"Angel — like Charlie's Angels."
Spain's financial system is in trouble. Too many banks made too many bad loans. Part of the solution, the government has decided, is to consolidate — to have relatively healthy banks buy relatively sick ones.
On today's Planet Money, we meet Angel Borges. He's a banking consultant in Spain, and he's played the role of merger matchmaker for many of the regional banks known as cajas.
He starts slow, with meetings (no commitment!) to see whether there's chemistry (his word) between two prospective mates. Lots of deals have gone through — there are now roughly 15 cajas, down from 46.
But the mergers haven't been particularly smooth or efficient. In one case, two cajas merged, but nobody wanted to give up power. So the new caja has two jobs for every function — two CEOs, two finance heads, and on down.
For more on Spain's cajas, listen to our podcast from last week.
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