THE former Spanish Minister of the Economy and head of the International Monetary Fund Rodrigo Rato has been given a four-and-a-half year jail sentence after being found guilty of embezzlement.
Although the trial targeted the fact that the 67-year-old former banker, together with 60 others, had abused their positions at Caja Madrid and then Bankia by using company credit cards for their own personal use with at least €12 million involved, the trial had wider implications.
Whilst Rato denied any wrong doing, he also presided over the flotation of shares in Bankia and literally hundreds of thousands of Spaniards purchased those shares not realising that the bank was in a very difficult financial position which resulted in the Spanish government having to bail out Bankia and shareholders losing their investments.
In the following years, it has become apparent that Bankia had misled investors in its prospectus and not only are shareholders being recompensed but even the former Governor of the Bank of Spain and senior colleagues are being investigated to discover why they allowed the flotation to go ahead shortly after Rato resigned.
It is certainly possible that the name Rodrigo Rato will continue to make headlines in the coming years.