
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The collapse of the global stockmarkets, with European bourses falling 10 percent or more over the past month, is a cry for help to the central banks to ‘do something’, namely provide more stimulus to the economy. One of these voices is Ray Dalio, founder of the world’s biggest hedge fund Bridgewater, who said that the Federal Reserve needs to start printing money again to boost markets.
The abrupt fall in crude oil prices, considered a blessing not so long ago, is now seen as increasingly troubling. West Texas and Brent crude prices fell from over $100 a barrel in 2014 to just $30 last Friday, a 12-year low. Although the drop in crude waw initially welcomed, many fear that current low prices may bring with them more problems than solutions.
Spain has been on a kind of roller coaster ride in 2015, lurching between good and bad news. There was a lot of the first, but it seems not quite good enough to please and impress Spaniards, if the outcome of the general elections is anything to go by. Unless the Socialist ‘barones’ (the regional bosses) can persuade PSOE leader Pedro Sanchez to give the PP a chance to form a new government with the backing of Ciudadanos, there could be worse to come.
Ana María Llopis, independent director at Societe Generale explains that “the entity’s share price was at 40 euros before the crisis and now it is around 42-44 euros. So some banks have recovered. Then there are others still at low prices for particular reasons, or because they operate in China or Brazil.”
Many people feared that the outcome of the December 20 elections in Spain would be difficult to manage. But the final situation is much worse than expected. As soon as the recount began after the voting, the conservatives of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s Popular Party (PP) lost their hopes of forming a majority government with Citizens (Ciudadanos). Spain is now, undeniably, facing a period of difficult coalition-building after yesterday’s elections. And this is a very worrisome situation for the country as uncertainty is likely to increase, affecting the mood of investors and companies.
The world, mostly Latin America governments lined up with social markets economies and the US, like Mexico, Peru, Colombia or Chile, have welcomed the victories of anti populist forces in Argentina and Venezuela. In a run-off election on November 22, voters in Argentina elected centrist Mauricio Macri to succeed peronist Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, with 51.4% of the vote. In Venezuela, the opposition won a two-thirds majority of 112 seats in the 167-seat National Assembly, 67% of the seats, despite winning only 56% of the popular vote.
Fernando Barciela | Spanish unemployment fell again in November, reversing a three-month upward trend. Last month, 27,000 fewer people were registered as jobless than in October, taking the total number of unemployed to 4.15 million. This is good news, given that at the peak of Spain’s economic crisis, the jobless rate reached a record 26.9%. There has also been a rise in Social Security affiliations, which increased from 16.3% in 2013 to 17.2% in October 2015.
Fernando Barciela | Throughout this current year, 99 companies across the world have defaulted, the second highest figure in the decade after the 2009 crisis, according to S&P. Spanish firm Abengoa could be added to the list.