Feb 11 2013

Adam Austerfield reports from The Economist conference in Madrid

Author: Adam Austerfield reports from The Economist conference in Madrid

See The Economist‘s coverage

11.35 am:

Luis Garicano on the Spanish economy

Luis Garicano on the Spanish economy

11.16 am: Lots of great LSE alumni people here – Chief Economist BBVA Rafa Domenech, President of Circulo De Empresarios (IoD equivalent) Monica de Oriol, the first female President in its history, Javier Solana on later and of course Luis Garicano, who has just put the Minister of Hacienda on the spot about the realities of public administration reform…

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10.50 am: Good point from Montoro – in 1995 Spain had 6% of its net international investment overseas – now it’s 45%. GDP per capita has dipped in last three years but it has still massively increased from 1995. With lower unit costs after labour market reforms and a big drop in average wages, Spain is a lot cheaper now – ie competitive.

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10.25 am: Global view from BBVA President Gonzalez, downbeat (like everyone) for 2013 but more optimistic for 2014 and 15. Given BBVA make only 20% of their profits in Spain, they can afford to think about growth but both they and Santander are restructuring majorly in face of the massive impact on their domestic business in the last five years.

Montoro (Hacienda/Treasury, or Finance in UK terms) is up next.

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12 February 9.45 am: At the Economist conference, PM Rajoy states that Govt data now being confirmed for 2012 show the progress being made – the current account is in surplus and growth might be only -0.5% in 2013. Catalonia will stay in Spain and he sees no way that they want and he will allow them to leave, the region is historically and economically tied to Spain.

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LSE´s Prof Luis Garicano will be giving an expert analysis of the Spanish economy on 12 February at the prestigious Economist Conference at the Hotel Palace, Madrid. He will follow the Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy, and several Ministers, CEOs and academics in the most important conference in Spain for some time – since LSE´s event in December 2011 at the Fundación Ramón Areces…. Join me at blogs.lse.ac.uk/lseeinspain tomorrow morning for live posts from the conference.

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