I am hanging out with friends in Madrid and they are telling stories of the bust. These are the sort of guy who try to understand bank balance sheets.
The best story though is Ciudad Real Airport - a true financial disaster south of Madrid - an international airport that never took an international flight and for which there was no obvious use.
A while back the BBC reported the airport sold at auction for 10,000 Euro - less than 0.001% of the construction cost.
And maybe that was true.
But I am in possession of a pitch deck for the airport from the days brokers thought they might recover some of the costs. It is perhaps the funniest artefact I know of the bubble.
So here is your "Strategic Airport Opportunity".
It is an "Unprecedented Opportunity to Secure Aviation Asset for US in Europe".
After all it has a power station, fire station and fuel depot and is larger than any US base in Europe.
There was "tacit government approval for a US presence" which made you wonder why a two-bit broker was selling this fine asset.
And the location was truly strategic:
It appears to be a two hour flight from lots of important places.
Just to make this seem real Transoceanic Abort Landings has an acronym: TAL.
And just to gee-up interest we are told of other interest.
The US military was reportedly interested.
Lehman Brothers was going to buy it for $2.8 billion. Now the price is halved.
And the Arabic Royal Family will likely buy it if the US does not show interest.
It seems that Spanish Airports are like regional Chinese apartment buildings - where capital goes to die.
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