Santander's exposure, Madoff's dealings in Latin America

Spanish bank Santander, Europe's second largest, is the biggest loser (among banks) in the Bernard Madoff fraud. And apparently the bulk of those losses are actually in Latin America. The Wall Street Journal writes:

About two-thirds of losses incurred by Santander clients were borne by investors in Latin America, said a person familiar with the matter....

Santander clients in Mexico took the largest hit, losing close to $400 million. Argentine clients lost around $350 million, and Brazilian clients lost some $300 million, the person said, adding that all told as many as 3,000 Latin American clients lost money.

And a bit of hubris/comeuppance:

Santander has largely skirted damage from the global financial crisis. Mr. BotĂ­n talked proudly last year about how the bank had avoided troubles experienced by other institutions by sticking to commercial banking and shunning exotic financial instruments. The bank had become a rare corner of stability, buying up more distressed banks whose value had plummeted.

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