Bankia's Chairman Rodrigo Rato arrives to give a press conference in Madrid.
Bankia's Chairman Rodrigo Rato arrives to give a press conference in Madrid. - 

Stacey Vanek Smith: In Spain, the goverment is preparing a bailout for one of the country's biggest banks, Bankia.

The BBC's Tom Burridge reports.


Tom Burridge: It's the banking group in Spain with the largest amount of real estate on its books. Analysts reckon its total assets are worth some $390 billion -- that's equivalent to nearly a third of the Spanish economy. The problem is that Spain's construction boom crashed in 2008, and now the bank holds billions of dollars of bad property assets.

The new Spanish government has said time and again that it would not put public money into the banks -- it now looks set to pump in the region of $9.1 billion into Bankia. It's an idea that some in Spain don't like.

Man: It doesn't seem right to me because the banks should be responsible for themselves. If a small business does badly, then the government isn't going to rescue them.

Shares in Bankia dropped sharply this morning. This comes at a time when Spain's government is desperately trying to balance its own books. But the Spanish prime minister said he is willing to bail out Spanish banks -- if it was in the interests of the Spanish economy.

From Madrid, I'm the BBC's Tom Burridge for Marketplace.

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.