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A. D. Hudgens
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Username: Hijo_de_tejas

Post Number: 1
Registered: 8-2006
Posted on Tuesday, August 29, 2006 - 2:03 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I would like to know the reason for the 2001 economical collapse in Argentina. What was it like before the devaluation of the Paso? What was the standard of living in the 1990’s? Has a book been written (English) about this collapse and what will keep it from happening again? I think the world could learn from this bad experience. Robert you have a wonderful web site, so useful to everyone. I would like your insight on what the future holds for this great country. I will be visiting from November 14 – 29 and plan to visit Bariloche, PN Lanin, PN Nahuel Huapi, Villa La Angostura, Puyehue Chile, Del Monte, Buenos Aires, Tanti Cordoba. If you have suggestions on what to see, how to travel, where to stay, please tell me. My wife and I are in our mid-60’s and this is our first trip to South America and we are so thrilled to be visiting.
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Terry Baker
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Username: Terence2393

Post Number: 2
Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Tuesday, August 29, 2006 - 3:05 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi A.D.
Here are some notes I had squirrelled away..."Almost four years after the Argentine government staged the largest-ever loan default, the economics department at the University of Buenos Aires has opened a museum commemorating foreign debt. It will feature temporary touring exhibitions lasting six months each. The first, entitled “Foreign Debt: Never Again”, outlines the problem dating from 1810, when the United States and Britain dominated the local economy, and ends with the IMF default. It features videos, photographs, works of art, an archive of 1,200 documents and a research centre. Simón Pristupín, the project's director, told the press, “Foreign debt is one of the principal factors that have contributed to our crisis, provoking hunger and poverty...[T]he university has to leave its ivory tower to help the citizens understand how the process of debt came about.” The exhibition's tone is darkly comic: a mock kitchen shows the disastrous “economic recipes” Argentina adopted, and visitors can enter a “black hole”, where the loans ended up. Statues of San Cayetano, the patron saint of employment, dot the exhibition, representing the increasing number of unemployed Argentines. The museum opened to the public in late April at Uriburu 763, in the suburb of Barrio Norte. Entry is free, and the museum is principally staffed by volunteers."

I do not know of any books on the crisis, but have a look at this. Do not be scared! After all, any critique on the crisis is bound to be somewhat academic...http://www.fondad.org/publications/arge ntina/contents.htm

Terry Baker
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Roberto
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Username: Admin

Post Number: 677
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Wednesday, August 30, 2006 - 10:50 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

AD Welcome! and thank you.

Terry's notes are very informative. That paper seems very comprehensive and will be useful to anyone having long term plans that involve Argentina.

From my personal experience, the 90's decade favored noticeably people who were employed -called 4ta categoria at the time- because their salaries were really high in dollar terms, sometimes outreagously high. Considering the labor market as a whole, this was a minority comprised mostly of professionals. The practical consequences for this group was that anything foreign was cheap and it wasn't unheard of that the beneficiaries of the dollar-tagged exchange rate would traveled abroad and purchase assets as much as foreigners do now in Argentina.

Another thing that ocurred during that period was that the government sold all their assets (as well as private companies) so for an extended time the public accounts were very healthy skewing the numbers as to where the real problems were. This caused many people -intentionally or unintentionally- to misread the numbers of the economy while problems were brewing. As it happens, a small number of people who can see the writing on the wall and almost always know how to benefit from this inefficiencies, started a push to prolong what was happening while the rest of us were being kept in the dark. At some point, the pressures were unsustainable and thus, the collapse.

With Argentina you just don't know. All I can say is that it pays to be alert and watch were possible pockets of future misalignments are happening. Is it the present political tone which is tilted a little too much to the left? Are the new regulations of the last years helping to sustain growth or are they shooting themselves in the foot? How about the favorable external environment that is helping keep prices of commodities firm? Are internal politics going to crash the economy as more and more cabinet members belong to the same branch that caused great harm in the past or do they have a new understanding of how Argentina can play a role in macroeconomics? To close this paragraph, my last idea is the first one: with Argentina noone really knows...

As for traveling, the spots you selected are superb. You are going to love these destinations. You should get to Bariloche by plane, make it your beach head and start your vacation assault from there... Good luck.
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Tom Woodson
Intermediate Member
Username: Diverdown48

Post Number: 146
Registered: 6-2006


Posted on Wednesday, August 30, 2006 - 2:33 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Excellent post Roberto
I have a few comments, surprise!
If you borrow money you have to pay it back, that at least is the expectation.
When Argentina went to the IMF to borrow money there were plans and proposals on how the money would be spent. The check was written.
But when the money started being spent things that should have been bought and paid for didn't quite materilize. A lot of offshore/Swiss bank accounts were fattened. The money that was supposed to be earned by all the improvements in the infrasture and jobs for Argentina were not there to repay the loans. Many Argentines scream foul and blame the IMF. Hey, they just wanted Argentina to live up to the contract. The IMF did not play shady with the Argentine government when the money was loaned. The government of Argentina now, addmittedly different people than the ones who borrowed the money and stole it, said we don't have the money to pay you back. The US sided with Argentina and said basically give these guys a chance which in part was due to Argentina's flirtation with Fidel Castro, an oppressive dictator of his own people, but hey, he who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.
As long as Argentina is a democracy and the people have free and fair elections, I am willing to invest my time and money there.
I am working on three projects. All are based on buying property at reasonable US dollar prices in Argentina with the return on investment being paid in US dollars. Beef cattle, agricultural crops, tourism and land sales on the world market make for good investments.
Argentina's tourism business will only grow. It is one of the safest places to visit in the world. I am not talking about pick pockets and shady money exchage scams.
The world is a very dangerous place.
Here lately it seems all the land in Argentina is being sold for $3000 US per hectare or more. Some of it is worth that much but not all land is created equil.
Most of the best farm land in Argentina is in Buenos Aries province.
I don't recommend buying at todays prices anywhere but Buenos Aries province and Bariloche where there is year round tourism.
Two years ago I could have bought vineyards in Mendoza by the dosens selling for U$A200 to U$A300 dollars per acre. Now it is U$A1500 and up per acre. Five and more times as much per acre while the price of wine has stayed pretty much the same. How do you make a profit on that kind of deal. Someday it might do it but will you live to see it?
Investing calls for careful study no matter where you live or what you are planning to invest in.
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Roberto
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Username: Admin

Post Number: 680
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Wednesday, August 30, 2006 - 3:16 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

... and following Tom's line of thought, we have mastered the art of killing the chicken that lays the golden eggs. Just a few weeks ago, air ticket prices doubled for foreigners and we have seen the largest cancellations ever. Ok, ok... good things never last too long, but in Argentina they last even less. So even if at present and mid-term things may look kosher my advice is don't fall asleep at the wheel.
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Tom Woodson
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Username: Diverdown48

Post Number: 149
Registered: 6-2006


Posted on Wednesday, August 30, 2006 - 3:23 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

for sure
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Gary Dawson
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Username: Gary_d

Post Number: 3
Registered: 8-2006
Posted on Wednesday, August 30, 2006 - 3:38 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

It seems appropriate within this thread to mention a book I recently read and I would be interested to hear from Argentine forum members that may have read "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" by John Perkins. If the scenarios he portrays are, in fact, true, and apply to Argentina, then one could hardly blame the former government of the country for deciding to jump any IMF loans that may have been tendered in the manner described in the book. The description of events sited by Mr. Woodson would seem to fit the portrayal of IMF and World Bank by Mr. Perkins who describes a clandestine monetary policy that purposely-indebted foreign (to the USA) countries to the extent that there could be little hope that they could realistically honor the loans. This created a systemized state of obligation to the US, World Bank and IMF by virtue of the loans. The money was theoretically used to enhance infrastructure in the debtor countries but since it was contractually obligated to US companies like Halliburton (and others), the money never actually left US soil. Only a few people in these countries managed to get “economically enhanced” by this system.

Was this the case in Argentina?
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ruggero
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Username: Bart

Post Number: 25
Registered: 2-2006
Posted on Wednesday, August 30, 2006 - 4:23 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Well, I´ve lived in Argentina before the econ collapse, and let me tell you that it really was a land of opportunity for doing business. I´ve made many, many excellent business in Argentina. Of course the way to do business is not the same as in US / Europe, although may be pretty similar to Europe. In general people is liable (if we compare it to chile, bolivia and other south american countries). Before the crisis there were lot of investments and a nice way of living for many people. Many of the business are not with corporations but unions and the gov itself. A taxi ride from downtown to Palermo used to cost 4 pesos (USD 4) and subway ticket 70 cents of peso/dollar. Today taxi ride it's closer to the 2001 period but subway ticket mantained their devaluated value. This, plus several other factors indicate that probably prices will rise again as used to be before the crisis. The former economist minister Cavallo, a hated man, anticipated the dollar devaluation and said before the 2001 crisis, that the peso should be equal to the average international currency exchanges no longer the dollar. But traditionally latin american countries obey more the dollar, problem is that dollar is currently devaluted against the euro. Argentinean devaluation itself should not be a problem but interest wanting Argentina a place for sell stuff and extract money more than a place where stuff is produced and exports (like Chile, New Zeland) will make Argentina before 2001 and in a few years will be the same. So, if you want to know how was Argentina before 2001 you only have to wait a couple of years.
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Tom Woodson
Intermediate Member
Username: Diverdown48

Post Number: 151
Registered: 6-2006


Posted on Wednesday, August 30, 2006 - 5:37 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Ruggero
The peso is traded on the world market and is valued in international trading. It has not been artificially tied to the dollar since the economic crisis. The most direct cause of the devaluation was the decision to float the peso. This decision made it easier for Argentina to sell it's products in the world market place.
The reason most people use the US dollar as the comparison is that since World War II it has been used around the world as an accepted currency.
Go anywhere in the world and pull out your US dollars and you will get what you came for. Most people in the world have never seen a Euro and have no idea what it is worth.
I would wager in Argentina you would have problems in smaller businesses using Euros verses no problem using dollars.
The dollar is a piece of paper just like all other currancies. The one constant of the US dollar is the government that issues it has been the same for over 225 years.
Great Britian is in the European Union but refuses to use the Euro as its national currency and the British pound is the strongest currency in the world. In fact the Euro has lost value against the dollar in the last few months.
IMHO If Argentina is going to be a member of the world market and prosper it needs to continue to respect ownership of private property, live up to its international agreements, continue to hold free and fair elections, keep the government out of commerce other than justifiable security and taxing policies, and help the economy create jobs for the Argentine population that has the highest literacy rate in all of South America.
I remember reading about one of the Presidents of Argentina shortly before the devaluation saying that the US dollar should be used as the national currency of Argentina. As a person who benifits from the exchange rate, I am happy no one listened to him. Otherwise that nice $180 peso hotel room I stay in would cost three times as much as I pay now with dollars.
Argentina is not a poor country by any means. The combination of natural resources, agricultural production, increased manufacturing and literate work force bodes well for the future of that beautiful country.
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Roberto
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Username: Admin

Post Number: 682
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Wednesday, August 30, 2006 - 5:57 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

> So, if you want to know how was Argentina before 2001 you only have to wait a couple of years.

Ah... the good old days :-) That was a wise comment, ruggero.


> The combination of natural resources, agricultural production, increased manufacturing and literate work force bodes well for the future of that beautiful country.

Among the many famous jokes that portray argentines there is one that goes like this:

Scholar in a conference says:
"Argentina is a nation with great future. The only one problem is that it will always be of FUTURE".

Gary, that seems like an awesome book. Is it an investigative report? If so, a word of caution cause there may be some ulterior purpose behind. I wish I had more time to read it. In general, in our country abound conspirancy theories of all colors plus isn't it the real deal of a person loaning money never to be repaid again? This way, the loaner has both a steady long term income by way of interests AND he also owns all your assets in case he never receives his money back. How that is different from loan sharks providing you funds for your apt. or car?

(Message edited by admin on August 30, 2006)
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Tom Woodson
Intermediate Member
Username: Diverdown48

Post Number: 152
Registered: 6-2006


Posted on Wednesday, August 30, 2006 - 6:04 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Gary
The book describes I would think exactly Iraq. Haliburton has recieved the lions share of contracts there and the money never left the US.
However, the money was given to Argentina. I do not recall the name of the lady who was in the government at the time but she was tried in an Argentine court and found guilty for stealing a huge sum of money. She was sentenced to house arrest at her mansion for two or three years.
I am sure ruggero is right when he said "Well, I´ve lived in Argentina before the econ collapse, and let me tell you that it really was a land of opportunity for doing business"
With all that world bank/IMF money floating around a lot of people were spending freely.
But the future I think is very good for the country.
And I think the internet has a lot to do with that. It's harder to pull the wool over the people when they are getting both sides of the story.
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Gary Dawson
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Username: Gary_d

Post Number: 4
Registered: 8-2006
Posted on Wednesday, August 30, 2006 - 7:06 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Roberto,
The book wasn't an investigative report, more like a confessional, tell-all or whistle-blower type book. Some people have tried to discredit the author, but if he's telling the truth, he actually participated in rigging loans of that type in a number of countries, some in Latin America. It is good reading, and I have wondered (before reading this thread) whether the Argentine economy may have been a casualty of covert ops.

And Hi Tom,
Iraq really isn't a good analogy for what the book describes since the author claims to have participated in clandestine operations that were designed to garner “effective control” of countries through economic manipulation, negating any necessity for any show of force in the process. I can’t claim to have any knowledge of Argentine history or even current events, but I can visualize where the lady you mention could have been set up as a scape-goat, taking the fall for more guilty parties that facilitated the process of economic manipulation…Just a thought.
Best Regards,
Gary
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Roberto
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Username: Admin

Post Number: 683
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Wednesday, August 30, 2006 - 7:28 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Gary, what the book seems to describe could be within the realm of probabilities, but as we -argentines- know, none of this could have happened without local connivence, so blaming outsiders would be a moot point in my view. I can't judge its content, but if the author only points to some shady financial schemes as the root of our malaise he really missed how complex our schizoid country seems to be (with what is apparent and what is really happening under the hood). Don't forget a few decades ago Licio Gelli -said to be the head of the P2 secret society- was granted an argentine passport by the peronist government and there was some vague link between all this and what later surfaced as the vatican scandal. And also, let's take note that not too long ago it was said that Menem's son was shot as a result of some kind of middle-eastern vendetta and I am not even mentioning the massive bombings against the jewish buildings by (insert rumor here} *Iran?* and/or terrorist movements from that block... So who knows what is REALLY going on. And who knows who REALLY owns Argentina.

One thing I think I know is who does NOT own Argentina :-(
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Gary Dawson
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Username: Gary_d

Post Number: 5
Registered: 8-2006
Posted on Thursday, August 31, 2006 - 12:06 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Roberto,
I so very much appreciate your thoughts. And what I am growing to appreciate is how many Argentines seem to have the feeling of ownership in the country, for both its faults and its greatness. That is something that many people in the US have lost...I appreciate the opportunity to participate in this forum. Thank you!
Gary
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A. D. Hudgens
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Username: Hijo_de_tejas

Post Number: 2
Registered: 8-2006
Posted on Thursday, August 31, 2006 - 3:19 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Well said Gary Dawson, I certainly agree and thank you for pointing it out.
Thank each one of you for responding on this subject. It helps me to understand the dangers of globalalisation.
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Tom Woodson
Intermediate Member
Username: Diverdown48

Post Number: 153
Registered: 6-2006


Posted on Thursday, August 31, 2006 - 6:16 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Good thought Gary
I am thinking about it
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Marite Spruth
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Username: Inti

Post Number: 2
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, September 01, 2006 - 12:19 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi
I am quoting the following articles re Argentina
The 2001 Nobel laureate in economics, Joseph E. Stiglitz, former chief economist of the World Bank, observed that the countries that have benefited most from globalization have been those that controlled the terms of engagement. They benefited ''by taking advantage of the global market for exports and by closing the technology gap.''
Those that suffered were the ones like Argentina that were coerced into just leaving themselves vulnerable to forces beyond their control. ''The international financial institutions,'' Stiglitz wrote, ''have pushed a particular ideology - market fundamentalism - that is both bad economics and bad politics.... The IMF has pushed these economics policies without a broader vision of society ... and it has pushed those policies in ways that have undermined emerging democracies.''
In a companion piece, Amartya Sen, the 1998 Nobelist in economics, lamented the fact that the current brand of globalization is ''much more concerned with expanding the domain of market relations than with, say, establishing democracy, expanding elementary education, or enhancing the social opportunities of society's underdogs.''
Marite
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A Sheesh
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Username: Buenosaireshereicome

Post Number: 3
Registered: 1-2007
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 8:59 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

there is a great book on this topic. very well written and easy to understand. the author's name is Paul Blustein. the book is titled: and the money kept rolling in (and out). GREAT resource for this topic. amazon.com has it as well as any local bookstore in U.s. Borders is where i got my copy.
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Wizo
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Username: Wizo

Post Number: 13
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 4:13 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

In response to Tom's earlier comment:

The peso is traded on the world market and is valued in international trading. It has not been artificially tied to the dollar since the economic crisis. The most direct cause of the devaluation was the decision to float the peso. This decision made it easier for Argentina to sell it's products in the world market place.

The peso does actually appear to be artificially tied to the dollar again, just not formally. It stays at around 3:1 which doesn't make sense since the inflation rate in Argentina is much higher than that in the USA. So eventually the Government will have to allow the peso to move again else we'll have some of the same conditions of 2001 all over again.
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Arial
Junior Member
Username: Arial

Post Number: 36
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 7:26 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

This is a GREAT thread. Thank you, A.D., for bringing it up. Thanks to all for the great input and for the book recommendation (about the crash of 2001). This is exactly the kind of thing I want to know. (So why didn't I ask, right?) I guess I am not signed up for this section because I've missed it all. I just went to my preferences and signed up for EVERYTHING. I don't really want to get everything but I see good stuff can miss me right by otherwise!

I think all should read Perkins' book and judge for themselves. There is also another book that might be of interest--though I have not read it. It is The Creature from Jekyll Island which is about the practices of the US Federal Reserve. The reason I say it might be good was I heard an interview of the author of Creature and while the Perkins book was in no way involved in or referred to in the article, that writer make some comments that, if true, confirm Perkins' story. I am not saying it DID confirm, only that the second author said some of the same things. I always like to consider everything but do not necessarily accept everything. The interview is available on Jim Puplava's site www.financialsense.com and can be downloaded from the archives.

It doesn't even appear to me that the "country" that controls it all benefits as much as the corporations that control the country that controls the contracts . . . Arial
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Tom
Advanced Member
Username: Diverdown48

Post Number: 311
Registered: 6-2006


Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 7:45 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

The peso fluctuates against the US dollar and all other currencies. There are numerous web sites where you can keep an eye on differing currencies and how they are trading against each other.
Here are a couple I found on Yahoo search.

http://www.oanda.com/convert/fxdaily

http://www.xe.com/ucc/convert.cgi

The government may buy certain currencies that can affect the exchange rate.
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Roberto
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Username: Admin

Post Number: 945
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 10:45 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Wizo, it could also be that the peso has been gaining strength against the dollar as the country has fortified its financial system. So higher domestic inflation may devalue the currency while the increase of reserves may balance the act. Thus, we see little to no movement. But I am no technical person.
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Tom
Advanced Member
Username: Diverdown48

Post Number: 312
Registered: 6-2006


Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 1:15 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Arial
I humbly take issue with your statement...

"It doesn't even appear to me that the "country" that controls it all benefits as much as the corporations that control the country that controls the contracts . . . Arial"

The "country" being the US. The US controls the US. It has varying degrees of control over many things. It does not control the international trade of money. It can exert influences by buying and selling but it is not omnipitant.
Corporations, contrary to what some may think, do not control the US. People that control corporations that try to control the US go to prison so often the poeple who really control the country pay scant attention unless they are stockholders in the company.

For over 200 years the people who control the US continue to control it. The recent congressional elections should prove that to any skeptic. The next one I believe will show it even more.

The oldest democracy will continue to be a democracy and the people of the world who can't seem to get it right will continue to blame the oldest democracy for all their problems.

My good amigo Roberto can tell you whose mirrors people should look into to find out who to blame for problems in their respective countries.

Lack of education, a censored or corrupt press, lack of people who believe phrases such as a true democracy is a nation of laws, not men, that is what causes problems for many countries who like to blame others for their problems. One does not have to look outside the South American continent to see a major nation going down the same path that so many other tyrants have led them. Shutting down tv stations that do not agree with the government, nationalising private enterprises, and seeking lifetime power is a recipe for disaster.

For those who say it is good when the government takes control and it is being done for the good of the people they should think about this. If the government runs the power company, who does one complain to when the service is horrible and the local managers are corrupt. I have never lived in a dictatorship but I have heard that those who complain to loudly find there is always room in overcrowded prisons or even worse, freshly dug holes to be filled.

Argentina is a nation with a very bright future because it has a high degree of literacy, free education, a free press that is becoming very competent at pointing out corruption, and a very good basketball team.

Now,if they can just figure out the difference between what is Football and what is Soccer they will be just fine.

Hmmm, this should be pretty interesting.
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Wizo
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Username: Wizo

Post Number: 14
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 3:19 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

it could also be that the peso has been gaining strength against the dollar as the country has fortified its financial system. So higher domestic inflation may devalue the currency while the increase of reserves may balance the act. Thus, we see little to no movement. But I am no technical person.

Yes, but the effect is that Argentina is becoming more expensive to other countries. With the massive devaluation in 2001 I'm sure there is still plenty of room to move, but eventually the exchange rate or inflation will have to adjust otherwise exports will be hurt (the driver of the recovery). Though maybe strong productivity gains will help to counter this?
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Arial
Junior Member
Username: Arial

Post Number: 37
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 3:59 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Well, Tom, you could be right. I sure don't claim to know all that is going on but I too noticed, as did another poster, that of all the contractors in the world who could have gotten the job of "rebuilding Iraq," look who got it. Same with the corporation that managed to get artificial sweeteners through the FDA, in spite of the evidence against them, and so on.

I read all I can about the operation of corporations and business and the stock market (since that's my business) and these things are not lost on me. Most people don't even know who it is that heads these corporations. They just hear that a certain corporation is doing this or that and that's all they know about it. Then another corporation in a different situation. Behind it all we constantly find the same people! The large degree of economic control in the hands of a few people, combined with their powerful positions in government, certainly represents to me a conflict of interests and is what I consider dangerous.

I would be the last person on this entire board (and almost everywhere else) to advocate government taking control of private business and/or resources. That was not my point. My point is to be aware. To think these same guys are getting all these contracts in fair bidding is a little much for me to swallow. But perhaps it is not too much for you and that's okay.

But I do respectfully disagree with you about democracies. Democracies do not last, historically. They are fairly easy to infiltrate and take over, given time, partly because people will vote themselves benefits and put politicians in place that promise them freebies, whether they can deliver or not. They don't even see the danger because they are blinded by the perceived benefits for themselves. I consider that an integrity problem.

Our forefathers hated democracy and did not give us a democracy but a republic with the Federal government having very limited powers. In fact the purpose of the Constitution was to limit the federal government. Most of the powers were to rest with each individual state. The purpose was that the power would not rest with a central government and/or group of people. When I see what is going on these days I wonder if anyone still keeps a copy of the Constitution and, if they do, do they ever read it? Or do they think it just doesn't matter any more, we've got everything coming our way?

It is still true that power corrupts. Too much power in a central government is always a threat to freedom. However, I respect the opinions of every one on this board. Arial
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Sam W. Davis
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Username: Samwdavis

Post Number: 9
Registered: 8-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 6:28 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Ariel,

I could not agree with you more on your comments about state vs. federal rights and the politicians building their own constituency through freebies and perceived benefits. It's going back a ways, but I think a good example is back in the 70s when the federal government could not mandate a federal speed limit of 55, so they held the states' own highway money ransom to force the states to do what the federal government wanted them to, when the federal government never should have had control of that money to begin with. I'm not an advocate of legalized drugs, but I am an advoate of states' rights guaranteed by the constitution. So, it always bothered me when the federal government overturned the law in California that legalized marijuana. The federal government does not constitutionally have that power, and it seemed that no one even questioned it.

Like you said, does anyone even read the constitution anymore or know what it says?
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Arial
Junior Member
Username: Arial

Post Number: 38
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 6:55 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Exactly! And interesting. I think we got off on this trail because someone mentioned certain claims (true or untrue, who knows?) about IMF debt in Latin America. One thing sure leads to another. But I do remember this is a graciously provided ARGENTINA forum. Sorry Roberto! Arial
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Max Kirsch
New member
Username: Max

Post Number: 7
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 7:20 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Tom. this is probably not the best place to debate these points. The characteristics you attribute to other countries are very much present in the U.S. Public education has all but been destroyed, newspapers are owned by major corporations and are very much censored and limited as to what they report, and all you have to do is look at the bush cabinet to see what the ties are to multinationals are who is benefiting from U.S. Policy. The last election is simply not going to make all the difference. The democrats are not that different, and they have the same intereests. Yes, the multinationals do influence, interact and control the economy. that is enough.
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Roberto
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 947
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 12:16 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

You people go ahead.

We are all one planet and this lively discussion has indirect ties to life in Argentina before and after 2001. Still to be determined is what kind of influence the Carlisle group may or may have not had locally at different times. Although I think that the power groups at work in Argentina are of a different background -and ethnicity-.
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Tom
Advanced Member
Username: Diverdown48

Post Number: 313
Registered: 6-2006


Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 2:05 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Max
Opinions are expressed here in response to other opinios, everybody has one.
The US has many problems. The point you make is the point I was making. However, the US is not run by multinationals but they do influence the economy as they do other enonomies. The Fed has ways of controlling the economy as well. By raising and lowering the intersest rates people can afford to buy or not afford to buy. The housing market is a significant driver of the economy. The Fed can slow down housing purchases by raising interest rates. Obviously you know the Fed is not a multinational corporation.
It is simplistic to say the economy is controlled by multinationals. Do they affect it, absolutely, but they are just one of the ingrediants.

Arial, your posts are well thought and I enjoy them. A republic is not the opposite of a democracy. Limiting control by the federal government and giving more to the individual states was the aim of the founding fathers. It has not worked out as well as they invisioned I am afraid.

Winston Churchill once said words to the effect that democracy is a very bad form of government but it is so much better than all the rest.

There is a big difference between Democrats and Republicans. But they are not 100% the opposite. If everytime one party came into power they changed everything, the result would be desasterous. In six years of power I have agreed with the Bush administration on two occasions. I have never agree on anything they have done in Iraq. A bungled mess from the very beginning.

One point I will add. The Pentagon sells surplus and outdated items at auctions. In 2000 a company bought parts for the F14 fighter and was prepared to ship them to Iran. The company was busted by customs and the spare parts were returned to the Pentagon where they put them up for sale again. A different company bought the parts and prepared to sell them to Iran. They were busted also. The parts still had the confiscated customs stickers still on them.

One other thougth, I do not believe I am the only person who would not sell out my country for money. No matter how much.
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Arial
Junior Member
Username: Arial

Post Number: 41
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Sunday, January 21, 2007 - 3:26 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Wizo, going back to your statement about the inflation rate in Argentina being higher than the US. Is the Argentina inflation rate reported anywhere? (DUH! Probably a dumb question.) If so can you give us a quick summary? Do you know how it is calculated? For example, I am sure this knowledgeable forum is aware that the US is monkeying with how they calculate inflation in order to avoid raising pensions and benefits that are tied to the inflation rate. We now have the "core" rate from which they have backed out the cost of food and energy and added "hedonics" calculations devised to further disguise the true inflation rate. This is why I am asking kind of detailed questions about Argentina's inflation rate and how it is calculated, if anyone knows. One cannot take the reported rate at face value but must know how it is calculated in order to know if it is credible. Arial
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Roberto
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 952
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Sunday, January 21, 2007 - 7:37 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Arial, if you can read spanish you will find all you are asking for at the INDEC website, the federal agency in charge of estimating national accounts. The methodology is published at the site as well as the latest figures for cost of living. The site also provides detailed and comprehensive reports on the different sectors of the economy. Whether the figures are to be trusted is a complete different story.
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Roberto
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 996
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 4:35 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Speaking of which... and of interest to Arial possibly.

I read an article today in one of the financial newspapers (ambito financiero) about how many clouds hang over the statistical method used by the INDEC to determine inflation. In fact, -the article stated- the averages and ratios published by the official entity have become SO controversial that many of those who were participating as targets from their 'list of stores/shops/offices to be interviewed' are now refusing to collaborate. This is a big warning flag about a certain discrepancy between real inflation and the official figures.

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