F. Barciela / F. Gil Ljubetic | For a long time, and particularly since the crisis, it has been clear that the excessive level of payment default in our country is one of the reasons, if not the main one, behind the demise of our companies, above all SMEs.
Articles by Fernando Barciela
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F. Barciela / F.G. Ljubetic |It was well known that the forecasts the OECD were going to present for 2016 and 2017 would be nothing to shout home about. But the figures and the tone of the comments made by Angel Gurria, secretary general of the organisation and Catherine Mann, its chief economist, turned out to be more dismal than expected.
The European banks are having nothing but trouble in the last few months. And if they needed something else to further cloud their outlook – negative interest rates, meagre margins, increasing capital demands…- doubts have begun to emerge lately over whether the sector can continue to pay the high interest on the so-called CoCos (Contingent Convertible Capital Instruments), contingent convertible bonds.
Fernando Barciela and F.G. Ljubetic | So finally, the urban legend which was created around Spanish Sicavs is beginning to have the results everyone expected; namely that their owners have either begun to close them down, put the brakes on their investments or even consider the possibility of moving to more temperate climes to be found in locations like Luxembourg, Geneva or London.
F. Barciela /F.G. Ljubetic |The stock market valuations of new technology firms have reached dizzy heights in the US over the last few years. And it doesn’t look as if their stratospheric rise has stopped. Google, now Alphabet, has a stock market value of 491 billion dollars, while Apple’s is 484 billion. Facebook is worth 345 billion dollars and Amazon 337 billion.
F. Barciela / F. Gil Ljubetic | If there had been a recovery in the Ibex 35 companies previously, it’s clear that this has stopped or slowed in the January-March period. Amongst those which have already presented first quarter results, very few have given investors much of a reason to be happy.
The government has designed an infrastructures and housing programme, but not one sector expert or professional believes that Spain will see a return to the level of public works investment of, for example, 2007. The PITVI (The Infrastructure, Transport and Housing Plan), in force until 2024, does not contemplate building large infrastructures but rather maintaining the existing ones.
It’s unheard of Spain’s tourism sector, which many experts said was stagnant and mature ten years ago, has not only massively recovered but continues to beat records from one year to the next in terms of numbers of international tourist arrivals. Since it touched bottom in 2009, with 52.2 million foreign tourists, the sector has not stopped growing any year. In 2015, numbers reached 65 million, up 31% in comparative terms.
It’s straight out of the textbook that low inflation – and above all deflation – has negative effects on economic growth that we all know about. That’s the main reason why ECB President Mario Draghi implemented an ambitious set of monetary expansion measures in March, with the aim of boosting prices to a level more suitable for economic growth, namely 2%.
F. Barciela/ F. G. Ljubetic | Labour costs in Spain stagnated during the crisis, but the idea that they eventually have to rise again has quite a few supporteres, including many businessmen. It would even be a postive driver for consumption and the economy general.