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Rato-Lazard Ties Show How Spanish Elite Profited Amid Cajas Loss

Five days before Christmas, ex-Deputy Prime Minister Rodrigo Rato was asked by a prosecutor probing the collapse of Bankia SA whether he’d done business with Jaime Castellanos, chairman of Lazard Ltd.’s Spanish unit.

“No, a business relationship I don’t have,” said Rato, the former Bankia chairman, according to an official recording of the closed session of the National Court in Madrid that was distributed to the parties involved. “Friendship, yes.”