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No, Prime Minister, Spain Is Not Uganda

“Aguanta, somos la cuarta potencia de Europa. España no es Uganda.”
---Text message from Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy to his finance minister earlier this year.

I’ve been in the credit analysis business since 1978 and I have seen more than my share of “good” credits turn bad. Among them: Continental Illinois, E.F. Hutton, Drexel Burnham, Latin America, Security Pacific, BofA (the first time), the New York money center banks, the Texas and New England banks, the entire S&L industry, Mutual Benefit Life, BCCI, Mexico (again), Credit Lyonnaise, WestLB, Thailand, Korea, Russia, Lehman Bros. (the first time), Argentina (again), Enron, Arthur Anderson, the entire merchant energy industry, the California utilities, WorldCom, Global Crossing, Bear Stearns, Northern Rock, IKB, Allied Irish, HBOS, Lehman Bros. (the second and final time), Merrill Lynch, BofA (again), Citigroup, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and now.....Spain.