Friday, January 31, 2014

Argentines falling back on tried and true Survival Skills

 "2 units of sugar maximum per purchase"

Thought you might be interested in the following from New York City's FOX TV station yesterday if you didn't see it already:

"...Argentines are falling back on tried and true survival skills to cope with the turmoil."

"Argentines jockey to cope with economic turmoil"

Sorry to hear about what's going on back in Argentina these days. 

Have a nice weekend,


Argentines jockey to cope with economic turmoil

Posted: Jan 30, 2014 1:42 PM Updated: Jan 30, 2014 1:42 PM

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Consumer prices are soaring, the treasury is running low on foreign currency and the peso has had its sharpest slide in 12 years. Instead of rioting, though, Argentines are falling back on tried and true survival skills to cope with the turmoil.
Inflation is at about 30 percent and there's been a 15 percent drop in the peso's value against the U.S. dollar over a few days. But Argentina has gone through five much more dire economic times since the 1930s.

So some Argentines are hoarding dollars, while others stockpile goods or plow their savings into real estate.
More people ride bikes now following recent increases in public transportation fares. They eat less at restaurants and cook at home. They buy cheap, pirated DVD copies of the latest films rather than go to the cinema.
Sofia Basualdo, a 43-year-old geography teacher, responded to growing inflation with a shopping spree to beat further price rises.

"I might pay one peso for a product today, but next week I'll likely have to pay two pesos," Basualdo said as she left a Buenos Aires supermarket pushing a shopping cart filled to the brim. "In this country, when you start smelling inflation it's best to buy and save."
Many Argentines note that the current economic woes are not as bad as Argentina's financial collapse in 2001-2002. Unemployment remains relatively low, and many people benefit from government handouts. Yet they worry the country may be at a tipping point.

"People are adopting defensive measures to survive," said Jorge Raventos, a political analyst and former spokesman for Argentina's foreign relations ministry. "People endure this by zig-zagging along, but it's hard to know how much they can take before they explode."
Although it is exceedingly difficult because of strict regulations, some people and businesses have succeeded in past years in sending their dollars out of Argentina as a hedge against inflation. Then Deputy Economy Minister Axel Kiciloff last year estimated Argentine individuals and companies had socked away up to $200 billion in undeclared currency outside the country.
But like most people, Carlos Partcha, an 80-year-old retired journalist, has taken the simpler measure of buying U.S. dollars and stashing them under his mattress — as he has done for more than a decade.

"We don't trust anything anymore. Not even the banking institutions," Partcha said. "I had saved in dollars, and when the banks froze deposits in 2001, I got pesos back and lost my money."

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C# said...

Troubling to me is how "many people are benefiting from government handouts". That is a strong indication that things are about to get worse.

Don Williams said...

1) Argentina is an interesting case study --no offense or indifference toward the suffering of its citizens intended, Fernando.

2) If you look at WHEN its debt was incurred , it seems to have been in two stages:

a) During the reign of military junta--soared from only $6 billion to over $45 billion in just a few years

b) Stage 2 was during the reign of Carlos Menem. Menem pardoned the generals of the junta who had exterminated an estimated 30,000 of Argentina's citizens. Menem also let Argentina's billionaires grab Argentina's treasures via his "privatization" -- which seems to me to resemble the massive thefts that occurred in Russia during the reign of Yeltsin and the oligarchs.

When the 2001 crisis hit, Argentina's moved their loot out of the country by selling those state enterprises to foreigners in Brazil and other countries.

3) I also wonder if Argentina was plunged into debt slavery by US banks as part of US President Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger's war on communism -- Operation Condor:

4)A number of people have argued that the massive debt contracted by the junta was "odious debt" and should be held illegitimate.

That vulture funds like Elliot Management should be told to collect the debt from the junta generals, not from the People and Government of Argentina.

After all, US Republican leaders have argued that the oil deposits of Iraq should not be surety for the loans Saddam Hussein borrowed from the French and Russians.

5) I am not a bleeding heart liberal -- my interest is that with US federal debt at $17 TRILLION the American People are being screwed in the same manner as Argentina.

KeithC said...

Man, I fear Carlos Partcha is about to have some unwelcome visitors. If you're going to hoard something "under your mattress" that is 1. desired by criminals and 2. restricted/banned by your government, don't go telling reporters about it!

Anonymous said...


What is the importance of knowing which direction the sewers are going?

Steve said...

different day same story