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NY Times: the influential Minister behind Argentina’s economic shift

Tuesday, January 28th 2014 - 05:34 UTC
Full article 62 comments

The following piece from The New York Times, written by Simon Romero and Jonathan Gilbertjan gives an insight into the life and thinking of the most powerful Economics minister Argentina has had in a decade: Axel Kicillof and the brains behind the current rather eclectic policies. Read full article


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  • Bongo

    There are brains behind the current policies?

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 09:05 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • golfcronie

    Is everyone a professor in Argentina, obviously a very clever bunch or they give titles like confetti. I have heard that they have a title “ professor of English ” how does that work?

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 09:11 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Boovis

    Maybe an Argie can explain, the wikipedia article on Education in Argentina states “Since its foundation, it was focused on the teaching of Professions offering Professional degrees.
    It is divided in three levels .
    Tertiary Education level: 1- to 3-years degrees related to education or technical professions like Teachers, Professorship, Technicians.
    University level: 4- to 6-years Professional education taught at Universities offering many different degrees Licentiate, Engineering degree, Medic Title, Attorney Title, Professorships, Translation degrees, etc.
    Post-graduate level: This is a specialized and research-oriented education level. It is roughly divided in a first sub-level where a Specialist degree can be obtained in a 12–18 months period or Master degree, requiring 24–30 months and an original research work and a higher sub-level where a Doctorate degree could be achieved.”

    So, what, just having a basic degree makes you a professor? I know wikipedia is a dubious source, I'd just like some clarification.

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 09:23 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Idlehands

    Why use Marxist concepts to interpret Keynes? Why not just read and understand Keynes in itself - along with Friedman. Marxism is more politics than sensible economics

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 09:52 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • CaptainSilver

    Professors? Perhaps they follow the US model where what we call in the UK University Lecturers, the yanks call Professors. Whereas a UK Professor is the head of a University Department. Big difference. And, if the trolls on this site are anything to go by, the RG level of competence in practically anything other than the Tango or corned beef is way below ours.

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 11:58 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Be serious

    “He’s the strongest economy minister Argentina has had in a decade,”

    Says it all really.

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 12:07 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    My friends in Buenos Aires refer to all teachers as professors, even when they just did a one year teaching course.

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 12:28 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • yankeeboy

    This Rockabilly superstar is clearly out of this depth but at least the rioting citizens know where he lives.

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 12:32 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • golfcronie

    @7 Just about sums it up pretty well. Thats what I heard when I lived there.

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 01:32 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • MagnusMaster

    In Argentina a ¨profesor¨ is a high school or university level teacher. Elementary school teachers are called ¨maestros¨. It´s one of the lowest titles you can get, even easier than psychology or law or fashion design which are full of dumb lazy girls.

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 01:56 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Narine T. Nüster

    The question I have been ruminating in my time here is, what do the first ten posters really want out of Argentina.

    All I have ever read is all criticism, all cynicism, all spiteism, all Schadenfreudeism... but never really an underlying, fundamental, tangible, purpose for their posts.

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 04:10 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • wesley mouch

    Most people would say that they want a free society with free markets and private property rights for Argentina. Its clear that the current and many past Peronists have been the opposite. If those measures are instituted then prosperity will return.

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 05:01 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • yankeeboy

    11. I've given many warnings and much advice thru the years. You should know this better than most.
    I told you to buy sugar and laundry detergent long ago.
    If you did you'd be at least 2x as rich.
    There is still time but not much
    buy as much as you can.

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 05:37 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Think

    To the Monolingual Turnips at (2) & (3)

    You seem to have difficulties comprehending the meaning of the Latin loanword “Professor”,
    I suggest you three courses of action...:

    1) Educate yourself about the real meaning and use of the word “PROFESSOR” in its donor language; Latin.

    2) Try to use an equivalent word in your recipient language; English....
    What was the English word for “PROSESSOR”???
    Oooops ... You Anglos don't seem to have any...

    3) Stop using loanwords altogether.

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 06:12 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ron_57

    “scholar with rockabilly-style sideburns”
    “as to examine the psychology of Mr.Kicillof's sideburns”...

    what that has to do with his job performance?...

    Jose De San Martin wore sideburns ...

    George Washington wore sideburns....

    What Simon Moreno is trying to accomplish mentioning such insignificant observation?

    Is he in competition with Planet Hillary NYT 1/24/2014?

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 06:20 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • yankeeboy

    I have to weigh in here, I don't know if its a Spanish language thing or just an Rg thing but they call lawyers doctors and Engineer is a title?
    Very odd

    15. They are making fun of him because as a high level minister his dress and appearance is important if he wants civilized countries to take him seriously.
    Rgs have a hard time with that, on CFK's first visit to the USA they told her to take off a couple scoopfuls of make-up and dress more conservatively so she didn't look like a hooker.
    Then you have that greasy mullet headed Finance Minister that is just plain gross, and Timmerman who needs a suit that fits and new shoes.
    It is very easy for Americans to pick out people from SA, they always have ill fitting, out of date suits, weird combo shirt/tie/suit and bad...really bad cheap shoes plus the men's hair is a little too long for the USA.

    So we make fun of them. At least it is in print and not behind their backs, well it's behind their backs too.

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 06:41 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Tim

    7 ElaineB (#) You hit the nail on the head. If I decide to start teaching English I become a “Profesor de Inglés” without any degree. A ghastly profession if ever there was one.

    Elaine, I would love to meet you when you come out and no doubt we have friends in common.

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 06:46 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Think

    To the Monolingual Turnip at (16)

    You seem to have difficulties comprehending the meaning of the Latin loanword “DOCTOR”
    I suggest you two courses of action...:

    1) Educate yourself about the real meaning and use of the word “DOCTOR” in its donor language; Latin.

    2) Stop using loanwords altogether.

    Dear Mr. Tim Lough.....
    It is NOT the Latin based languages fault that you Angloschoose to use Latin loanwords in such a limited & narrow-minded way....

    Cualquier buen profesor de Inglés debería saberlo....
    Saludos Cordiales
    El Think.

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 06:58 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    @18 Thanks, Tim. I hadn't planned on 'coming out'. Just a joke.

    I am not sure where you are but most of my schedule seems to be in Chile again. I really want an assignment in Argentina but no one thinks it is going to be safe by the time I get there. Surely it is even more reason to be there; turbulent times are always interesting. *shrugs*

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 07:00 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Anglotino

    I had to laugh!

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 07:04 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    Gosh, my comment @19 was for Tim @17.

    Mr. grumpy pants @ 18. Stop trying to stir shit. Bad translations often lead to misunderstandings. It is important to know that 'professor' in Argentina carries little importance but is well- earned in the USA and most other places.

    I have had a few other misunderstandings. I didn't realise that when someone was describing a place as 'popular' that it was not positive but derogatory, as in 'Benidorm is popular'. I was also confused about constant references to people having 'bad education' - poor them, I thought, they can't help it - when it means 'ill-mannered'. And the constantly translated 'demanded' should really come out as 'requested'.

    It is right to discuss the differences here as it puts things into a better perspective.

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 07:19 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • yankeeboy

    I don't think it has anything to do with “loanword” as you'd like to call it but maybe you mean root word?
    Who exactly did we borrow it from the dead language of Latin?
    Yeah you must mean root.

    Anyhoo that doesn't really explain giving the air of title to an Engineer now does it?

    Anyone want to guess how much U$ BCRA is going to waste today?
    I say pushing 200MM. anyone else?

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 07:22 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Think

    ( 21) ElaineB
    You say...:
    “Mr. grumpy pants @ 18. Stop trying to stir shit. Bad translations often lead to misunderstandings. It is important to know that 'professor' in Argentina carries little importance”

    I say...:
    If you know that 'Professor' in Argentina (and in all other Spanish, Portuguese, French and Italian Countries in the World) CAN carry little importance.... Why do you try to stir shit with your Turnipy comment at (7), Ms. frustrated “All my many Friends luuv me sooo much” Woman ?

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 07:33 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ron_57

    Comment removed by the editor.

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 07:57 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Vulcanbomber

    without changing the subject and without being childish, did anyone else spot the name in the story that deserves a salute

    The former president of the central bank, Alfonso Prat-Gay

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 07:59 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Britworker

    What a juvenile post, grow up you fool.

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 08:12 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ron_57

    briton aka britworker aka britboy
    Bloody rubbish britons=known worldwide!

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 08:22 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Britworker

    I have absolutely nothing to hide, I have and have akways had just the one profile, you on the other hand are yet another reincarnated Argentine nuisance.

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 08:27 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ron_57

    “reincarnated Argentine nuisance”
    i am not an argentine citizen!

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 08:51 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • yankeeboy

    Oh I was way off! BCRA only spent U$60MM today! No wonder the Blue went up so much.
    13 here we come again
    Any bets on what it will be in June?

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 09:06 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Anglotino

    Who said Argentine citizen?

    Just an Argentine nuisance.

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 09:06 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    @23 I was explaining it to people that didn't know. Try reading it again without being precious.

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 09:10 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ChrisR

    @ 22 yankeeboy
    “Anyho(w) that doesn't really explain giving the air of title to an Engineer now does it?”

    Yankeeboy, you are showing a singular lack of knowledge here, akin to that of Captain Poppy.

    Professional Engineers in most countries such as the UK and most of Europe require at least a Masters in Engineering of whatever designation they want to start off with (mechanical / electronic / aeronautics / marine, etc). In the UK we professional engineers carry the title Chartered Engineer in addition to our Institute designation: mine is “Fellow”. This denotes the institute itself was awarded a Royal Charter for excellence. We are also scientists of course despite what Poppy thinks, a person who as an army Captain does not, by his own admission, understand exterior ballistics one of the basics for a combat soldier.

    Perhaps you are thinking of the “engineer” in charge of a locomotive, a title popular in America but nowhere else as far as I know and the reason is simple, he knows as much as about engineering as TMBOA knows about running Argentina. When I first qualified I worked in a stress design office for structures, many of which if the failed may well have resulted in the deaths of humans. Of course my work was checked but no fault was ever found other than the Chief Designer asked my once why a particular element was over specced. I explained the smaller section was only just capable of taking the load and I asked how many people would die with that little bit extra safety factor. He never asked that question again.

    Or do you think American lawyers are superior to professional engineers which the individual States of America ALL require to pass similar exams to the UK and be State Registered with their name put on the public role as mine is with the UK government (as well as in Europe via my Institute)?

    Whether Argentinian “engineers” are in fact qualified as I understand it I have my doubts.

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 09:14 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • axel arg

    Anybody can agree or not on axel kicillof's ideas, in fact, all opinions are respectable, however, what are really pathetic are the usuall partial lectures about the problems of argentina, where most comments aim to blame on the falencies of the government only, but nobody says a word about the behaviour of the parasitary and rentist burguesy that we have in the country.
    Anyway, the article is really respectful, because it doesn't reply the lies of mediatic operations that we see everyday made by our hegemonical press, (clarin, la nación, and perfil), which aim to stigmatize kicillof and all the rest of the government.
    On the other hand, it's obvious that prat gay would never agree on kicillof's policies, becasue he's a consevative , who has always been a fun of i. m. f., which doesn't have anything to do with kicillof's ideology, in my opinion, that detaill should have been mentioned too.
    On the other hand, what makes me feel quiet, is the fact that despite the serious problems that we still have, however our economy isn't in a deplorable state, as it was during the governments that were broken down by financial coup d'etats, in fact, last year we had an economic expansion of 5%.
    For all these reasons, it will be very difficult for oligopolic sectors, which comited 6 economic runs since 2007, to break c. f. k's government down, becasue it's not a weak government.
    I would like to ask all those people who are so critic of kicillof's policies, and who often refer to c. f. k. as a mad woman with emotional problems who makes cheap populism, what was the economic expansion of u. s. .a, and of european nations in 2013, if they insist on austerity plans.

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 09:19 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • yankeeboy

    Chris, We do not call someone with an engineer degree Engineer Smith, Nor do we call an attorney Doctor Smith. Its just not done in the USA.
    I have no idea what happens in the UK

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 09:20 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Think

    (32) ElaineB

    Has Mr. ”Grumpy Pants Think”, yet again, misread, misunderstand and misinterpret one of Ms. ElaineB's priceless, profound and precious comments about Latin America?
    I don’t “Think” so...

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 09:49 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    @36 Love it when I irritate you. :)

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 10:19 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • yankeeboy

    Was Arg last hope to avoid default just nixed?
    Wasn't dear Think saying this was all going to plan like the Paris Club
    Yes, yes he did
    Is he ever right?

    Billionaire Paul Singer’s hedge fund Elliott Management Corp. said efforts by holders of Argentina’s restructured debt to resolve a legal dispute over bonds from the nation’s 2001 default are “bizarre.”

    Elliott, which has sued for full repayment on defaulted bonds in U.S. courts, will only negotiate a settlement with Argentina directly, the fund said in a letter to investors obtained by Bloomberg News. A proposal by hedge fund Gramercy Funds Management LLC called for holders of restructured debt to cede a portion of their interest payments to holdouts.

    “We find this idea beyond bizarre and entirely impracticable,” Elliott wrote. “It is a stunt.”

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 10:27 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ron_57

    @31 aka britworker aka troy tempest
    you cannot call a non-argentine citizen a nuinsance...
    the whole world knows about bloody rubbish britons...
    don't tell me that I have invented such words...

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 10:29 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Think

    (37) ElaineB

    You say...:
    ”Love it when I irritate you. :)”

    I say...:
    I know… I have that effect on most devious, deceitful & dishonest Women ;-)

    Jan 28th, 2014 - 10:40 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Tim

    19 ElaineB (#) What a shame you're not dropping by here; we live out in Olivos

    Jan 29th, 2014 - 02:40 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Narine T. Nüster

    Canadian dollar has lost 12% of its value.
    Australian dollar has lost 15% of its value.

    Last year they were at parity with the US currency.

    Why is that not considered a crisis?

    It is quite interesting how the world's media has been trying to fan the flames of a supposed economic collapse in Argentina, when most don't even think there is a crisis. Nor is anyone panicking, nor is anyone at the embassies standing in lane, nor is there 25% unemployment, nor is there a crippling debt, nor anything of the sort.

    Economic challenges? Sure. The rest is the pro-capitalist media trying to create suffering.

    Jan 29th, 2014 - 03:48 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Heisenbergcontext

    @42 Narine

    The reason why losing 15% of the value of our currency is not considered a crisis is because the currency was over-valued. Some countries began buying the A$ while the U.S.$ & economy was in the doldrums. Recently some of that has been off-loaded. Such is the nature of the market...

    Whilst our mining companies were able to extract staggering amounts from China, Japan & South Korea our manufacturing sector has taken a big hit - our products became much more expensive and much of it moved off-shore or simply folded.

    It also made tourism much more expensive as well as making it more difficult for foreign students to be able to afford to live and study here. These are both significant parts of our economy. The level our currency is at now is still much higher than it has been historically.

    “... most don't even think there is a crisis.” Are you sure about that?

    “The rest is the pro-capitalist media trying to create suffering”. Maybe - I wouldn't know. Perhaps you could provide an example? And even if you are correct much of the information leading to the conclusion that Argentina is experiencing a crisis is indisputable, regardless of what the Rupert Murdoch's of the world think. How much has your reserve bank spent trying to support your currency?

    Jan 29th, 2014 - 07:26 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Narine T. Nüster

    If there was a crisis why didn't the markets react accordingly? So far, most other world currencies have been more volatile than the argie peso.

    I just provided you the example(S).

    Load up a page of any argie newspaper, they are talking about summer vacation occupancy, the Pope, a decrease of salt in food, a corruption scandal, the upcoming Harvest festival, and some environmental protest involving a bear in the local zoo.

    No run on the peso in the first TWO days of the week.

    No massive demonstrations.

    No lines at embassies.

    No mass unemployment.

    Sound like a crisis to you??

    Jan 29th, 2014 - 07:40 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ChrisR

    @ 35 yankeeboy
    “We do not call someone with an engineer degree Engineer Smith”

    I understand what you mean now!

    This is done extensively on continental Europe so it might be a Romance language thing.

    My Escribana always introduces me as “ingeniero ChrisR” in formal meetings. The professional people and government officials always understand the significance, not too sure about the others.

    Jan 29th, 2014 - 10:08 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Heisenbergcontext

    @44 Narine

    You might want to check out Diaro de San Luis the headline for which is: Devaluation worsens crisis in Argentina.

    The New York Times is hardly a bastion of capitalist advocacy - just ask the average American conservative and wait for the sneer lol.

    You're right - no run on the peso. For the last two days. Be grateful for small mercies. What was it, 17% last week?

    As for the rest of your points, I admire your fellow citizen's stoicism and I recommend you Watch This Space.

    Jan 29th, 2014 - 10:25 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • A_Voice

    “My Escribana always introduces me as “ingeniero ChrisR” in formal meetings.” much the same way as......Bob the Builder.....

    Jan 29th, 2014 - 11:07 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • yankeeboy

    No run on the Peso, well Im not too sure about that, BCRA is spending close to U$200MM a day ( in a very small market) trying to keep the Peso around 8.
    and failing miserably.
    Pretty soon BCRA cash on hand is going to run out.
    Pretty soon could be 15-30 days.
    Then what?

    If Narine was really from EU she wouldn't have such a piss poor understanding of economics.
    BTW how does she know there aren't lines at the embassies, hard to see from France/Germany is it not?
    TOBY just give up.
    Its just boring.

    Jan 29th, 2014 - 11:17 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    @40 ”I have that effect on most devious, deceitful & dishonest Women ;-)” LOL! How many do you know? Or do you think that about all women? You wear your Misogynists Badge with pride. LOL.

    Jan 29th, 2014 - 11:24 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The Chilean perspective

    Hey Yank, you forgot to mention the dollars being cashed in, they are on the increase you know. The edible oil & the grain board cashed in $266.5 million between Jan 20-24, and up to Jan 24 they are up $960 million. As the Peso further devalues and nears the blue price you will see a massive increase in selling the dollar. BTW the Chilean Peso has devalued 13% so far in the past 12 months, it will continue as the Yanks taper. Good news for us, I would be happy with a Peso around 650-700/1. It would fire up exports even further and tame consumption a little.

    Jan 29th, 2014 - 12:43 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • yankeeboy

    50. If they get an influx of U$ from grains it probably won't be quick enough. My bet is farmers will sell in dribs and drabs as they nee cash until the real devaluation occurs.
    and that might be when CFK leaves.

    Jan 29th, 2014 - 12:47 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    @41 If my plans change……...

    Jan 29th, 2014 - 03:15 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Captain Poppy

    Chris I enjoy the fact the I left such an impression on you you can hardly go without a post referencing me.


    I feel for you.......does Scotland Yard know where you and your “wife” hid out?

    Oh yes.....and I am an Army Captain am I? Show me that post?

    Jan 29th, 2014 - 03:45 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • yankeeboy

    Peso at $12.70/1.
    Even after BCRA spending U$1B+ in reserves since the beginning of the year.
    They better give up now before its all gone.

    Jan 29th, 2014 - 03:56 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    @54 12.85/1.

    Jan 29th, 2014 - 05:35 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Anglotino

    I like Toblerine

    Shim has to stay in character and be unfailingly polite.

    Long may Toblerine post. So much easier to prove wrong constantly when shim is unable to resort to the usual tactics.

    Poor Toblerine didn't think that one through very well.

    Jan 29th, 2014 - 06:56 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • A_Voice

    Is that like or fancy, Skip?....nudge, nudge, wink, wink...say no more...a nod's as good as a wink to a blind devil! eh!...;-))

    Jan 29th, 2014 - 07:13 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ChrisR

    @ 53 Captain Poppy
    “I left such an impression on you”

    Yes you certainly have, but the impression is not a favourable one by any imagination and your “imagination” is big enough already.

    Jan 29th, 2014 - 07:24 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Captain Poppy

    Oh break my heart.....Chris. Wow what ever shall I do. Maybe be a Captain in the Army......hahahahahahahahaha.

    Jan 29th, 2014 - 09:44 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Tim

    52 ElaineB (#) If you do make it to here it is quite easy to track me down, through the ABCC, Brit Cemetery, Brit Hospital (Trustee). Only two Tim's in BA and Greater BA

    Jan 30th, 2014 - 12:22 am - Link - Report abuse 0

    Rasputin, current known as “ Elvis ” due to his sideburns, has been there all along, manipulating and scheming his crackpot economic theories.

    And these theories are responsible for the continued decline of Argentina to point she finds herself today.

    It is as though a patient suffering from arteriosclerosis is being treated by a clueless witchdoctor, in this instance a “ Professor ” of Witchcraft.

    Jan 30th, 2014 - 04:42 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    Quote“” The rise of Mr. Kicillof, whose writings use Marxist concepts to interpret the work of the British economist John Maynard Keynes, points to efforts by the authorities to assert greater state control over Argentina’s economy at a time when growth is slowing significantly and inflation is soaring.“”Unquote.....If Kiciloff is able to deliver a solution for Argentina's problems, his sideburns will be irrelevant, but the notion that “greater State control over the economy”, is a solution, is nuts...It's notorious that State run economies do not prosper, and governments are lousy administrators... no need to produce a superavit...when the public coffers run dry, just stick your hand in the till or print more money...but CFK loves him, so let's see where that gets her...

    Jan 30th, 2014 - 08:34 pm - Link - Report abuse 0

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