Bankia’s Alvarez: Saving the bank that didn’t exist

In early 2013, Jose Sevilla Alvarez, the then newly appointed chief executive of Spain’s Bankia, sat down with his chairman, the storied Spanish banker Jose Ignacio Goirigolzarri, to have a critical conversation about where Bankia was going. Outside, the atmosphere in Spain was as toxic as the rancid bank they were tasked with fixing. The country’s financial crisis that had begun in 2008 seemed unending, and at 27% – 50% for under-25s – Spain was besieged by the social and political consequences of Europe’s highest unemployment levels.

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