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Argentine Peso rises against the US dollar as Central Bank shows its muscle

Tuesday, August 1st 2017 - 07:06 UTC
Full article 13 comments

Argentina's Peso rose against the dollar on Monday for the first time in two weeks, after the central bank intervened in the foreign exchange markets on Friday to halt the currency's rapid decline to historic lows, when it reached 18 Pesos. Read full article


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  • Marti Llazo

    Just got back from Punta Arenas. The argie peso is going for almost 20 to the dollar at the cambios, over 20 in some. Back in Río Gallegos, it's still about 18 to the dollar on the street.

    Now we know why the AR Central Bank needs all those billions of borrowed dollars: to buy up increasingly worthless pesos and provide the impression of some value, however artificially propped.

    The government here is still saying that the declining value of the peso against the dollar is not going to affect inflation, which is nevertheless looking more and more like it might reach about 24% for this year.

    With the temporary, artificial re-valuation of the peso, the smart money here are selling peso-denominated positions.... and changing ARS for dollars.

    Aug 01st, 2017 - 01:42 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Enrique Massot

    The MP headline is wrong.
    It should just say what's really happening: that the Argentine government is losing control, that the dollar value is now higher than predicted, and that it hasn't even yet followed the prices increases in the last few months.
    Marti is right--the “blue dollar” or the dollar exchanged in the informal market, has reappeared and is trading at about 18 pesos.
    At one week of the preliminary election, the government insists in a “no worry, be happy” approach.
    Or, they also say, the dollar is going crazy because Cristina Fernandez may make a good result on the August 18 preliminary election.
    Again, a movie the Argentines have seen so many times, they already know the (unhappy) end.

    Aug 02nd, 2017 - 10:35 pm - Link - Report abuse -1
  • Marti Llazo

    No, reekie, the dollar isn't “going crazy.” You have it backwards, as usual.

    The dollar isn't rising --- the ARS is being devalued ! Just as it has been progressively devalued against the dollar for as long as I can remember.

    When Kretina took office the ARS was selling for about 3.1 ARS to the USD. When Kirchner left office the value of the ARS was about 15 to the dollar (true value, not artificially constrained fake government-assigned value). The ARS is still woefully overvalued but the continuing devaluation is at pretty much the same pace we've seen in past years.

    Of one thing we can be fairly certain: any perception of increased influence by Kirchnerismo is going to cause the ARS value to plummet, no matter what level of support the Central Bank throws at it.

    Aug 03rd, 2017 - 12:29 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Enrique Massot

    As usual, our distinguished commentator Martillazo comes presto to save us from ignorance.
    “The dollar isn't rising,” he writes. ”The (Argentine peso) is being devalued!

    Big difference indeed.

    And then, Marti goes on to reassure Argentines--Macri is trying hard to do that these days--that nothing out of the ordinary happens. Same old, same old--unless CFK wins the election--then, big catastrophe awaits Argentines. How predictable of Marti.

    Problem is, the Argentine economy is highly linked to the U.S. dollar. Any dollar increases are quickly transferred to prices.

    In addition, current rising unemployment in the private sector, thousands of small and medium-size business closing down unable to cope with free-falling citizen purchasing power and wide open imports and an election in 10 days are making the dollar an undesirable guest at the party.

    In 10 days, we'll have an idea of what the population thinks of the Macri administration, the first one to attempt a neocon transformation of Argentina as an elected government after almost two years.

    Aug 03rd, 2017 - 04:07 pm - Link - Report abuse -1
  • Marti Llazo

    Reekie, your utter lack of comprehension is both argentine and fascinating.

    Perhaps if I speak more slowly you'll have a better chance.

    Reekie: “ ....the dollar an undesirable guest at the party...”

    Al contrario, the dollar is a most welcome artifact in this country. As it has been historically. Why? Because the argie currency is historically of dubious and usually overrated value. People use dollars here because we all know that AR pesos have only two real trends: either slow devaluation, or quick devaluation. (Here, you can have 18 pesos or one dollar and you can collect either in 12 months..... guess which gets the nod?).

    Elections, you say? In a country where criminals habitually get elected to national office to avoid prosecution and prison? No wonder everyone laughs at this country. It is the portrait of kkorruption.

    Still think recent devaluation is something new and surprising? We have a surprise for you.

    You talk about “citizen purchasing power” ? Between the time CFK took office, and left office, the purchasing power of the peso was only about 10 percent of its earlier value. Between 2003 and 2015 the average price for a kilo of asado beef went from less than 6 pesos to about 87 pesos. And you wonder why nobody wants to keep pesos for more than 24 hours? Why dollars are preferred?

    Here is something to think about, from a local newspaper note. At the end of the 19th century, when British influence in Argentina was at its zenith, Argentina had the fifth highest per capita income in the world. When Peron took office it had dropped to 11th place. By the time Kretina left office it had dropped to 47th place. That is a trend that is hard to turn around. And it's unlikely to improve until Argentina learns to actually work, to be competitive in its production, to produce goods and services of a respectable level of quality and reliability for prices that people are willing to pay on an open market.

    Aug 03rd, 2017 - 09:11 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Enrique Massot

    You are insulting our intelligence.
    Your numbers, as you have picked them up, have no meaning at all--and you know it.
    Your abject idealization of colonialism is pitiful. I don't know what are you doing living side by side with people you despise--that is, if you ever set foot in Argentina of course.
    Together with your pretentious tirades, your name-calling and cheap shots show your lack of character.
    You attempts to demonize CFK while carefully sparing Mauricio Macri are comical--oh, we know--anything bad happening in Argentina in the last 18 months is CFK's deed.
    And please spare us your crash Economy 101 in your last three lines--Argentina won't go back to be a 25 cent-a-day labour market. Keep dreaming.

    I leave you an excerpt from Wikipedia--I know, Wiki is not perfect and you of course do not like stats that don't fit your convenient version of facts, but just to give MP readers a glimpse of the real story:

    “Argentina's socio-economic situation has since been steadily improving. Expansionary policies and commodity exports triggered a rebound in GDP from 2003 onward...creating over five million jobs and encouraging domestic consumption and fixed investment. Social programs were strengthened...”

    ”The economy nearly doubled from 2002 to 2011, growing an average of 7.1% annually and around 9% for five consecutive years between 2003 and 2007. Real wages rose by around 72% from their low point in 2003 to 2013. The global recession did affect the economy in 2009, with growth slowing to nearly zero; but high economic growth then resumed, and GDP expanded by around 9% in both 2010 and 2011. Growth averaged just 1.3% from 2012 to 2014, and rose to 2.4% in 2015.

    And you wonder why Cristina has chances of doing well in the Aug. 13 election?

    Aug 04th, 2017 - 06:12 am - Link - Report abuse -1
  • Marti Llazo

    The agro-export industry in Argentina that reekie vociferously despises was responsible for a period of recovery and now he sings their praises? And where did all the money go, reekie? Besides the KK pockets. CFK left the country in economic ruins, central bank bereft of reserves, the country again in default and owing billions of dollars and pending hundreds of millions more in adverse judgements and liabilities, the beef industry in decline, sovereign debt rated as the lowest form of junk, the peso in continuous devaluation, shortages of imported parts needed for industry and agro, converted the country from an energy exporter to spending billions importing energy, theft by expropriation turning the country into an even worse pariah state, narco-trafficking in control of much of the country, infrastructure in decay, the highest levels of oppressive taxation in the hemisphere but still running with deficit spending, nearly 40 percent annual inflation and about 30 percent of the population in poverty. Serious decay in consumer purchasing power. Highest rates of robbery in the hemisphere and a meaningless, ineffectual, politicised justice system. And of course the sort of other crime and corruption that put Argentina on the map. Real success story, reekie, but I think you're blind to it and anyway too far away to notice.

    Aug 04th, 2017 - 02:02 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Enrique Massot

    Ah Marti. Such a hard worker and yet sounds so hollow.
    I may be far away from my home country, yet I am not blind--and neither are the voters in Argentina.
    Who would have thought we would see headlines like we see today?
    You may spout loads of crap similar to what Clarin and associated media feed Argentines every day.
    However, the chickens have come home to roost.
    It was easy for Mauricio Macri to make empty promises before his 2015 election. Almost two years later, he has nothing to show, and the “pesada herencia” argument has gone stale.
    The dollar will keep going up, prices will jump accordingly, inflation will keep its joyful pace, and now there is going to be a strong voice in the Senate speaking for the Argentines.

    Aug 04th, 2017 - 10:55 pm - Link - Report abuse -1
  • Marti Llazo

    The number of past peronist governments here is ample evidence of the argentos' capacity for repeatedly making demonstrably self-destructive choices. The associated self-deception and self-mutilation that is peronism will no doubt continue, despite the fact that every few days we see new evidence of the crimes and mismanagement that the disastrous CFK regime wrought. Reekie is as usual way off base in maintaining that the dirty legacy of CFK is a thing of the past, since many of the bills haven't even been presented yet, and it will be years before all the court cases, domestic and international, will even define the costs.

    And reekie still hasn't learned, despite numerous lessons, that the dollar is not “going up” in Argentina. Once again, reekie - and listen carefully this time - it is not the dollar that is moving, so much as the AR peso that is being devalued against the dollar. Just as the AR peso has been steadily devalued against the dollar since its inception. And it was the Kirchner governments that took the AR peso from being worth US$0.32 to being worth just US$0.06

    Yes, reekie, the Argentine congress is a favourite destination for many of the country's notorious criminals looking for a place to avoid prosecution and prison. CFK is no exception. (And we see that her accountant is already in jail). Díme a quién apoyas, y te diremos quíen sos.

    Aug 05th, 2017 - 02:41 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Enrique Massot

    “The argento's.”

    Not even when he tries hard can Marti shed his deep authoritarian nature.

    He is not here to discuss current politic evolution. He is here to admonish the Argentines for not remaining a British colony.

    “At the end of the 19th century, when British influence in Argentina was at its zenith, Argentina had the fifth highest per capita income in the world,” Marti proudly announces two postings above.

    Indeed. The end of the 19th century would probably be the best time for individuals such as Marti to remain--they cannot fathom what the heck has happened ever since.

    That is not surprising. Some Argentines are still reliving those cherished times, before damn Peronism entered the scene with his subversive schemes of wealth redistribution.

    Those were the times! Order reigned, a tiny minority had total control over the country. and the majority of the population kept quiet, remained poor and at their place as it should be.

    Unfortunately, history keeps moving. Most of us cannot have noticeable influence on events. The most we can try is to understand it.

    Not Marti.

    Aug 05th, 2017 - 02:34 pm - Link - Report abuse -1
  • Marti Llazo

    Reekie at his considerable and well-blindered distance from Argentina will never understand that it is peronism that has kept over a third of this country in poverty, that it is peronism which persistently maintains this country far from its ability to compete economically with even the neighbouring countries of Chile and Brazil, that it is peronism which elevates oppressive taxation to levels that discourage generation of productive employment, that it is peronism which performs its flimsy and counterproductive social miracles through outright theft of foreign investments and the savings of its citizens, that it is peronism which has led the Third World in bringing about massive and record-breaking defaults on loans, that it is peronism which has served as the poster child for perfidious economic legerdemain and disastrous economic micro- and macro-mismanagement; and that it is peronism which has made Argentina in the eyes of the cognoscenti rightly synonymous with unpardonable levels of institutionalised crime, underhandedness, deceit, treachery, quotidian corruption, and outright villainy.

    Aug 05th, 2017 - 04:20 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Enrique Massot

    Well, here's an individual full of contempt for Argentines who pretends to know something about Argentine's complex political expression that is Peronism and Kirchnerism.

    It is true that Peronism and Kirchnerism were not error-free when in government.

    However, most governments that took over after Peronists and Kirchnerists were simply horrendous.

    As a result, the persistence of Peronism and its higher form, Kirchnerism, is partly due to the deeply backward nature of most non-Peronist governments Argentina has had in the last half century.

    That is the reason why, less than two years after her candidate lost the presidential election, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has serious chances to become a senator in the October election. Many electors are seeing how empty Mauricio Macri's improvement promises were.

    Mostly, Argentine lower classes never forget their life improvements under Peron or the Kirchners--something wealthy Argentines could not stomach. See what Wikipedia notes about Peron's first and second term:

    “Among upper-class Argentines, improvement of the workers' situation was a source of resentment; industrial workers from rural areas had formerly been treated as servants...”

    “Better-off Argentines...refer to these workers using classist slurs like ”little black heads” (cabecitas negras, the name of a bird), “greased” (grasas which came from people with grease on their hands or fingernails, i.e., blue-collar workers), “shirtless” (descamisados, since they doffed their shirts to perform manual labor)...Perón's voters were a “zoological flood” (aluvión zoológico).”

    And so it happens that some people with low self-esteem or suffering feelings of inadequacy will imitate the wealthy in their contempt for the poor, in an attempt to feel members of the club of the selected few.

    Poor Marti.

    Aug 08th, 2017 - 03:51 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Marti Llazo

    Reekie, Kirchnerism is not the highest expression of Peronist criminality, but the lowest. How anyone can pretend to be blissfully unaware of the monumentally corrupt and criminal nature of Kirchnerism can only be explained by the wonders of modern pharmacology.

    It will take decades to cleanse the stain of criminal peronism from this country. In the meantime, the riffraff who don't live here will continue to praise its failures.

    Aug 08th, 2017 - 01:57 pm - Link - Report abuse -1

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