Articles by The Corner

About the Author

The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.
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Spanish companies welcomed again by the markets and foreign investors

By Tania Suárez, in Madrid | Thanks to the current environment of improved trust and confidence levels, Spanish companies and banks have reopened the primary market. Santander was the first one, followed by Sabadell, BBVA, Banesto and Telefónica. Repsol and Ferrovial joined to this debt issuing, and it is expected that Pescanova will be the next one. Some experts see the European Central Bank’s open bar of liquidity, together with…


When it comes to reforms, Spain’s labour market is a must

By Juan Pedro Marín Arrese, in Madrid | Use of emergency doors being forbidden by Germany, except in cases of force majeure, trouble-ridden Southern Europe is to expect a painful and slow real adjustment. This process will allow its current competitive gap to phase out little by little. In other words, less pay for the same job. Refusal by workers to grasp the inner benefits derived from lower wages tackling imbalances inevitably…

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To Mr Scott Sumner: this is why Australia, Sweden succeed against the crisis

By Luis Arroyo, in Madrid | The reason? Well, their States are exemplary. No banks in trouble, no massive public debt but a very aggressive monetary policy to grease the inevitable deleveraging process. Let us compare them to the US, for instance, whose gross debt to national GDP has already touched the 100pc base. This, I suppose, should shake the beliefs of old Keynesians like Krugman, stubbornly champions of a…


Santander, BBVA and Caixabank need €13.28 in extra provisions

By Julia Pastor, in Madrid | Last week, Rajoy’s government passed a Royal Decree, which forced all the Spanish financial entities to provision a total amount of €50bn to cover the losses coming from the property boom effect. But banks had not yet calculated their corresponding piece of the cake. On Tuesday, the three biggest Spanish entities, Santander, BBVA and Caixabank, communicated to the supervisor body –the Spanish Securities Market Commission– the…

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World’s heaviest personal taxes: in Catalonia and Asturias

MADRID | As reported by the daily newspaper Expansión in Tuesday’s edition, the reactivation of the property tax will be added to the increase of the personal income tax in Catalonia and in the autonomous region of Asturias creating a joint effect of more than 60%. Experts warn that these regions are susceptible to relocation and capital flight. The increase in personal income tax has placed Spain among the countries…

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European efforts in innovation still lagging behind US, Japan

The EU is not closing the persistent gap with global innovation leaders US, Japan and South Korea. The European Commission on Tuesday published the results of its Innovation Union Scoreboard, which includes innovation indicators and trend analyses for the EU 27 Member States, as well as for Croatia, Iceland, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey, and also compares a more reduced set of indicators between the…


Apple, the real thing?

If you are in Beijing and you want to buy an Iphone, you have two options: a) either drop by an official Apple store or b) take the chance of being sold a fake Iphone –which looks exactly the same than the original one- at one of the many official reseller Apple stores that pack computer centers. Don’t be fooled by the name. Yes, they may carry the word “official”;…

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Mind the gap, it’s about cooperation

By Julia Pastor, in Madrid | In a context of crisis that is becoming worse and worse, and with the arrival of the new government lead by Mariano Rajoy, Spain’s cooperation challenges need to be revised. The unavoidable decrease in resources must be faced by an improved, more finely tuned project selection and the need for greater transparency must be satisfied by including the goals that each project intends to attain,…

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Greek crisis: no tsunami at bay

By Juan Pedro Marín Arrese, in Madrid | When it comes to conditions imposed on Greece, they are not so fierce as usually depicted. Axing 25% of minimum wages might seem a harsh therapy. But salaries pegged to this standard would still be 15% higher than in Portugal. As to supplementary pension schemes and holidays bonuses, ask the Portuguese how they feel on that. Closure of more than 100 state-controlled entities…


Does anyone know how to get rid of the €24bn electrical bill deficit in Spain?

Julia Pastor, in Madrid | One of the fundamental structural reforms Spain needs to undertake within the next few years –and of the same importance and magnitude as the educational reform, the labour reform or the pension system–, is the one to solve the electrical tariff deficit. This is the deficit resulting from the difference between the existing elevated tariffs of the wholesale market that generates the electricity and what…