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IMF's Spain Report Thrice Mentions Bankia, Lagarde Question UNanswered

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 2 -- The International Monetary Fund's annual report on Spain, under embargo until 10 am today, runs some 66 page but mentions Bankia only three times, all of them in financial tables.

But as Inner City Press asked the IMF at its briefing on July 11, Managing Director Christine Lagarde was on the witness list of the Spanish political partyUnion, Progress & Democracy, which alleged fraud in the weakening and bail out of the bank.

The IMF answered Inner City Press' questions from that day on Sri Lanka, and more recently on South Sudan.

On Sri Lanka: "The one on Mr. Singh is accurate. The Island and Daily Mirror coverage of Mr. Mathai's talk was much better in our view and may be helpful to you."

From the IMF's transcript of Inner City Press' question:

I have a question on South Sudan. We'll jump to Africa. I think we'll move off Europe for awhile. On South Sudan:

“How does the IMF view the recent firing of the vice president and ministers and non-passage of the petroleum act? What impact may this have?”

Thanks for that question. The effects on both countries, both South Sudan and Sudan, are likely to be quite severe, given the rundown of their reserve buffers since 2011, and a progressive build up of economic and social tensions. We can't give you a precise analysis of what these firings mean in terms of the severity of the economic dislocations in South Sudan and Sudan, but we basically hope that both countries will implement their recent agreements, given their importance for regional peace and economic stability. We also think that implementing these agreements will help relieve the economic pressures that have been building up since oil was shut down there in January of 2012.

But on Bankia and Lagarde, nothing.

That process led Bankia to put its subsidiary City National Bank of Florida up for sale. BankUnited, which Inner City Press covered last week, was said to be among the suitors, but Chile's Banco de Credito e Inversiones ended up with the winning bid on May 24, for $882.8 million.

Analysis now proceeds on that proposed acquisition. Until July, Inner City Press used and cited SNL Financial in stories such as these. A request to continue, and specifically about BankUnited and this, is pending before Christina M. Twomey of SNL's Public Relations. We hope to have more on this - and on Larry Summers and the Fed. Watch this site.


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