First, Iceland, and now Spain has taken on the Big Bankers responsible for financial calamity, as the country's highest national court charged the former head of Spain's central bank, a market regulator, and five other banking officials over a failed bank leading to the loss of millions of Euros for smaller investors.
This, of course, markedly departs from the mammoth taxpayer giveaway - commonly referred to as the bailout - approved by the U.S. government ostensively to "save" the Big Banks and, albeit unstated, allow the enormous institutions to continue bilking customers without the slightest fear of penalty.
Errant bankers and financiers, it would seem, typically manage to either evade actually being charged, or escape hefty fines and time behind bars.
Spain's Supreme Court last year ruled "serious inaccuracies" in information about the listing led investors to back Bankia in error, thus the bank has since paid out millions of Euros in compensation.
But Spanish authorities could not abide the telling findings of a years long investigation into the failed listing, as Wolf Street explains,
As AFP reports,
Specifics of the charges have not yet been made apparent, but as The Economist reports:
Internal emails and documents played a crucial role in ultimately bringing the central banking officials to task for the failure of Bankia - inspectors bringing issues to the attention of superiors were allegedly ignored.
One email cited by The Economist came from an inspector who warned Bankia was "a money-losing machine," for which an IPO would not solve.
Another report, deemed "devastating by the court," saw an inspector advise Bankia to seek a private buyer rather than proceed with the listing.
An inquiry into,
As The Economist points out, Spanish judges are generally reluctant to sentence first-time financial criminals to prison.
Though five Novacaixagalicia executives had five-year suspended sentences - levied for embezzlement in 2015 - abruptly enforced in January.
Meanwhile, taxpayers in the United States have yet to see Big Bankers criminally responsible for the financial ruin of so many Americans brought to any semblance of justice for their wrongdoing...