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One Good Reason Why The People Of Spain Have An Interest In Prosecuting The Bush Officials– US Front Companies Hooked Spain For Later Bailouts and Austerity Measures

Capital "G" for "Greed"

Capital "G" for "Greed" (from Wikimedia Commons)

iven that “Tens of thousands of immigrants have been saddled with impossible debts thanks to products set up by US companies,” the people of España should be more than happy to respond to the “Please Do What the U.S. Won’t. Prosecute Torturers.” initiative recommended by David Swanson.

To the rest of the world it became known as the subprime mortgage, but in Spain it is remembered as the “welcome mortgage.” It was specially designed for immigrants in 2005, at the height of the property boom, by Spanish mortgage brokers such as CreditServices. With nothing more than a three-month work record in Spain, these companies offered new arrivals to Spain mortgage loans that covered 120 percent of the value of a property. All the costs, fees and commissions would be covered by the loan, and the buyer would become a Spanish homeowner without having put down so much as a cent. The loans were organized through US companies, none of which had any physical presence in Spain, preferring to use fronts such as CreditServices instead.

At one point, the company was signing around a thousand such mortgage deals each month. The US banks behind the scheme were particularly interested in the profile of CreditServices’ clients because they were in no position to negotiate and accepted higher interest rates than those offered by Spanish banks, or because they were unable to decipher the complex calculations that would see their repayments rise incrementally over the years. What’s more, the immigrants weren’t about to bolt: they had come to Spain for good, says Javier López, the president of CreditServices. He adds that the company offered other financial products to a range of clients, and that at its peak, CreditServices had almost 600 branches throughout Spain. It now has just 80.

(excerpt from “How the subprime mortgage found a home in the Spanish market” by Pablo Ximenez de Sandoval, El Pais, Dec. 27, 2010 ; in English ; the bold and italics are my emphasis)

As of December 2010, it is estimated that

It will take until at least 2015 for the Spanish property market to absorb the 1.5 million properties currently on the markets, according to consultants.

{ snip }

Spanish property companies are saddled with almost €260 billion of debt, around 25% of Spanish GDP. There could also be around a million jobs lost in the industry with 60% of the sector disappearing.

(excerpts from the article, “Spanish market will need at least four years to deal with property glut, experts predict,” PropertyWire.Com, Dec. 22, 2010)

Does any of this sound or look familiar?

Rumba del adios (“The Farewell Rumba”) by Ojos de Brujo (Eyes of the Wizard), Barcelona, Spain

Note: Minor update explicitly showing El Pais in the citation for a quotation.

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