New York Times: The wreckage of Spain’s once booming construction industry is everywhere. And much of it sits as bad debt on the books of Spain’s banks, which once liberally offered financing to developers and homeowners alike.The Bank of Spain says the banks have about $240 billion in “problematic exposure” out of $580 billion invested in real estate and construction, a situation, they say, the banks are capable of handling.
But not everyone believes that. Unlike American banks, Spanish banks have done little to open their books. Along with other banks in the euro zone, they underwent a stress test last July, and all but five of Spain’s smaller savings banks passed. Read more…..