Interview with Joaquín Maudos, Deputy Director of Research at Ivie and professor at the University of Valencia
The Spanish economy is now showing signs of recovery after the severe economic crisis of recent years, with growth back on an upwards path. However, a number of weaknesses and threats still have to be tackled, among them the high debt levels of Spanish companies. And that precisely is the aim of this book: to analyze the leverage and financial vulnerability of businesses in Spain compared to their European counterparts, before and after the start of the crisis.
This analysis is undertaken using a methodology based on two differing approaches. On the one hand, aggregate macroeconomic data show Spanish corporates to be more heavily indebted than their European peers, and also in a more fragile position due to the difficulties faced in obtaining sufficient profits to meet their financial obligations. On the other, the authors apply a novel microeconomic analysis using a representative sample of 7.6 million European companies. This approach reveals that the aggregate figures mask major disparities at the enterprise level, greater than those deriving from size or sector, with companies in good financial health competing side by side with others that are highly vulnerable. These data then serve to quantify the percentage of corporate debt at risk.
This publication is the latest addition to the Ivie-Fundación BBVA research program devoted to the study of the financial realities of the Spanish economy. On this occasion, the focus is on the financial situation of Spanish vs. European companies. The general public and scholars of the economy (academics, analysts, consultants, etc.) will find in it a rigorous examination of the necessary deleveraging process now under way, and the need for it to proceed in an orderly fashion to avoid choking off the economic recovery.