Sunday, November 30, 2008

Despair in Once-Proud Argentina

Hi guys, this article is pretty old, dates back to 2002.
English not being my mother language, this is a well written piece that explains many things much better than I can.

If you believe USA is already in a depression and it could get worse, PLEASE read this article.
It will explain better to those that are unfamiliar with Argentina, why there are many parallelisms between this country and USA, and in some ways it will portrait a better picture of what I try to explain here many times.

Please do read it. A lot of water has gone under the bridge and we have an entire set of new problems, but these ones during the first months and years, may unfortunately become common in USA one day.

I took the liberty of marking in bold letters the parts that I may have talked about before, or the ones that I found particularly interesting.

Again, PLEASE notice the marked comments about the situation in rural and agricultural areas, and the explanation on what happened to the middle class.
These folks left behind their homes in the agricultural provinces and moved to pick trash for a living in the city for a reason, them being stupid not being it.


Despair in Once-Proud Argentina

After Economic Collapse, Deep Poverty Makes Dignity a Casualty
By Anthony Faiola
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, August 6, 2002; Page A01
ROSARIO, Argentina -- Word spread fast through the vast urban slums ringing Rosario. There was food on the freeway -- and it was still alive.
A cattle truck had overturned near this rusting industrial city, spilling 22 head of prime Angus beef across the wind-swept highway. Some were dead. Most were injured. A few were fine.

A mob moved out from Las Flores, a shantytown of trash heaps and metal shacks boiling over with refugees from the financial collapse of what was once Latin America's wealthiest nation. Within minutes, 600 hungry residents arrived on the scene, wielding machetes and carving knives. Suddenly, according to accounts from some of those present on that March day, a cry went up.
"Kill the cows!" someone yelled. "Take what you can!"

Cattle company workers attempting a salvage operation backed off. And the slaughter began. The scent of blood, death and fresh meat filled the highway. Cows bellowed as they were sloppily diced by groups of men, women and children. Fights broke out for pieces of flesh in bloody tugs of war.
"I looked around at people dragging off cow legs, heads and organs, and I couldn't believe my eyes," said Alberto Banrel, 43, who worked on construction jobs until last January, when the bottom fell out of the economy after Argentina suffered the world's largest debt default ever and a massive currency devaluation.
"And yet there I was, with my own bloody knife and piece of meat," Banrel said. "I felt like we had become a pack of wild animals . . . like piranhas on the Discovery Channel. Our situation has turned us into this."
The desolation of that day, neighbor vs. neighbor over hunks of meat, suggested how profoundly the collapse has altered Argentina. Traditionally proud, Argentines have begun to despair. Talk today is of vanished dignity, of a nation diminished in ways not previously imaginable.
Argentines have a legacy of chaos and division. In search of their "workers' paradise," Juan and Eva Peron declared war on the rich. During the "dirty war" of the 1970s, military rulers arrested tens of thousands of people, 15,000 of whom never resurfaced. And when then-President Carlos Menem touted New Capitalism in the 1990s, the rich got richer -- many illegally -- while the poor got poorer.
Yet some things here never really changed. Until last year, Argentines were part of the richest, best-educated and most cultured nation in Latin America. Luciano Pavarotti still performed at the Teatro Colon. Buenos Aires cafe society thrived, with intellectuals debating passages from Jorge Luis Borges over croissants and espresso. The poor here lived with more dignity than their equals anywhere else in the region. Argentina was, as the Argentines liked to say, very civilized.
Not anymore.

Beatriz Orresta, 20, holds her malnourished son, in Rio Chico. She had been feeding her children soup made with the dried bones of a dead cow her husband had found. (Silvina Frydlewsky for The Post)
Argentines have watched, horrified, as the meltdown dissolved more than their pocketbooks. Even the rich have been affected in their own way. The tragedy has struck hardest, however, among the middle class, the urban poor and the dirt farmers. Their parts of this once-proud society appear to have collapsed -- a cave-in so complete as to leave Argentines inhabiting a barely recognizable landscape.
With government statistics showing 11,200 people a day falling into poverty -- earning less than $3 daily -- Buenos Aires, a city once compared to Paris, has become the dominion of scavengers and thieves at night. Newly impoverished homeless people emerge from abandoned buildings and rail cars, rummaging through trash in declining middle- and upper-class neighborhoods. People from the disappearing middle class, such as Vicente Pitasi, 60 and jobless, have turned to pawn shops to sell their wedding rings.
"I have seen a lot happen in Argentina in my day, but I never lost hope until now," Pitasi said. "There is nothing left here, not even our pride."

Wages Fall, Prices Rise

Late last month, on the eve of the 50th anniversary of Eva Peron's death, thieves swiped the head of a new statue of her. Nothing, really, is sacred here anymore. Ads by concerned citizens appear on television, asking Argentines to look inward at a culture of tax evasion, incivility and corruption. But nobody seems to be listening.
Food manufacturers and grocery stores are raising prices even as earning power has taken a historic tumble. A large factor in both the price rises and the slump in real wages is a 70 percent devaluation of the peso over the last six months. But the price of flour has soared 166 percent, canned tomatoes 118 percent -- even though both are local products that have had little real increases in production costs.
Severe hunger and malnutrition have emerged in the rural interior -- something almost never seen in a country famous for great slabs of beef and undulating fields of wheat. In search of someone to blame, Argentines have attacked the homes of local politicians and foreign banks. Many of the banks have installed steel walls and armed guards around branch offices, and replaced glass windows decorated with ads portraying happy clients from another era.
Economists and politicians differ on the causes of the brutal crisis. Some experts blame globalization and faulty policies imposed by the International Monetary Fund. But just as many blame the Argentine government for runaway spending and systematic corruption. The one thing everyone agrees on, however, is that there is no easy fix.
Statistically, it is easy to see why. Before 1999, when this country of 36 million inhabitants slipped into recession, Argentina's per capita income was $8,909 -- double Mexico's and three times that of Poland. Today, per capita income has sunk to $2,500, roughly on a par with Jamaica and Belarus.
The economy is projected to shrink by 15 percent this year, putting the decline at 21 percent since 1999. In the Great Depression years of 1930-33, the Argentine economy shrank by 14 percent.
What had been a snowball of poverty and unemployment has turned into an avalanche since January's default and devaluation. A record number of Argentines, more than half, live below the official poverty line. More than one in five no longer have jobs.
"We've had our highs and lows, but in statistical and human terms, this nation has never faced anything like this," said Artemio Lopez, an economist with Equis Research. "Our economic problems of the past pale to what we're going through now. It's like the nation is dissolving."

The Suffering Middle Class

Every Argentine, no matter the social class, has a crisis story. Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat, 80, one of the country's richest women, was forced to offer up paintings by Gauguin, Degas, Miro and Matisse at a Sotheby's auction in May. For many of Argentina's well-to-do, the sale was the ultimate humbler, a symbol of decline in international stature.
Those suffering most, however, are the ones who had less to begin with.
On the morning of her 59th birthday, Norma Gonzalez woke up in her middle-class Buenos Aires home, kissed her husband on the cheek and caught a bus to the bank. There, before a stunned teller, the portly redhead, known by her family and friends mostly for her fiery temper and homemade meat pies, doused herself with rubbing alcohol, lit a match and set herself ablaze.
That was in April. Today, Rodolfo Gonzalez, 61, her husband, keeps a daily vigil at the burn center where his wife is still receiving skin grafts on the 40 percent of her body that sustained third-degree burns. She had no previous record of mental illness, according to her family and doctors, and has spoken only once about that morning.
"She just looked up at me from her hospital bed and said, 'I felt so helpless, I just couldn't take it anymore,' " Gonzalez said. "I can't understand what she did. It just wasn't Norma. But I suppose I can understand what drove her to it. It's this country. We're all going crazy."
Argentina long had the largest middle class, proportionally, in Latin America, and one of the continent's most equitable distributions of wealth. Much of that changed over the last decade as millions of middle managers, salaried factory workers and state employees lost their jobs during the sell-off of state-run industries and the collapse of local companies flooded by cheap imports.
Initially, Rodolfo Gonzalez was one of the lucky ones. An engineer for the state power company, he survived the early rounds of layoffs in the early 1990s when the company was sold to a Spanish utility giant. His luck changed when the company forced him out in a round of early retirements in 2000.
He was 59 and had worked for the same company for 38 years. Yet he landed a part-time job, and with his severance pay safely in the bank, he and his wife thought they could bridge the gap until Gonzalez became eligible for social security in 2004.
Then came "El Corralito."
Literally translated, that means "the little corral." But there is nothing little about it. On Dec. 1, Domingo Cavallo, then the economy minister, froze bank accounts in an attempt to stem a flood of panicked depositors pulling out cash.
Most banks here are subsidiaries of major U.S. and European financial giants that arrived with promises of providing stability and safety to the local banking system. But many Argentines who did not get their money out in time -- more than 7 million, mostly middle-class depositors, did not -- faced a bitter reality: Their life savings in those institutions, despite names such as Citibank and BankBoston, were practically wiped out.
Virtually all had kept their savings in U.S. dollar-denominated accounts. But when the government devalued the peso, it gave troubled banks the right to convert those dollar deposits into pesos. So the Gonzalez family's $42,000 nest egg, now converted into pesos, is worth less than $11,600.
As the family had trouble covering basic costs, Norma Gonzalez would go to the bank almost every week to argue with tellers and demand to see a manager, who would never appear. As prices rose and the couple could not draw on their savings, their lifestyle suffered. First went shows in the Buenos Aires theater district and dinners on Saturday night with friends. Then, in March, they cut cable TV.
Around the same time, the Gonzalezes' daughter, Paula, 30, lost her convenience store. Separated and with two children, she turned to her parents for support.
The Gonzalezes had been planning for 18 months to take Norma's dream vacation, to Chicago to visit a childhood friend. After the trip was shelved as too expensive, she seemed to break.
"I can't explain it, and maybe I never will be able to," Rodolfo Gonzalez said. He added: "But maybe you can start to figure out why. You have to wonder: Is all this really happening? Are our politicians so corrupt? Are we now really so poor? Have the banks really stolen our money? And the answers are yes, yes, yes and yes."

Scavenging Urban Trash

"There is not enough trash to go around for everyone," said Banrel, one of the participants in the cattle massacre. Rail-thin, he normally passes his days combing the garbage-strewn roads around the Las Flores slums in Rosario, a city of 1.3 million residents 200 miles northwest of Buenos Aires and long known as "the Chicago of Argentina."
If Banrel finds enough discarded plastic bottles and aluminum cans -- about 300 -- he can make about $3 a day. But the pickings are slim because competition is fierce. The misery villages, as shantytowns such as Las Flores are called, are becoming overcrowded with the arrival of people fleeing desperate rural areas where starvation has set in. About 150 new families arrive each month, according to Roman Catholic Church authorities.
With more people in the slums, there are fewer plastic bottles to go around. Banrel said he was getting desperate that day when he joined the mob on the highway.
His family of three -- his wife is pregnant with their second child -- had been surviving on a bowl of watery soup and a piece of bread each day. He earned at least $40 to $60 a week last year working construction. With that gone, and with food getting more expensive, he said, "You can't miss an opportunity, not around here."
"Am I proud of what we did?" he added. "No, of course not. Would I do it again? Yes, of course. You start to live by different rules."

Reality of Rural Hunger

For some rural families, the crisis has gone further. It has generated something rarely seen in Argentina: hunger. In the province of Tucuman, an agricultural zone of 1.3 million people, health workers say cases of malnutrition have risen 20 percent to 30 percent over the previous year.
"I wish they would cry," whispered Beatriz Orresta, 20, looking at her two young sons in a depressed Tucuman sugar cane town in the shadow of the Andes. "I would feel much better if they cried."
Jonatan, 2, resting on the dirt floor behind the family's wooden shack, and Santiago, the 7-month-old she cradled in her arms, lay listlessly.
"They don't act it, but they're hungry. I know they are," she said.
Orresta can tell. Jonatan is lethargic. His lustrous brown hair has turned a sickly carrot color. Clumps of it sometimes fall out at night as Orresta strokes him to sleep. Santiago hardly seems to mind that Orresta, weak and malnourished herself, stopped lactating months ago. The infant, sucking on a bottle of boiled herbal tea, stares blankly with sunken eyes.
Six months ago, the boys were the loudest complainers when their regular meals stopped. Orresta's husband, Hector Ariel, 21, had his $100 monthly salary as a sugar cane cutter slashed almost in half when candy companies and other sugar manufacturers in the rural enclave of Rio Chico, 700 miles northwest of Buenos Aires, were stung by dried-up credit and a massive drop in national consumption.
Ariel now earns just over $1.50 a day, not enough for the family to survive. The peso's plunge has generated inflation of more than 33 percent during the first seven months of the year, more than double the government's projection for the entire year.
Goods not in high demand, such as new clothing, have not gone up significantly in price, but staples that families need for daily subsistence have doubled or tripled. The last time inflation hit Argentina -- in the late 1980s, when it rose to a high of 5,000 percent -- the unemployment rate was half the current 21.5 percent and most salaries were indexed to inflation. Today, there are no such safety nets.
"I could buy rice for 30 cents a kilo last year," Orresta said. "It's more than one peso 50 now."
"At least we will eat tonight, that's the important thing," she said, stirring an improvised soup.
The concoction, water mixed with the dried bones of a long-dead cow her husband found in an abandoned field, had been simmering for two days. The couple had not eaten in that time. It had been 24 hours since the children ate.
Orresta, like most mothers in her village, started trimming costs by returning to cloth diapers for her two young boys when the price of disposable ones doubled with inflation. But then she could no longer afford the soap to wash them, and resorted to reusing the same detergent four or five times. The children began to get leg rashes.
By late January, the family could no longer afford daily meals. A month later, Jonatan's hair began turning reddish and, later, falling out. Although he has just turned 2, Jonatan still cannot walk and has trouble focusing his eyes.
Orresta stopped lactating in April. But the price of powdered milk had almost tripled by then, from three pesos for an 800-gram box to more than eight pesos. At those prices, the family can afford 11 days of milk a month. The rest of the time, Santiago drinks boiled maté, a tea that also serves as an appetite suppressant.
"You know, we're not used to this, not having enough food," said Orresta, with a hint of embarrassment in her voice.
She paused, and began to weep.
"You can't know what it's like to see your children hungry and feel helpless to stop it," she said. "The food is there, in the grocery store, but you just can't afford to buy it anymore. My husband keeps working, but he keeps bringing home less and less. We never had much, but we always had food, no matter how bad things got. But these are not normal times."


Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this. I have been reading your blog and many of your posts from other related forums. You are doing so very much for the world by relating your experiences. I can only hope others that read your writings will learn from them. I know I have. My prayers are with your and your loved ones and the rest of the world.

Anonymous said...

What I don't understand about Argentina is that when this happened, it seemed as if they almost had a revolution. What happened, why didn't they complete it and get all those corrupt elites out of there? It seems like somewhere along the line the ball got dropped. A very good read though, frightening to read the implications of something similar happening in the US. US has 150 million people who are gun owners, so the outcome here will probably be extremely violent.

FerFAL said...

Our motto was "Que se vayan todos"
Something that transaltes into "we want all of them gone" ( talking about politicians)

We made the president resign, had 5 different presidents in one week.
But seems al politicians here are the same.

I dont know what happened. Maybe a more violent revolution is necesary for real cahnge, unfortunately.


Anonymous said...

It strikes me that the people in rural areas cited int he article who went hungry were village people who worked salaried labor for larger agricultural concerns, not small farmers.

Any additional insight into that?


Anonymous said...

"God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ... And what country can preserve its liberties, if it's rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure." - Thomas Jefferson

Anonymous said...

Dear FerFAL!This is Dmitry from Odessa,Ukraine. Thanks for this article!
I have a question.
What was going on in 2001 and what IS going on NOW with import in Argentina?? I mean - import in sea containers from China,Vietnam, Korea, India etc.? All products I mean - household itmes, tools, clothes,toys,everything, all commodity groups of products that are usually were imported from those countries??
I am VERY intresting in that, because I work in a freight-forwarding/сustoms brokerage company. Odessa - is the main port of Ukraine. And now containers stand in terminals, consignees do not know what to do...... Our work stuck...we had about 100 containers to work per month till october, and now we have TEN in november...Our sales-managers' phones are RED and HOT but they can't find ANY clients that DO import any kinds of products!...
What will be in A future?..

What is YOUR Country experience,dear FerFal??
Thanks in advance for Your reply!

Best Regards.

Anonymous said...

Ferfal, is it immoral to buy argentinian stocks as a foreigner and receive the dividend?

The dividend would be received by the argentinians if they had the money to buy the stocks.

Could you tell us a bit, how much bribes people have to pay?

FerFAL said...

I wouldn’t buy Argentine stocks because I know very well what to expect from Argentina in general. Immoral? That’s a bit personal. Depends on what’s moral or not for you.
On bribes, it depends. Getting stopped by the cops will cost you anywhere from 10 to 50 pesos ( 3 pesos = 1 USD). Maybe in some of the fancier districts, the Federal police lets you go is everything is in order, ( maybe, nothing guarantees anything here) but in the “Conurbano Bonarese”, I never found a cop that stopped you and let you got without at least a small “tip”.

Municipal inspectors and such, cops offering extra security ( you can say no, but it’s not a smart idea), it depends. Cant’ say a given number.
Most time you can talk it out, and depending on what you can realistically afford, you reach an agreement.

What I can tell you is this: If one of these guys suggests a “tip”.. you better agree to it, and spare yourself a lot of headaches.


Anonymous said...

FerFal, did you get my questions about imported products?
Dmitry, Odessa, Ukraine.

FerFAL said...

Hi Dmitry!

Same happened here. Activity pretty much stopped for a few months . No one sold, bought, moved or imported a single button, if you know what I mean.

People want to wait to see what happens before doing anything, because it’s risky to do business without knowing what the rules will be like the following day, so people prefer to wait.

After things settle a bit and you get a better picture of the new rules and prices, there’s more activity. But if the currency devaluated a lot, don’t expert much importation to happen.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for all your informative posts. I live in the US and at this point, I am preparing for the worst. I see all the parallels you try to convey between your country and ours, and I don't doubt it will eventually happen here. And no one seems prepared. Thank you for getting the info out there! I bought a 9mm Glock a few days ago as well as a tactical shotgun. The idea came from suggestions you made in previous posts and I'm very satisfied with my purchases. Now all I need is to work on stockpiling food. God bless you and your family for surviving through these hard times and sharing it with others.

Weaseldog said...

Dmitri, it seems that is happening worldwide. Just look up articles on the Baltic Dry Index.

What is happening here in the USA is almost exactly like the situation in Argentina.

The only point of difference I can see is that in the USA the banks aren't hiding behind the IMF. But it's the same banks and the same bankers.

They did it Africa, moved to South America, and now to North America and Europe.

There are still large parts of the USA that seems unaffected by this financial rape. I suspect that the big changes will start hitting us after Christmas.

And the US has a history of starting new wars at Christmas.

It's difficult to see these actions as a global plan. It can as easily be explained by greed and short sightedness.

Almost every time the IMF took a nation down, it was after it's oil or other resources peaked and went into decline. This triggered a recession and the banks swooped down like vultures.

Now we are post peak for world oil. The banks are too big for the planet. Yet they must grow.

Once they've destroyed all the nations, what will become of them?

FerFAL said...

Hi Dmitry, yes, I answered it in comment number 10 (top to bottom)

Again, activity stopped for some teim, and afterwrds imports in general were reduced a lot.


Stuki said...

Hi, FerFAL

That was a really sad read. Has things improved at all since then, are they the same, or even worse?

The starvation part is truly unsettling. For as far back as I can remember, Argentina had a reputation for being the largest per capita beef consumer in the world.

As any eco-vegetarian will tell you, this is clear evidence of an agriculture with massive spare capacity, as it takes much more agricultural input to produce one calorie of beef than one calorie of pretty much anything else.

That even adjustment in the direction of a more plant based diet, would not be enough to keep people from starving in a country like that, is both surprising and frightening.

Do you know why food access has collapsed so bad? Is it because fuel and equipment has gotten too expensive to maintain farm output, so that actual production has collapsed?

Or has the devalued currency made it more lucrative to mass export food, so that production is still strong; it's just being shipped abroad? Or has poor upkeep and security problems negatively affected distribution, so that food is grown, it just never reaches the hungry?

If it's predominantly an issue of food being exported to wealthier places, the coming worldwide recession may actually bring some relief to Argentina, as the rest of us catch up with you on the downward slide.

If it's due to any of the other two, I would guess recession elsewhere will mean even more pain for Argentina.

Anonymous said...

Yes-yes,FerFal, I saw your reply.) I just thought that my Opera browser got some bugs and my comment with the question didn't reach You...))

Well, me and my friends used to say:"When the IMF comes to a country - the country goes to abyss..." (It sounds very sarcastic in Russian, but I can't translate this expression into English).

Staying Alive said...

The farmers are starving. But the really aren't farmers, they are workers in a commodity area. They have no land and they have no garden and they have no crops. Their labor is for investors from wherever in the global ecconmy they happen to live. And the global economy is what is the problem, or at least part of the problem.

The answer would seem to lie in the area of farm coops growing food for themselves and for the market. If the tax man wants too much he will have to be gotten rid of. It's a hard world. But the people must eat.

What most don't think of is the fact that the bankers and the leading politicians and the investment people are not experiencing this misery. They are the tick on the dog's back. You just have to stop paying them. And if you are growing your own food then they can't hurt you nearly as much. A minimal standard of living with plenty of food is where to start.

This kind of thing is going on all over the world. To some degree or another the elite are attempting to totally control us. They must be denied this control.

Do your best.


FerFAL said...

Guys, some of you asked a few questions I rejected. I’m sorry for that.

Nothing wrong with the questions, it’s just that they are a bit more personal and, given the number of people that visit this blog, I didn’t realize until now that I might be saying too much.
I’ll keep posting just like I used to, but I’ll limit it a bit regarding personal information I think could be used against me if local bad guys ( including ones hat may have a badge) happen to come by this blog.


Anonymous said...

may be you will reject this question, too: is there anyone in argentina who is speaking out against corruption?!?

The media for example?

FerFAL said...

To some degree, corruption and censorship get talked about on TV.
Always not getting to troublesome and taking care who you mention.

It’s common knowledge that many reporters get mails and messages “advising” them to talk about something else if they get too fixed on the issue. Sometimes it comes from the diretor of the magazine or channel, sometimes they get more sloppy and if comes directly from a high ranking gov. official.
Jorge Lanata is one of the reporters I consider unbiased. Probably that’s the reason why he doesn’t have a TV show any more. But he’s still out there and doing what he does best.
I’m sure the name means nothing to most of you, but he’s indeed a respected journalist here.

There’s been rumors about the death of journalist Juan Castro.
Some said he found out about an affair Ms. Kirchner(current president, first lady then) had with someone in the senate.


Anonymous said...

Is prostitution rampant in Argentina or is it rather not due to a lack of customers who can afford it?

Anonymous said...

Are there groups in Argentina who are highly religious - more religious than the usual religious people?

I mean religious in the sense that virginity till marrriage is still valued.

FerFAL said...

Among the more conservative Roman Catholics, sure.
The average folk arent that much into it though.

Dont come here expecting a small amish town, it's South America and people in general are rhater promiscuous compared to other places.


FerFAL said...

Historically prostitution goes up when there’s economic troubles.
It happened here and it’s pretty obvious.

What’s even worse, we now have an important “white slave” network across the country.
Kidnapping good looking girls and forcing them into slave prostitution.
The Marita Veron case

Stuki said...

Sorry for repeating myself, but do you know whether the lack of food is due primarily to declining food production, to the food being exported to wealthier markets, or simply due to a collapsed distribution infrastructure?

Argentina simply should not be a country where actual starvation is a problem.

Anonymous said...

Love your site, have been reading it for a while. As a long-time preparedness person, I don't understand why the rich Argentines didn't just move away (at least until conditions improved). They certainly have the resources. Why would anyone sell a Matisse, instead of just relocating-it's not that hard to get dual citizenship in another country.

Anonymous said...

Hello. I'm sure I'm not the first one with comment from Ukraine. Guess this resourse will become (if not yet became) extremely popular with the people who uses internet and know English. Those who don't read it in translation.
Internet articles gives links to it.
Cause looks like we are going the same way... and that's desperating a lot. Some tips look a bit "too much" now, but who knows, probably there will be lot of thanks for the good advices... when all this will come to its end...
unfortunatelly to be continued ...

Weaseldog said...

Stuki, I can't answer definitively for Argentina...

But the standard model for modern farms may apply.

Farms borrow seasonally to buy seed, replace tools, do equipment repairs and the such.

If they can't get loans, or if the loans are too expensive. They go bankrupt and lose their farms.

In Argentina, small farmers were raped with 40%-50% interest rates. I'll take a guess and assume many went out of business, to be replaced by large factory farms.

In the USA, loans are getting harder for farmers to get now. Soon I expect we'll hear that they are getting raped on interest rates. We're soon to see a huge string of farm foreclosures.

Food is going to go up dramatically in price in the USA. Start your victory garden now. You can get the ground broken and weeds pulled if you don't have a garden and your soil isn't frozen.

If you have hard clay soil like I do, collect leaves and till them into the ground now, so the Earth will have recovered some by spring. I piled leaves knee high and tilled them in deep to get my garden started. I had clay that I could barely sink a shovel in. Now I can work it with a hand trowel.

Anonymous said...

Never forget: in the middle of the greatest crisis, stocks are cheap.

Argentinian stocks went up 1000% (one thousand percent) after hitting bottom in 2002.

Anonymous said...

Hello and may I say that I appreciate your updating this blog.

I wonder if you could find a way to update us as to the Beatriz Orresta family is doing? Hoepfully something has improved for them. Could you possibly let us know?

Thank you and take care.

FerFAL said...

"Hello and may I say that I appreciate your updating this blog.

I wonder if you could find a way to update us as to the Beatriz Orresta family is doing? Hoepfully something has improved for them. Could you possibly let us know?

Thank you and take care."

I did a bit of research.


Seems the boy, Santiago Orresta, died in 18/11/2002 after only drinking mate ( kind of tea) for a month he starved to death.

According to the link, Beatriz, the mother, said:2When a mother burries a son that starved, it'd the worst kind of pain".


Anonymous said...

to americans....

this is coming. Currency devaluation, massive debt, rise in prices, intense unemployment.

Just remember it was engineered and created by the top. The federal reserve is the most evil entity in this country, even more so than their puppet presidents like GWB.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for updating us on the Orresta family. You put a single face front and center and then tell their story and it brings it home somehow to the rest of us.

I can't help a whole country but is there a local charity there that one could connect with that will see that the poorer folks could at least receive the basic and most bare of essentials?

Christopher Newgent said...

Ferfal, I love your blog. Recently you had said that America was no where near as corrupt as Argentina. I was flattered by the compliment and was wondering if you would like to fill the President Elects vacant Senate Seat. I know a guy that could hook you up for a few pesos.

Mind Candy

The last cause said...

FerFal, I lost the link to your blog and just rediscovered it.

What struck me about the reprinted article, besides the terrible suffering, is the comment

"Last year, a bag of rice was 30 pesos, this year, it is 1.50"

Over time, has that caused the Average Argeninian to stockpile staples such as Rice and Flour and cooking oil more now?

And the way the Banks hosed the depositors, I truly hope people take a lesson from that happening, and dare not say "it can't happen here (in the US)".

It already happened in 1933 in the US, it can happen again.

Anonymous said...

may you be blessed for your voice...

Anonymous said...

I would also appreciate your views on the problems with food in Argentina and whether you think they may be due to farmers aiming to export as much as possible. If so, do you think the Argentine government should be taking steps to ensure a sufficient amount stays in the local markets at reasonable prices? How could they achieve this? I imagine most people there cannot afford first world prices food on the low wages they earn.

Anonymous said...

I'm new to your blog, but I wanted to say thank you so much for this article. My family has been preparing for our upcoming financial crisis for some time. We stockpile food, ammunition, and many other items. We talk about protecting our stockpile, and how we can keep our family and food safe when/if something more drastic happens in the U.S.

It has been sad to see so much of the rest of our country obsessed with commercialism and buying for the holiday season...ignoring all the warnings and not preparing. Many families never learn, even when they get caught at home for a week or more without power or food from a snow storm. If you stockpile for emergencies you are look at as a "survivalist" and possibly insane. It's very sad.

I'm not nearly as prepared as I would like to be, but I can feed my family SOMETHING at least, for a while. Food in great quantities for stockpiling is expensive, and it gets more costly every year. Thankfully, I live in the country and have my own meat (goats & chickens) but I feed 8 people every night in my very large family!

It really shocked me to read about that family, to hear about the mother watching her children starve. I have four children myself, including two very young ones...If there is any way that we can help (and know that our money is going to the right people, as the previous commenter said) we would do what we can.

Car Accident Solicitor said...

Oh what a horrible situation. I had never thought that this would happened to Argentina. How sad sad to know about this. I just wish Argentinians survival and surpass this tragic happening.

Eid card messages said...

I can only hope others that read your writings will learn from them. I know I have. My prayers are with your and your loved ones and the rest of the world.