As recession takes hold, European citizens are starting to ask questions about how they were led into this, the deepest downturn in three-quarters of a century. The leading Spanish daily El Pais published a very thoughtful article today asking how things had unravelled so quickly and so spectacularly in Spain, previously one of the fastest growing economies in Europe.
These are the same questions that one must ask in the United States, Britain and Ireland regarding their own property bubbles. And, in view of recent turmoil in astern Europe, I suspect similar answers will be sought there as well.
This first part in a series of articles lays out the statistics of bubble and bust, demonstrating the scale of the bubble in Spain and it also makes a number of suggestion as to how to prevent a recurrence. You should note that this article points out Spain’s helplessness due to its lack of control over interest rates as a key impediment to solving the problem. Below is my translation of the article: