Spain, February 2013

In February 2013, Mark traveled to Spain for multiple economic reasons:

  • The Spanish housing market
  • The Spanish banking system
  • The Spanish government bonds and their impact on the economy
  • To learn more about Euro crisis management

Before the economic crisis in 2008, Spain’s government bonds experienced extremely low interest rates, which resulted in businesses developing and growing exponentially due to the availability of loans. Unemployment decreased, wages increased, population grew, and GDP increased dramatically. The economy was booming.

As a result, Spain experienced a classic real estate bubble, and consistent mismanagement of the Euro crisis certainly didn’t help. Which was why Mark went to Seseña, which is basically a suburb of Madrid and was hugely developed and constructed upon in the recent past. Here is what Seseña looks like today:

Sesena, Spain

Ghost town!


No one around to use these public spaces- overdevelopment.

Valencia, Spain

Valencia- ultra modern architecture


While Spain is recovering from this overconstruction, there remain many opportunities:

  • An existing investment in infrastructure, education, and equipment
  • Market competitiveness: labor costs and available capacity
  • Tourism

Mark particularly traveled to Bilbao, Spain in contrast because the Basque region has seen strong GDP numbers through the recession and serves as a good example for the rest of the country.