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Montevideo, March 29th 2023 - 16:31 UTC



IMF: Argentine debt is not sustainable, a meaningful contribution from private creditors is required

Thursday, February 20th 2020 - 18:10 UTC
Full article 37 comments

An IMF team, led by Julie Kozack Deputy Director of the Western Hemisphere Department and Luis Cubeddu Mission chief for Argentina, visited Buenos Aires from February 12 to 19, 2020 to discuss the recent macroeconomic developments and learn more about the Argentine authorities’ economic plans and policies. At the conclusion of the staff visit, Ms Kozack and Mr Cubeddu issued the following statement: Read full article


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  • Think


    Freaking goooooooooood day yesterday for Argieland...!
    First..., the IMF dancing a nice Tango with us...
    Then..., Argie lasses taking control of their destiny under Shilean “Las Tesis” rhythm...

    As the auld song goes...:
    -“What a difference a day made
    Twenty-four little hours
    Brought the sun and the flowers
    Where there used to be rain”


    Feb 20th, 2020 - 08:38 am - Link - Report abuse -2
  • kelperabout

    Sad fact of the matter Think, is that as predicted, Argentina is unable to pay their IMF debt.
    Further that tens of thousands of people are living in poverty with that number set to rise.
    Argentina is at rock bottom right now and it shows with their renewed aggression towards us.
    A repeat of 1982 when their corrupt government tried to divert the internal problems away by invading us.
    This time though Argentina is so financially weak that they no longer have a strong force capable of attempting a similar diversion from their internal issues.
    There is a real solution to this problem within Argentina but it will require you to do what you keep vowing you will never do.
    Drop the stupid claim to sovereignty and start embracing the neighbours that surround you.
    Trade will begin to increase and with it the much needed funding that is required to lift Argentina out of this current irreversible debt situation.
    But we all know that will never happen because indoctrinated Argentines do not care about their people or their neighbours.
    A tiny Country who you fail to recognise has one of the best sustainable growth patterns and lessons within Argentina could and should be learned from our success.
    Karma has a strange way of revenge and right now Argentina is in its grip.

    Feb 20th, 2020 - 10:22 am - Link - Report abuse +2
  • Think

    Mr. Kelperabout...

    Easy for some 3,000 Engrish squatters in the South-Atlantic..., backed by an Imperial Nuclear Bully from the North that recently fought a War with us that costed the life of 0.3 young man per bloody Kelper to sit idly on their ever increasing body mass indexed humonguous arses..., selling valuable, pirated fishing licenses to third party working fishing fleets.., to be swimming in stolen money..., Chay...

    Anyhow..., as me above linked auld song goes...:
    “ Where there used to be rain
    Brought the sun and the flowers
    Twenty-four little hours
    What a difference a day made”

    Capisce now...?

    Feb 20th, 2020 - 11:01 am - Link - Report abuse -3
  • kelperabout

    Sad man you are Think.
    If you were to stop being so bitter and started to embrace everything around you Argentina would not be in this financial crisis.
    For your information I stole nothing and most certainly do not squat on our land.
    Cant say the same for most Argentines who history records stole the very land you call Argentina.
    That is where we differ. Our ancestors came here of a free choice. Not great Britains but a people of mixed race including Argentines and many others from your neighbouring Countrues.
    If you look at our history you will see that the spanish south Americans attempted to colonise what was already a British land in the late 1820's. Eventually and rightfully those squatters of military origin were removed but what you and you countrymen fail to acknowledge was that the entire civilian population at that time were offered to stay and most accepted the offer and we are living proof today of that fact.
    There are islanders settled here by birth right many ancestors were from what we call today Argentina and they have integrated with other migrants throughout our history.
    So you are totally wrong on saying we are squatters. We are the indigenous people of the land but of course your mindset is such that you cannot accept that you are the progeny of a people that butchered an indigenous people to acquire the land you live on.
    No one was butchered here on the Falkland Islands.
    Your real problem is total jealousy of the fact that in spite of everything Argentina has tried to do towards us has failed and we have grown stronger and financially better of then we were before that aggressive bully from your country invaded us.
    Reality is that conflict actually put us on the map because more people in the world now know that we do exist and trade with us despite Argentinas efforts to try otherwise.
    It hurts you even more to know that we are very succesful at everything we do while Argentina has by and large failed it's people.

    Feb 20th, 2020 - 12:26 pm - Link - Report abuse +2
  • Think

    Kelpers..., falsifying the Malvinas Islands history again and again..., huhhhhh....?

    Me personal favourite..., coming from them Engrish squatters in Malvinas..., is..., for example..:
    ***”No one was butchered here on the Falkland Islands.... You (Argies) are from a progeny of people that butchered an indigenous people to acquire the land you live on.“***

    Truth is..., they were no Indigenous Peoples in 1833..., when the Engrish fleet captured and deported the Argentineans from Malvinas...
    Therefore..., the Engrish ”Patagonian Mission Society” in their noble effort to obtain a working force for the Colony and save the souls of them wretched Indigenous Peoples of Tierra del Fuego..., kidnapped all between 300 to 1,000 Indians from their beautiful forested Island to miserably bare and windblown Keppel/De La Vigía Island (Malvinas/Falklands)..., where they were luuuuuuuuvingly interned and taught to work for their Engrish masters...

    Almost all died there of “Tristesse” or Engrish illnesses... their bones could still be found scattered all around during the sixties..., I remember...

    One of the few survivors of that magnificent Engrish generosity was “Jemmy Button”..., as you Engrish fancied to rename him... He was taken as a trophy to Engeland and shown around...
    After having taught him all them good Engrish manners..., he was returned (I suppose as kind of an ambassador for “All Good Things Engrish”) to his tribe in Tierra del Fuego...

    He did..., in the most proper way..., repay all that Engrish generosity some years later ..., at Bahia Wulaia...

    Didn't you know all this...?
    I don't Think so...!


    Feb 20th, 2020 - 01:44 pm - Link - Report abuse -5
  • pgerman

    Let me add that I belong to the extremenly large group of argentine people who belive that the islandres ARE NOT SQUATTERS, they are just honorable people making thier lives in the islands.

    Saying that the “kelpers are squatters” is a useless lack of respect to those who were born in the Islands. The idea that the islanders are “squatters” belongs to some argentine fascists. Not even, peronists politician dare to call the islanders “squatters” in the mass media because they know they would be rejected by the majority of the argentine people.

    Feb 20th, 2020 - 03:03 pm - Link - Report abuse +2
  • DemonTree

    That's good to hear Pgerman, but how has this turned into yet another fight over the Falklands? It's about Argentina and the IMF. Very nice them saying now the debt is unsustainable, why couldn't they decide that last year instead of adding another $50 bn to the burden? And gotta love the way they expect private creditors to take a loss, but refuse a haircut themselves.

    Feb 20th, 2020 - 05:06 pm - Link - Report abuse +2
  • pgerman


    Obviously, you do not understand the reasons of the recurrent Argentine international debts
    Basically, Argentina is a country that spends more than it produces and has a population that lives better than it can. Private debt (sovereign bonds) was used to pay old and overdue debt and to cover fiscal deficit of both, the Nation and the Provinces. The IMF debt was used to pay old debt (with an interest rate that is half of what the international financial market charges) and to cover (again) fiscal deficit. Without the loan of US$ 50,000 million from the IMF, Argentina would have entered into a catastrophic crisis like the one of years 2001/2002. The debt “taken” from the IMF is the best thing that could have happened to Argentina since it allowed the country to avoid a financial crisis and reduce the fiscal deficit that went down from 7% in 2016 to 045% in 2019. Unfortunately, the triumph of Peronism, and its threats of non-compliance with the return of the IMF debt put the last tranche of the credit reserved for Argentina on hold. As a result, Argentina does not have US$ 11,000 million (with an interest rate of 4%) that would allow the country to cancel debt with private investors for the same amount of dollars (but paying an interest of at least 8% ).

    Clearly, it is better to owe US$ 11,000 million that cost 4% interest than to owe US$ 11,000 million that cost 8/9% interest. Don't you think so?

    Feb 20th, 2020 - 06:22 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Jack Bauer

    Swapping one debt for another, at half the interest rate of the first, makes total sense.
    Considering the numbers, looks like the current situation is the result of 12 years of Kirchnerism (and other Peronists before them), during which the country was unable to pay off its debt - (I wonder why ???) - had to take on more under Macri to avoid going bust, and the notion that Macri could solve the accumulated problems of 2 decades, in 4 years, is nuts, not to mention that trying to work with a hostile Congress, didn't make things any better.
    It's simple math, spending more than you make is a pretty good formula for failure.

    The fact the Fernandez couple are convinced that they shouldn't prioritize paying debt, in detriment of the people, is all very fine, but that would presume that - without the immediate burden of such debt - they will, in effect, stimulate the economy and get things back on track.
    That remains to be seen.

    Feb 20th, 2020 - 07:06 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • DemonTree

    “Clearly, it is better to owe US$ 11,000 million that cost 4% interest than to owe US$ 11,000 million that cost 8/9% interest.”

    Not necessarily. Depends if they think they can pay back less than the full US$11,000m, and/or delay the payments until they can afford them. They have more power over the private bondholders to set terms; even the IMF is telling the bondholders to cooperate, as per this article. Whereas on their own loans the IMF demands payment in full and on time. The IMF also puts extra conditions on their loans, which generally cause a recession and reduce the country's ability to pay - as we have seen in Argentina.

    Considering that Macri ended up with recession, unemployment, and high inflation anyway, his huge borrowing did no good for the country in the long term. It didn't fix anything; the new government is faced with the same situation of borrowing even more or going bust, but with a much bigger debt and fewer options - the country can no longer afford to borrow more.

    Feb 20th, 2020 - 07:30 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • pgerman


    “It depends on whether they think they can return less than the full US $ 11,000 million and / or delay payments until they can pay them. They have more power over private bondholders to set terms.” Clearly, the Argentine Government prefers a default to having to pay the debt. That is why with the triumph of Alberto Fernandez after the PASO elections Argentine risk country climbed up to 2,000 points and since then it remained at that approximate value.
    “The IMF also imposes additional conditions on its loans, which generally cause a recession and reduce the country's ability to pay, as we have seen in Argentina.” That is ABSOLUTELY FALSE. I have “closely” followed the IMF conditions and they were quite reasonable conditions. Basically, they urge for a violent reduction of the fiscal deficit and a dollar with near real value (according to the Theory of Mundell or Theory of the Optimal Monetary Areas). Unless you, adhere to the fallacy that you have to spuriously issue paper money to grow the economy and that the fiscal deficit generates growth in the economy.

    Argentina faces recession, unemployment, and high inflation since year 2011.

    Feb 20th, 2020 - 07:48 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Think


    The expected announcment of a deal with the IMF just came out..., and the tryptic seems to be...:
    No Pensions Reform..., No Laboral Reform..., 3 years of grace on All Payments...

    Not baaaad..., we have now four years to do it better...

    -“What a difference a couple of days make...
    Forty-eight little hours
    Brought the sun and the flowers
    Where there used to be rain.....”

    Three years of “grace”...,

    Feb 20th, 2020 - 08:13 pm - Link - Report abuse -1
  • DemonTree

    Reasonable or not, Argentina is in a deep recession now. If reducing the fiscal deficit is such a good idea, Macri should have done it back in 2016 and saved Argentina several hundred billion US$ in debt.

    “Unless you, adhere to the fallacy that you have to spuriously issue paper money to grow the economy and that the fiscal deficit generates growth in the economy.”

    Like the EU, you mean?

    “European Central Bank Resumes Quantitative Easing In Bid To Boost Ailing Eurozone Economy”

    The UK government has been trying to cut the deficit since 2010, and hasn't got it down to zero yet. All for fear of hurting the economy. We haven't run a surplus since 2001 - my newest work colleague was born that year! Doesn't that make Alberto's plan for a balanced budget in 2023 sound better?

    Feb 20th, 2020 - 08:29 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    Considering that Macri ended up with recession, unemployment, and high inflation anyway, his huge borrowing did no good for the country in the long term....the country can no longer afford to borrow more”.

    Considering that Macri took on a time-bomb, the result was not surprising. In retrospect, he should've let CFK win again, and let her drown in her own incompetence. Then who would she have to blame ? Four years, under anyone, would not - imo- be enough time to solve the situation CFK left ...she would most likely, have carried on with the same policies, maintaining her parliamentary immunity and continue stealing, while possible ...(not wanting to sound like Stink, but) that's my humble opinion.
    Now, just a a practical question, regarding your reply to pgerman : “Not necessarily. Depends if they think they can pay back less than the full US$11,000m, and/or delay the payments until they can afford them”.
    IMO, under any circumstances, if you can reduce total outlays (by reducing the interest rate) it's recommended to do I ask you : I presume you took out a loan to pay (part) of the cost of your new home; don't know at what interest rate, but say “x”....if after 5 years, you're having trouble paying the installments - hope not !!! - and you get the chance to refinance what's left of your debt, at 1/2 of “'x”... wouldn't you jump at the chance (to reduce your debt), regardless of whether you were sure (or not) that you'd be able to pay, or “afford” the new, smaller installments ? Reduce the debt today, face the problem (if there is one) tomorrow.
    Remember, we are talking in theory...what people actually do, for 'x,y,z' reasons, which affect reality, is uncontrollable, but easy to talk about after the event.
    You analyze the situation based on the info you have today...and speculation about what might happen tomorrow....unless of course, you have inside information and can afford to leave your decision to 'tomorrow'.

    Feb 20th, 2020 - 10:46 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • pgerman


    Let me see if I understood, are you telling me that a country has to spend more than it produces or collects to grow? This is an absolute contradiction.

    Countries, like people, grow by saving and earning more than they spend.

    Comparing US, EU or the UK expansive politics with the Argentine disaster has no reasonableness. None of the articles in your post mentioe that these countries will cover their fiscal deficit with spurious monetary issuance. Possibly, they will do so with public debt issuance.

    Argentina does not have financing for that currently. Argentina already had it and I didn't take advantage of it to reduce its deficit in time.

    In addition, Argentina does not have a national currency accepted by its own population so as to imagine an expansive monetary policy with some success of reviving the economy. The Argentina is the third country in the World, after the USA and Russia with the highest amount of dollars in cash, either abroad or outside the banking system. Argentina has no currency because its people reject the argentine peso.

    If you believe that you can continue with a fiscal deficit covered with monetary issue, prepare for the worst: hyperinflation. With hyperinflation more economic recesion and poverty will come.

    Feb 21st, 2020 - 03:23 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • RICO

    very lazy reporting Mercopress. You have just reposted an article from 5 or 10 years ago. Write something new. I come here for news not this day in history retrospectives.

    Feb 21st, 2020 - 07:28 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Think


    The ULTIMATE sign that one is trying to dialogue with Flat Earth/Neo-Con Ignorant Turnip Believers (No matter how much time they have wasted sitting on some educational institute) is when they start their Wild Capitalistic Philippics with some (quite correct Paleo- Eco-Socialist) arguments like the following...:

    1) ***“Argentina is a country that spends more than it produces and has a population that lives better than it can.”*** (Turnip pgerman)

    2) ***“It's simple math, spending more than you make is a pretty good formula for failure.”*** (Turnip Jack Bauer)

    3) ***“Are you telling me that a country has to spend more than it produces or collects to grow? This is an absolute contradiction.”***(Turnip pgerman again)

    - Conveniently forget..., of course..., the amazingly simple hydrogenic atomic structure of Wild Capitalism...:
    “FIAT” + “MONEY”...
    - It is a mathematical fact..., that ~95 to 98% of the Fiat Money in circulation on Earth has NO VAUE BACKING in any physical thing existing..., transformed or “produced” in our planet... It's all Fiat... (or..., as some prefer to call it..: make believe)

    ERGO..., the basis of Wild Capitalism is indeed...: SPENDING MORE THAN ONE PRODUCES...

    Now..., in my humble opinion..., Wild Capitalism with its intrinsic accumulation of wealth in fewer and fewer hands..., and its disregard for Nature..., (including humanity) is wrong and sooner or later..., auto-destructive...

    Not for nothing that brownish, skinny Semite Socialiist kicked those wooden “Banks” out of the Temple some 2,000 years ago...

    Capisce ...?

    Feb 21st, 2020 - 09:20 am - Link - Report abuse -1
  • DemonTree

    Re refinancing debt, firstly, AFAIK Argentina did not use all the IMF money for this, and as a result now owes considerably more in total, which is not necessarily an improvement even if some is at a lower interest rate.

    Secondly, if this cheaper mortgage company was going to come to my house and insist on telling me how to spend my own money - perhaps forcing me to stop paying for medical treatment for my family and to sell my car (needed to get to work) - I would prefer to stick with the expensive one. It's NOT going to be easier to pay off debt if we have a lower income.

    As for Macri, would you rather have taken over the country at the end of 2015, with inflation at 26%, national debt at 50% of GDP, and the economy teetering, or at the end of 2019 with inflation over 50%, national debt at 93% of GDP and the economy deep in recession? CFK was not eligible to stand in 2015, but I bet she'd rather have continued then than have to deal with the current situation.

    I am not telling you that. Obviously there are downsides to borrowing and to printing money. The latter causes inflation and the former means spending part of your budget on interest, plus having to keep the confidence of lenders else the money will be cut off.

    However, they do both stimulate the economy, and governments and central banks in the most developed countries set their policy on that basis.

    I'm also not saying Argentina can or should follow the same policies as richer countries, since the circumstances are different, but the same rules apply. Reducing the deficit slowly in the UK caused a small recession. Cutting the deficit drastically in Greece caused a huge recession. Cutting the deficit in Argentina due to IMF rules caused a recession. Macri knows this too. That's why he kept borrowing instead of raising taxes in 2016 to balance the budget.

    The new government has to make plans based on the available options, and they need to take into account the real consequences.

    Feb 21st, 2020 - 10:12 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Think


    A nice picture of Thinking Sr. K-Anibal Fernandez (in colorful clothes)..., working again for his Country..., down here in Patagonia...

    K- Anibal.... was..., some five years ago..., falsely accused by the dominant press of being a Drug Kingpin and having ordered the murder of 3 persons...

    Those false accusations..., published timely..., were determinant for him losing the election as governour of the Buenos Aires Province and a causal factor for the triumph of Maurizio Macri as president in 2015...

    Those false accusations by the press were just that..., false accusations... without a shadow of a shadow of proof..., not even falsified proof...

    In such a grade was it a false accusation that even after four years of trying hard..., the Macri administration could not find..., rent or buy a single ideologically correct..., malleable or even right away corrupt judge in Argentina that was willing to even INITIATE a legal cause against this througout decent man...

    Nice to see you back at what you do best..., K-Anibal...
    El Think...

    Feb 21st, 2020 - 12:45 pm - Link - Report abuse -1
  • Jack Bauer

    “refinancing debt, first, AFAIK ARG did not use all the IMF money for this, 'n as result now owes considerably more in total, which isn't necessarily an improvement even if at lower interest rate.”

    You've completely missed the point...obviously ARG “did not use all the IMF money for refinancing debt”, 'cause Macri used part of it to cover running expenses (even worse, as spent on unproductive items, that don't generate revenue), 'n I'm not contesting that “ARG now owes considerably more in total”.
    What I'm getting at is that by swapping debt (under the same rules & conditions, those you're “already” committed to, when you signed the previous loan), at a lower interest rate, you reduce the total debt (principal + ‘smaller’ interest).
    Of course it is an 'improvement'.
    IF you are unable to pay even the lower installments, down the road, that's a bridge you cross when you get to it...

    Re “this cheaper mortgage company etc” still don’t understand...for ex., in the US, depending on time left to pay off your house, refinancing the loan (at a lower interest rate) is common....maintaining same rules, reducing total outlay, i.e., more money left in YOUR pocket....No one is going to “force you to stop paying for medical treatment for yr family etc...”

    Now, if you don't want the bank, or financial institution telling you what to do (already determined the moment you signed the first loan/contract), then you should never have taken out the original loan in the first place.
    Swapping debt is beneficial when “'under same, or better conditions, at a lower interest rate”....and to swing the deal, you've got to be a good payer.

    Never said Macri didn't make things worse...would need a genius to improve things in 4 yrs.

    Above discussion's way above Stink's brain grade...we all know FIAT money has no backing, like the USD used to (gold standard)....but better to have FIAT money than none at all. Or, you can buy gold, 'n stash it in the sheep's pen.

    Feb 21st, 2020 - 08:33 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • DemonTree

    If you are asking about real mortgage companies, then of course I am planning to refinance the loan. In the UK it's almost universal, since no mortgage company will offer a fixed rate for longer than 5 years.

    But what has that to do with the IMF? “Force you to stop paying for medical treatment” was not meant literally; it's an analogy for the type of conditions the IMF demands in return for a loan. Conditions that hurt citizens and also damage the economy, reducing ability to pay. That makes it a very different decision to mine over the mortgage company. Do you understand now?

    My understanding of fiat money is that it's supposed to match the value of all goods and services produced by a country's economy. If more is issued, you get inflation. If less, deflation. But I'm no economist.

    Feb 21st, 2020 - 09:21 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Enrique Massot

    Well...the gang is back in force, ready to begin propagating half truths and full lies.

    Let's see what ineffable Jack B is now saying about Argentina's foreign debt, in hopes that no one checks the real facts:

    “Considering the numbers, looks like the current situation is the result of 12 years of Kirchnerism...the notion that Macri could solve the accumulated problems of 2 decades, in 4 years, is nuts.”

    OK, let's take some CEIC data in terms of debt-to-GDP just before and during CFK's government:

    2007: Debt was 53 per cent of the annual GDP
    2015: Debt reduced to 25 per cent of GDP

    Then, towards the end of the Macri government:

    2018: Debt increased to 52 per cent of GDP

    During Nestor Kirchner:

    2003: debt was 140 per cent of annual GDP

    2007: debt was 62 per cent of GDP

    2005: Kirchner repaid in full Argentina's IMF debt

    The government of Juan Peron fully paid off the external debt in 1952.

    By the end of that year, Argentina became creditor of 5 billion US dollars

    The most tragic period in terms of foreign debt started in 1976 with the Process of National Reorganization -- Argentina's darkest period that lasted until 1983 and during which the foreign debt increased exponentially. However, Macri will remain in history as the fastest and largest-ever debt taker, no matter what PG or JB say.

    Feb 22nd, 2020 - 08:41 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Think


    Feb 23rd, 2020 - 01:02 pm - Link - Report abuse -1
  • Jack Bauer

    thanks for the 'inneffable', can't find words to thank you enough....

    Your constant defence of Peron & the Kirchners, is impressive...sure, I’m aware Peron paid off the foreign debt after his re-election, with credits generated during the war (B4 his time) - and ended up with US$ 5 billion in the kitty. Then he went on a spending spree, nationalizing banks, railroads etc…for what ? to be able to say “they are ours” ? big deal.

    It’s no secret Argentina, internally, was in a sorry state, but in 1951 he announced the discovery of nuclear ! oops, turned out to be a lie, but he used it to make his countrymen proud ‘n even considered invading the Falklands - seems Argy's paranoia has a long history.

    Then, in 1955 there was a military uprising, during which hundreds were killed in BAires, and ended up with Peron's being kicked out and his exile in Spain. And the Argys still loved him.

    But let's get back to your main topic - which seems to be the praise of the K's economic policies, even though I wasn’t discussing the debt to GDP ratio.
    The K period, especially the last 4 years, were marked by populist rhetoric, demagoguery, corporatism - whereby society was divided into social groups (govt officials, unions) and these were favored with privileges in exchange for political support.
    Always claiming the improvement of worker social rights (like all populist govts do) to defend herself, CFK was authoritarian 'n not particularly good at listening to opposition.
    In 2014, wasn't there a 'wee' problem with the vulture funds ? (in practice the refusal to pay debt?)

    The fact is, the institutions were weakened during the 12 years of Kirchnerism, which only lasted as long as it did due to populism and the cash from the commodity boom...when this ended, poverty ‘n wealth concentration returned with a vengeance......and that’s what Macri had to deal with...unsuccessfully.
    But the question remains, if CFK was so good, why wasn't she re-elected 2015 ?

    Feb 24th, 2020 - 04:18 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Enrique Massot


    My previous posting did not intend to be a full fledged defense of Peronism or Kirchnerism -- I can do it another day -- but instead sought to dispel a posting of yours that contained inaccurate information:

    ”Considering the numbers, looks like the current situation is the result of 12 years of Kirchnerism (and other Peronists before them), during which the country was unable to pay off its debt.”

    Well. You may accuse Peronists or Kirchnerists of many tings, but on the foreign debt front, they did better than most other governments in Argentina.

    And that was the only point I wanted to make.

    (I wonder why ???) - had to take on more under Macri to avoid going bust, and the notion that Macri could solve the accumulated problems of 2 decades, in 4 years, is nuts, not to mention that trying to work with a hostile Congress, didn't make things any better.
    It's simple math, spending more than you make is a pretty good formula for failure.

    The fact the Fernandez couple
    provided just some information about foreign debt Argentina owed at different periods, and addressed your statement that

    is clear enough as not to be taken as an 'impressive' defense of Peronism or Kirchnerism.

    Feb 24th, 2020 - 07:30 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    The Ineffable JB
    “ if CFK was so good, why wasn't she re-elected 2015 ?”

    Even I can answer that. Argentina doesn't allow a president to serve more than 2 consecutive terms, and CFK never had enough support to try and change the constitution.

    Feb 24th, 2020 - 11:10 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    In my opinion, doing “better than most other governments” doesn't say's simply...well, another useless comparison.
    Getting the country back on track, that yes would be an achievement worthy of note. And, whether foreign debt is eliminated partially, or totally - while obviously recommendable - is far from the only component to be analyzed in determining if an administration was successful, or not.
    As to your other complaints, noted.

    Thanks for stating the obvious....was just another way to ask why her candidate, Daniel Scoli, did not win.....and the question still stands, if you - or Reekie - care to answer it.

    And since you brought it up - “CFK never had enough support to try and change the constitution” - what you YOU think of her failed attempt ? does it sound like the best way to “try” to ensure “democracy” (or the alternation of power )? and do to Argentina what Maduro & Morales did ?

    BTW, if you give me space I can reply to “Nem's interview”...

    Feb 25th, 2020 - 03:49 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    “why her candidate, Daniel Scoli, did not win”

    AFAIK lots of reasons came together at once. The ailing economy, the division in the Peronist movement with Sergio Massa standing against Scioli, various supicious events/scandals like Nisman's death and corruption allegations against CFK and her party that damaged confidence in them. Possibly dissatisfaction with her isolationist policies - sure no one wanted to pay the vulture funds, it's not 'right', but may still have been the best option just to put an end to the saga. We don't know what would have happened if she'd been able to stand herself though. Usually the incumbent has an advantage, but in this case who knows?

    You'll notice most of those reasons no longer exist. Macri made the economy even worse. By letting Alberto F have the top job and standing as Vice they've reunited the Peronists, and after 4 years free to investigate the allegations, nothing conclusive has turned up against her - an advantage to being out of power, as I doubt anyone would trust investigations done while she was President. The vulture funds are past history and the IMF is the big issue now. So it's not too surprising Macri lost the election.

    As for trying to change the constitution, so far as I know she never actually did try. There were some rumours she was thinking of it after her husband's death, but it came to nothing. Everyone thinks they were planning to get round them before that by alternating in power though, which is pretty dodgy.

    Feb 25th, 2020 - 05:42 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    “keeping the peace, because was more ‘profitable’ ” very “noble” of Nem, but at what cost to society ? “SP gang’s biz model more efficient /less violent than Rio factions” : I agree - SP has far fewer ‘favelas” ‘n only 2 equal to those in Rio, which are right in the heart of the city, so the violence (shootouts, stray bullets etc) affects everybody;
    Also because PSDB (in SP for 20 + years) took fighting street crime /drugs more seriously, while Rio’s been in continual decline, allowing organized crime to form a parallel state.
    Re PCC being “responsible for fall in SP homicides by taking on L & O role in the peripheries, running criminal courts” sounds accurate ; they simply eliminate whoever disobeys orders, ‘n seem more intent on not provoking the police.
    Lula’s conviction was a turning point…’n the use of his image (imo) was prejudicial to Haddad .
    Abt being selective, pls stick to the case in question, Moro & the wiretap - I’ve already agreed its release was irregular, but afaic, valid, to prevent a greater evil.
    And once & for all…wasn’t the STF that jailed Lula - was Moro, TRF4 & STJ.
    GG can’t be indicted based on the Nat’l Security law, so it won’t happen.
    R U positive COAF’s investigating him ? I’m not. And, IF it IS, it's only because his bank movement drew their attention. GG’s ‘fame’, will ensure he’s treated fairly.
    Re Nobrega, just speculating based on reports floating around…I don’t know, neither do you. I DO believe B’s sons ‘had’ links to some militia members - “many” Rio politicians do - but to be involved, not so sure. A protest against Congress’s corruption has been called for March 15…let’s wait ‘n see.

    Right, multiple reasons, so easy to conclude why Scoli lost ; they elected Macri, another disaster. And now, back to square one. In 2012, a poll showed 2 in 3 voters were against Constitutional changes to allow her a 3rd consecutive term, so Scoli was her 'chosen' one.
    Their idea of alternating power is changing 6 for 1/2 a dozen.

    Feb 26th, 2020 - 05:57 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    “Re PCC being “responsible for fall in SP homicides by taking on L & O role in the peripheries, running criminal courts” sounds accurate ; they simply eliminate whoever disobeys orders, ‘n seem more intent on not provoking the police.”

    That's pretty crazy really. And if the police did manage to eliminate the gangs/jail the leaders then it might well worsen the violence; a bad position for them to be in.

    Funny that even the gangs are better run in SP than Rio, though. Fits both cities' reputations.

    I also liked the bit where he said he couldn't have ordered an invasion because he'd had no visitors for 10 days. It's well known most of those gang bosses have mobile phones and continue running things from inside jail.

    ”use of [Lula's] image (imo) was prejudicial to Haddad“

    Maybe, but the LJ team didn't think so at the time, nor other opponents of the PT, so makes sense they'd try to block the interview. I think substituting Haddad at the last minute was prejudicial to him, but obviously the PT thought otherwise, or really believed Lula would be found innocent.

    ”wasn’t the STF that jailed Lula“

    That's splitting hairs. He was only jailed because the STF rejected his HC, and now they have reversed that decision and freed him.

    ”GG’s ‘fame’, will ensure he’s treated fairly.”

    Yes, and the fact he's an American. But other journalists don't have that protection, which is worrying for Brazil.

    Nobrega's ex wife and mother were employed by Flavio B, (paid by him anyway, who knows if they did any work). Pretty suspicious to have such a direct link.

    Are you planning on going to the protest? People will have to be careful now the coronavirus has reached SP. Good thing the carnival is nearly over... how was it this year?

    Re CFK, I don't think she was ever as popular as Lula, so Scioli probably (would have) had more independence than Dilma. What d'you think of Alberto F so far? Is he his own man or is she pulling the strings?

    Feb 26th, 2020 - 08:34 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    Whenever a gang boss's taken down, they retaliate -burn busses, random shootouts ; it’s literally war, the gangs think they have a right to exist ; communication with the outside world usually ceases when sent to max security fed’l prisons.
    Basic reason Lula’s interview was initially banned, had nothing to do with the LJ- fm a legal standpoint, was irregular, period. The main consideration against it was its potential to cause social unrest (MST etc). “Any” reason to block it would’ve ‘made sense, but if the PT’s intention was to help Haddad, it backfired. The average guy in the street thought it absurd he should be allowed to campaign from jail – not available to prisoners. The PT wasn’t as stupid as to think Lula would be found innocent – they, more than anybody, knew the extent of his crimes…the idea that he would “step down” (as if he had a choice) in favor of Haddad, was the plan all along - they thought they could transfer the votes, gain an overwhelming victory. Their ploy failed.
    “wasn’t STF that jailed Lula“/ “That's splitting hairs” – NOT at all. Technically speaking, when Lula was convicted in 1st, & 2nd instance, prison after conviction in collegiate court was valid, reason why the STJ turned down his appeal (HC), 5 x 0. The STF (6 x 5) only managed to get him released based on the new, recent understanding of prison after conviction in collegiate court.
    You have a very biased view when it comes down to GG….’n now, other journalists. Understand one thing, to be deported you have to be accused & convicted under the Nat’l Security law, nothing to do with freedom of speech. Let it rest.
    Sure, while Rio State Deputy, Flavio B employed “miliciano’s” family members…proof of direct involvement is quite different…’n remember, most of Rio’s deputies did exactly the same.
    March 15 protest…considering it, the virus is a concern. Watched 5 mins of carnival on the TV…more than enough. Afaic, Scoli would‘ve been a puppet, 'n AF is sharing the front seat.

    Feb 27th, 2020 - 05:29 pm - Link - Report abuse -1
  • DemonTree

    I've heard the gangs have better weapons than the police and they're better trained too. In Mexico they really run the place and murder any politician who tries to stand against them. Maybe it's heading that way in Brazil too (Marielle?)

    Maybe social unrest was a consideration in banning Lula's interview, but we don't know what people's real motives were - except what the chats reveal of the LJ team. Shame we don't have more leaks from those at the top.

    A guy in the street might support Lula or hate him, and have very different opinions on his imprisonment. There isn't an average of that; it would probably have helped Haddad with some people. Yeah, the PT's strategy backfired, should have switched to Haddad or someone else earlier.

    The STF voted on Lula in 2018, and rejected his argument 6 x 5. That's when he went to jail. One of them changed their mind in the latest ruling - Rosa Weber I think - dunno why.

    Speaking of Flavio, whatever happened to Queiroz?

    Is it true B told people to protest against Congress? That's kind of f'ed up, like the start of a civil war.

    They said on the news the virus is a lot more dangerous if you're over 50 - good reason to stay away from crowds, but the carnival may have spread it around already. In Europe it's mostly being spread by skiers - several schools nearby just got back from ski trips to northern Italy. And I think I'm getting a cold - hope it is just a cold!

    Feb 27th, 2020 - 09:43 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    With the drug income, they can smuggle in war weapons fm Pguay & Miami, but ‘better trained’ don’t think so. Sounds like Mexico’s cartels are worse than Rio’s.
    Don’t believe Marielle was/is the beginning of a cycle…she wasn’t the first, won’t be the last. Political assassinations are more common in small counties, far from big cities, where law enforcement is less efficient, corruption is rampant, and many times, politicians are the gang leaders.
    Naturally the LJ was against Lula’s interview, as so were most Brazilians, but neither had the power to prevent it, so the “chats” are irrelevant.
    Even some factions within the PT (newer, less radical) were against Haddad associating his name with the convict’s, but Lula got his way.
    In 2018 (STF), Fachin, Moraes, Barroso, Weber (she decided to accompany the then-current jurisprudence), C.Lucia ‘n Fux voted against Lula’s HC ; mid ’19, the STF’s 2nd group (only 5 judges) rejected another ; in Dec 2019, with jurisprudence on their side, the other 5, plus Weber (gave into her sympathy for the left) voted to release him.
    After GMendes suspended all COAF investigations ( all 935) in Oct 2019, Queiroz’s was put on hold. After his decision was reversed in Dec, don’t know what progress has been made. ”B told people to protest against Congress” is INcorrect. Besides the protest targeting mainly the Senate/Lower House leaders (and for good reason), B only supported it at first, then withdrew his official support. But of course, the press made it sound like B’s initiative. Once again, don’t forget that under the PT, many things that were said were largely ignored by the press, but now, similar occurrences generate all sorts of complaints. Take what the press says with a pinch of salt.
    The virus seems to be better transmitted under humid conditions (more present in low temperatures), but avoiding crowds is a good is frequent washing of yr hands.
    Yes, over 60, when immunity “tends” to become weaker (for most).

    Feb 28th, 2020 - 05:06 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Terence Hill

    ”Neoliberalism at Gunpoint: Finance Minister invokes AI-5 in Washington, prepares for backlash on the streets
    As Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro launches his new brazenly Neofascist party ‘Alliance for Brazil’, inspired by ARENA (Alliance for National Renewal) of the Dictatorship era, his ministers and foreign supporters are normalising a return to the repression of the 1960s and 1970s to protect their economic interests.
    Paulo Guedes, Bolsonaro’s Chicago Schooled Finance Minister, says he has no qualms about a dictatorship style crackdown on political and press freedoms to protect his reforms.
    The threat of AI-5, or Institutional Act 5, the “coup within the coup” of 1968 which ushered in the worst atrocities of the Dicatorship era, has been in the news since Jair Bolsonaro’s son Eduardo raised it on the floor of Congress and in an interview, in response to Right-Wing fears that Brazil would have its own Chilean style anti-Neoliberal mass protest movement.
    Historian Fernando Horta described AI-5 as having been designed to “attack the future”.

    Feb 28th, 2020 - 08:31 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    That's the problem; when the gangs have more money than the government, they also become more powerful. Not surprising they can more easily get away with assassinations in small towns, with less scrutiny.

    I've never heard of anything like this happening in Brazil, so I'd say the Mexican cartels are worse:

    IIRC Weber said at the time she'd be likely to change her vote when they reviewed the law on jail after second instance, rather than a specific case like Lula's. Don't really understand her reasoning, and either google translate can't handle Brazilian legalese, or it really is that impenetrable, cause what I read didn't make much sense. Plus her throwing in Latin terms is giving me unpleasant flashbacks of talking to Terry.

    I bet Lula thinks Dilma choose poorly with her Supreme Court nominees. If she'd picked yes-men the last election could have gone very differently...

    “Queiroz’s was put on hold”

    And Queiroz disappeared? Wonder if he's fled the country too?

    Why did B change his mind about supporting the protest? Changed his views or was it just due to bad reactions? Guess since he fell out with his last party he's lacking support in Congress? I've seen several of them attacking him.

    Didn't you say it's the rainy season in SP now? That's not so good if humidity spreads the virus. I have no idea what effect your weather would have though - think your winter is more like our summer, and here the government is hoping to at least delay the virus until it warms up, when it shouldn't spread so easily and there will be less flu and other respiratory diseases using the same resources. I'm mostly worried because of the baby, it's bad timing for us. Not to mention now they are saying it could cause a recession bigger than 2008, which we have not even finished recovering from.

    Feb 28th, 2020 - 09:39 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    Mexico sounds pretty gruesome, but as long as the dead are gang members, who cares ? The others, caught up involuntarily in the war, very unfortunate.

    Can’t remember Weber having said that, but it sounds just like her….’n although I don’t know, I’d say Lula’s case influenced her latest vote (prison after conviction in collegiate court).
    To understand most of her legalese you’ve got to be a lawyer…the other 5 who voted in favor of his HC, are similar…in 2018, was watching some sessions on TV with a friend who’s a lawyer, and even he had to agree they use too much Latin (and beating around the bush), making comprehension impossible for most. Perhaps the televised sessions make some of them want to show off…but it has the opposite effect on viewers.

    Lula chose C.Lucia, Lewandowski, Toffoli and 5 others, including JBarbosa who presided the ‘mensalão’ trials.
    Dilma chose Barroso, Fachin, Fux, Zavaschi (Ɨ 01/17) ‘n Weber ; it is likely Lula “helped” her choose, ‘n don’t doubt they thought they had picked yes-men, but as it turned out, only Weber corresponded favorably.

    Queiroz is probably either in Rio or in São Paulo, near to the hospital where he’s being treated for cancer.

    B changed his mind due to the reactions. Even with his ex-party behind him, his support in Congress wasn’t all that great… as a result of his refusal to appoint career politicians to most ministerial posts.
    The 2 leaders in Congress (Maia, Alcolumbre) are ‘’de facto” leaders of the ‘Centrão’ (big centre) and are the ones who are continually maneuvering to try to undermine the Executive’s control over the Federal budget.
    B needs to learn to keep his mouth shut.

    Yeah, it’s the rainy season here now, rainfall is breaking records. Our winter is usually cool, and dry. Following the recommended precautions should do the trick, but the possibility of (another) recession is what concerns me…no harm in hoping they find a vaccine soon, or manage to contain the spreading.

    Feb 29th, 2020 - 06:51 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    The Mexican gangs kill plenty of innocent people too, who just got in their way. It's not surprising people want to get out of a situation like that.

    Sounds like the judges are trying to impress people with how clever they are, or they're just too used to the jargon and have forgotten how to speak plainly. Supposedly contracts are written in that opaque style to avoid ambiguity, but surely it's not necessary to explain the reasoning for a judgement?

    Since Portuguese is descended from Latin, does that make it easier for people to guess what the Latin phrases mean?

    It still surprises me that the judges appointed before Lula became President voted in his favour, while those appointed by Dilma voted against him. Can't imagine that happening in America.

    Presume it would have been in the news if Queiroz died of the cancer? Seems a slightly risky position to be in, these days...

    Maia did help push through the pension reform, AIUI. Do they not support Guedes's plans for the economy? B would be foolish to antagonise Congress too much; they removed the last President to be elected and have the power to do it again if he makes himself unpopular enough.

    “rainfall is breaking records”

    Here too, it's the wettest February on record and there are floods all over: (Currently 90 warnings and 215 alerts)

    Our house buyers pulled out because the torrential rain washed a massive load of sand down onto the driveway. Worst possible timing to have all this extreme weather now.

    What is cool for São Paulo? Summer in the UK has average high about 21C and low 12C. I read it would take them 18 months to create and test a vaccine, but infections seem to be reducing in China so maybe it is possible to contain it. The prospect of another recession is pretty worrying.

    Feb 29th, 2020 - 11:21 pm - Link - Report abuse 0

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