Downfall of a dynasty

Downfall of a dynasty

The last days of Ricardo Salgado and Banco Espírito Santo

Middle East: Special focus

Middle East: Special focus

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Downfall of a dynasty: The last days of Ricardo Salgado and Banco Espírito Santo

Downfall of a dynasty: The last days of Ricardo Salgado and Banco Espírito Santo

October 2014

Bankers in Lisbon say the demise of BES is a watershed moment for the country: the turning point when old Portugal became new Europe. Ricardo Salgado tried every trick he knew to save his empire, but found that the Portuguese establishment could not – or would not – save him. How did Salgado’s efforts to shore up Espírito Santo through the commercial paper market hasten, rather than avert, his downfall?

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Final days of Ricardo Salgado and Banco Espírito Santo

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When BES collapsed earlier this year, markets briefly feared a return of the crisis to Portugal and to Europe. Even after the bank's bailout, investigators still pore over bank documents, transfers and deals, trying to make sense of Salgado’s last days battling to keep his empire afloat. The backstory is of an extraordinary decades-long rivalry between the country's two pre-eminent business families.