In recent times, we are witnessing an indiscriminate offensive that questions the continuity of all public matters with emphasis. The desire to privatize extends to almost all economical sectors and multiplies its effects through the media. The public has gone into decline, and one has the impression that Spanish society, or an influential part of it, has become the ideology of Hayek -implacable exterminator of the public- or Margaret Thatcher who, as is known, arrived to maintain that everything, except citizen security, is practicable. If we continue with this privatizing ardor, we will not miss a wise citizen who, influenced by this environment, proposes the privatization of other sectors and organizations. Fortunately, the Aznar government does not go so far, and its privatizing desire is limited to all public companies and some army barracks. It has even configured four categories of companies, including in the last, companies in losses, challenging to privatize, but which are presented as an example of poor public management, which no one disputes.
- And it is that everything is not as simple as the manuals of economic liberalism tend to present it. The public is not despicable by itself, nor is the personal panacea that solves all problems. Neither private companies are always influential, nor do public ones, unfortunately, identify with the general interest. There are inefficient public companies, but many private companies are also inadequate. As pointed out by Adam Smith, the State must intervene not only in the field of citizen security, defense, foreign policy, or justice, but also to deal with disasters, and today the catastrophes caused by economic crises and Bad private management – or public – are much more important than those derived from mother nature.
- And suppose it is undeniable that there are poorly managed public companies with heavy losses. In that case, it is no less accurate that there are public companies located in the most prominent places in the Spanish economy. ENDESA, Repsol, and Telefónica, among others, have recorded spectacular growth in the last years. The data contained in the table reveal the importance that these companies have achieved, the first in our country by sales figures and, most importantly, by the number of their profits. The three companies have had good public managers, and few large private companies – to say nothing – can show better results and strategies.
- And, as can be observed in table 2, the value of the State’s participation -only in listed companies and in which it has more than half a million private shareholders- management control is delivered, that is, control of the company. And this is because, when that last tranche becomes private, the State disappears as owner and is replaced by a group of private interests that, with relatively small disbursements, assume control of the company. This allows them to obtain an additional benefit, such as controlling the top foreign capital with their minimum money. By fully privatizing, rather than getting resources, what is intended is that “the State loses the dominant role in the companies in which it participates” and is replaced by several private financial groups.
With this, eventually, there is a risk that large financial groups will take control of the major public companies, which may lead to an excessive concentration of power and economic decisions, as well as compromised situations such as those that in the past have caused numerous financial entities with vital industrial or service interests. The economic history of this country is crowded with financial crises that have their origin in the inefficient management of their industrial businesses. Therefore, many think that banks should focus their activity on financial intermediation and avoid an overload of risks that, frequently,
If it is possible to privatize, it is more critical to deregulate and depoliticize public companies and their scope of action. And these objectives are hardly achieved when, for example, opting for the duopoly formula instead of fully liberalizing the telecommunications sector following the guidelines of the European Union.About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud platform where their QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools are hosted in an efficient SSO environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.