Rodrigo Rato

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This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Rato and the second or maternal family name is Figaredo.
Rodrigo Rato
RODRIGO RATO RT-8 01.JPG
9th Managing Director of the IMF
In office
7 June 2004 – 1 November 2007
Preceded by Horst Köhler
Succeeded by Dominique Strauss Kahn
First Deputy Prime Minister of Spain
In office
3 September 2003 – 17 April 2004
Prime Minister José María Aznar
Preceded by Mariano Rajoy
Succeeded by María Teresa Fernández de la Vega
Personal details
Born Rodrigo de Rato y Figaredo
(1949-03-18) 18 March 1949 (age 65)
Madrid, Spain
Nationality Spain
Political party People's Party (temporarily resigned membership)[1]
Religion Roman Catholicism

Rodrigo de Rato y Figaredo (born 18 March 1949) is a Spanish political figure who served in the government of Spain as Minister of the Economy from 1996 to 2004; a member of the conservative People's Party (PP), he was also First Deputy Prime Minister from 2003 to 2004. Subsequently he was Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from 2004 to 2007.

Rato was appointed to become the Managing Director of the IMF on 4 May 2004, and took up his duties on 7 June 2004. He left his post at the IMF on 31 October 2007, following the World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings. He was president of Bankia between 3 December 2010 and 7 May 2012 until bankruptcy.

Politician[edit]

Rodrigo de Rato was born in Madrid, into a rich textile owning family from Asturias. He is the great grandson of Faustino Rodríguez-San Pedro y Díaz-Argüelles and the son of Ramón Rato. Rato attended a Jesuit school before studying law in the Complutense University.

In 1971 he went to University of California, Berkeley, where he received an MBA in 1974 from the Haas School of Business. In 1975 he became involved in the family business, first in Fuensanta, an Asturian mineral water company, and then in two Madrid construction firms. He also became involved in expanding the Cadena Rato chain of radio stations.

In 1977 he joined the newly formed Popular Alliance (AP), a party containing ex ministers of Franco founded by Manuel Fraga, a close personal friend of his father. In December 1979 he was elected to their national executive committee, and became secretary of their economic commission, and in February 1981 became one of the five Secretaries General of the party, and was considered to be their economic expert, supporting tight controls on public spending, and an emphasis on the supply side of economics. In October 1982 he was elected as AP member of the Cortes Generales for Cádiz in spite of having no connection to this Andalucian town. He represented the area until 1989 and subsequently represented Madrid from 1989-2000.

The 1982 election represented a defeat for the AP, and the beginning of the long rule of the PSOE and Felipe González. Until 1984 he was the Secretary of the parliamentary group. He then became their economic affairs spokesman where he impressed the party with his attacks on the PSOE's economic policies. He was seen to be on the liberal wing of the party.

When Fraga resigned from the leadership in December 1986 Rato backed Miguel Herrero y Rodríguez who lost the leadership race to Antonio Hernández Mancha, but managed to keep his positions within the party. During these years he also continued his business career, becoming President of Fuensanta. In June 1989 Fraga again became interim President after the generally acknowledged failure of the leadership of Hernández Mancha. The party became the slightly more inclusive People's Party (PP). Rato was given shared responsibility over the elections with Francisco Álvarez-Cascos Fernández, the new party Secretary General. He was a close supporter of José María Aznar, who was voted as the new PP leader on 4 September.

On 29 October, the PP lost the general election, though his role in the campaign gave him national prominence. Afterwards he was appointed party spokesman. On 2 April 1990 his father sold the family stake in Cadena Rato for 5 billion pesetas. In June 1991 he stopped being President of Fuensanta, but remained on the board until 1993. On 6 June that year the PP lost another general election to PSOE. In the 12th National Congress in January 1996 he was confirmed as one of the 3 Vice secretaries of the party.

Economics minister[edit]

Then on 3 March 1996 the PP won the general election. On 4 May Aznar became Prime Minister of Spain, and on 6 May Rato became both second Vice President and minister of Economy and Finance. On 12 March 2000 the PP won again, this time with an absolute majority. His ministries were reorganised, and he gave all his responsibilities to Cristóbal Montoro Romero who became Minister of Finance. In his second term he had to fend off various charges of incompatibility between his public office and his private business interests.

IMF Managing Director[edit]

Rato became the Managing Director of the IMF on 7 June 2004, taking over from Anne Krueger, who had been acting as temporary Managing Director after Horst Köhler, who at that time was nominated (and later elected) President of Germany, resigned the post 4 March 2004.

In June 2007 Rato announced that he would resign from his post the following October, citing personal reasons. On 28 September 2007, the International Monetary Fund's 24 executive directors elected former French Minister for Economics, Finance, and Industry, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, over former Czech Prime Minister Josef Tošovský, to be the new Managing Director in succession to Rato.

Bankia[edit]

He assumed the presidency of Caja Madrid in 2010, a public savings bank based in the Community of Madrid and after a merger with other six saving banks he assumed the presidency of the new group now called Bankia. On 7 May 2012 he resigned amid growing concerns about the solvency of the bank. Although the core capital ratio was 10,4%, the Popular Party Government planned to lend about 8 billion euro to the bank to increase its solvency, as was done before throughout Europe (e.g. ING and Northern Rock crisis). Due to his political ties to the governing PP, which decided to inject the funds, Rato resigned.[2] Mr. Rato had his salary cut from €2.3 million to €600,000 annually in 2011 due to new laws for rescued banks.[3]

On 4 July 2012 Rato, along with 30 other former members of the board of directors of Bankia, were charged with accounting irregularities. Bloomberg Businessweek listed Rato as the worst CEO in 2012.[4] In 2011, Bankia announced profits of €309 million; after Rato resigned, the figure was amended to €3 billion in losses. In October 2014 it was also known that in between 24-10-2010 to 28-11-2011, Rato made 519 purchases with a secret corporate credit card, spending a total of 99.041 €. Among these purchases he spent in one day were 3.547 euros in alcoholic beverages and 1.000 euros in shoes, along with 16 withdraws of more than 1.000 euros, most of them during the last months of his presidential term.

After a hearing 17 October, 2014 the Spanish High Court judge Fernando Andreu assigned civil responsibility for the credit card abuse to Rodrigo Rato and Miguel Blesa. Rato was ordered to pay a bond of €3 million euros.[5]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Spanish Congress of Deputies
Preceded by
Title jointly held
Deputy for Cádiz province
1982–1986
Succeeded by
Title jointly held
Preceded by
Title jointly held
Deputy for Madrid province
1986–2004
Succeeded by
Title jointly held
Political offices
Preceded by
Pedro Solbes
Ministry of Economy and Treasury of Spain
1996–2004
Succeeded by
Pedro Solbes
Preceded by
Juan Antonio García Díez
Second Vice President of the Government of Spain
1996–2003
Succeeded by
Javier Arenas
Preceded by
Mariano Rajoy
First Vice President of the Government of Spain
2003–2004
Succeeded by
María Teresa Fernández de la Vega
Business positions
Preceded by
Horst Köhler
Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund
2004–2007
Succeeded by
Dominique Strauss-Kahn