Archive for 31 enero 2016

ARGENTINE UPDATE – Jan 28, 2016

31 enero, 2016

1. YAHOO IS SHUTTING OFFICES IN MEXICO, ARGENTINA TO TRIM COSTS (Bloomberg News)

2. ARGENTINA’S CLARIN PUSHES INTO MOBILE MARKET WITH NEXTEL BUY (Reuters News)

3. BRAZIL SEEKS FREE AUTO TRADE WITH ARGENTINA (Reuters News)

4. YAHOO TO SHUT ARGENTINA AND MEXICO OFFICES (Reuters News)

5. YAHOO TO CLOSE ARGENTINA, MEXICO OFFICES (The San Francisco Chronicle)

6. ARGENTINA’S BANKING SECTOR POISED FOR M&A (Business News Americas)

7. ARGENTINA’S MACRI MAKES UTILITY MOVE AHEAD OF ‘CHOPPIER’ POLITICS: TENEO (Barrons)

8. NEW ARGENTINA SUBSIDIARY JOINS ACTON INSTITUTE IN GLOBAL THINK TANK RANKINGS (Acton.org)

1. YAHOO IS SHUTTING OFFICES IN MEXICO, ARGENTINA TO TRIM COSTS (Bloomberg News)
By Brian Womack
January 28, 2016

Yahoo! Inc. is shutting down two offices in Latin America, seeking to trim costs by scaling back some international operations.

The Web portal will close sites in Mexico and Argentina, while keeping open offices in Brazil and Florida, according to a statement Thursday. The number of employees affected wasn’t disclosed, though the company said the offices are small.

“Yahoo is focused on maximizing growth,” the Sunnyvale, California-based company said. “Latin America is an important region for Yahoo and we will continue to invest in the people and products there.”

After more than three years of unsuccessful efforts to revive growth, sales remain in a slump, and pressure is mounting on Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer. The CEO is set to unveil a new plan to streamline the company’s operations by next week — one that’s likely to include job cuts, a person familiar with the matter said earlier this month.

Yahoo is scheduled to report fourth-quarter earnings on Feb. 2. Analysts estimate that revenue, minus sales passed on to partners, declined 20 percent to $948.2 million.

2. ARGENTINA’S CLARIN PUSHES INTO MOBILE MARKET WITH NEXTEL BUY (Reuters News)
By Maximiliano Rizzi and Richard Lough
Jan 28, 2016

Argentine media firm Grupo Clarin S.A. said on Thursday its subsidiary Cablevision has taken full ownership of Nextel Communications Argentina, the country’s fourth-largest mobile telephone company.

Clarin’s move to take 100 percent ownership of Nextel gives it a greater stake in Argentina’s mobile market, in which Nextel holds a 3 percent share.

In a notice to the country’s market regulator, Clarin said Cablevision, Argentina’s leading cable-TV provider, exercised an option to buy an additional 51 percent stake in Nextel.

The deal is subject to approval by Argentina’s media watchdog ENACOM, established by new President Mauricio Macri who has eased restrictions on media ownership since he entered office in December.

Nextel faces much larger competitors in Argentina, such as Claro, owned by America Movil, Telecom Argentina’s Personal, and Telefonica’s Movistar.

Clarin on Sept 14 bought an initial 49 percent stake in Nextel, a subsidiary of NII Holdings Inc, a Latin American mobile service provider. Days later the-then AFTIC media regulator rejected the deal, but that decision was later suspended by a local court.

Clarin had been locked in a years-long battle with former President Cristina Fernandez that centred on the so-called Audiovisual Media Law introduced in 2009 that curbed media ownership. Clarin said Fernandez was taking deliberate aim at the company.

In its first month in power, Macri’s government dissolved the AFTIC watchdog and began easing restrictions laid out in the Audiovisual Media Law.

The law capped corporate ownership of the broadcasting market, with the controls also applying to the cable sector.

3. BRAZIL SEEKS FREE AUTO TRADE WITH ARGENTINA (Reuters News)
By Silvio Cascione
Jan 28, 2016

The Brazilian government will propose the full liberalization of vehicle trade with Argentina from July, newspaper Valor Econômico reported on Thursday.

Brazilian Trade minister Armando Monteiro will travel to Buenos Aires in February to make a formal offer, Valor added, without saying how it obtained the information.

The press offices of the Brazilian and Argentinian governments were not immediately available to comment.

Officials in both countries are already working on a potential deal, which was discussed by Finance Ministers Nelson Barbosa and his Argentinian counterpart Alfonso Prat-Gay last week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Valor said.

Brazil also plans to propose a deal to allow companies from both countries to participate in public tenders under the same conditions as local firms, Valor reported.

The two states have imposed quotas on bilateral automobile trade despite being major partners in South America’s trading bloc Mercosur.

Brazil and Argentina are among the region’s most protectionist countries, but are moving to open their economies.

Argentina’s recently-elected President Mauricio Macri has vowed to reduce trade barriers with his country’s key trade partner.

His Brazilian counterpart Dilma Rousseff is aggressively trying to open up new markets abroad in an attempt to revive an economy mired in its worst recession in nearly 30 years.

4. YAHOO TO SHUT ARGENTINA AND MEXICO OFFICES (Reuters News)
Jan 28, 2016

Yahoo Inc plans to close its offices in Argentina and Mexico, a company spokeswoman said on Thursday.

The company will maintain its Latin American operations through its teams in Brazil and Coral Gables, Florida.

Yahoo declined to specify how many jobs were affected, but said the offices were “small sales-focused”.
Technology news website TechCrunch first reported the closures.

5. YAHOO TO CLOSE ARGENTINA, MEXICO OFFICES (The San Francisco Chronicle)
By Wendy Lee
29 January 2016

Yahoo said Thursday it plans to shut down its offices in Argentina and Mexico, as the struggling tech giant looks for ways to trim expenses.

The move was part of Yahoo’s focus on “maximizing growth,” the company said in an e-mailed statement. “Latin America is an important region for Yahoo and we will continue to invest in the people and products there,” the company said, adding that its teams in Brazil and Miami “remain vital” to Yahoo.

Yahoo declined to say how many employees would be affected, but said these were “small sales-focused offices.” A person familiar with the business said there were roughly 8 people in the Argentina office.

On Tuesday, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is expected to unveil her future plans for Yahoo, moves that will likely include layoffs, people familiar with the matter said. Mayer has been under pressure to turn around the struggling tech giant and sales results in the fourth quarter are expected to be weak.

6. ARGENTINA’S BANKING SECTOR POISED FOR M&A (Business News Americas)
28 January 2016

The banking sector in Argentina is likely to see a new wave of M&A activity in the next few years, a top bank executive told BNamericas.

The economic and financial reforms that the government of President Mauricio Macri is pursuing are set to increase competition among banks and trigger deal-making, said Norberto Rodríguez (pictured), board member at largest private sector bank Santander Rio.

The upcoming M&A activity could involve deals among local banks as well as foreign banks coming to Argentina, Rodríguez said, including institutions from other Latin American nations that view the Argentine market as attractive and with significant future potential.

Santander Rio will look at acquisition opportunities when they arise, but the bank’s main focus is on organic growth, he said.

“We have shown that you can gain market share through organic growth and it’s cheaper than buying market share through acquisitions,” said Rodríguez. A corporate culture clash is a significant risk when purchasing another bank, he added.

The subsidiary of Spanish banking giant Santander has a loan and deposit market share of around 10% in Argentina; the bank sees this as a floor and not a ceiling, said Rodríguez, who believes Santander can outperform the market in the coming years.

Santander Rio’s organic growth plan in Argentina entails opening some 40 branches a year – as it did in 2015 – for the near future, focusing on small and remote underserved towns.

7. ARGENTINA’S MACRI MAKES UTILITY MOVE AHEAD OF ‘CHOPPIER’ POLITICS: TENEO (Barrons)
By Teresa Rivas
January 28, 2016

Earlier this week, Argentina announced subsidy cuts for wholesale distributors through the end of April, an expected part of its push for fiscal consolidation, Teneo Intelligence’s Nicholas Watson writes.

While exact prices increases aren’t yet clear, they could be fairly substantial for some residents; yet they are so low now that new tariffs will still be below generating costs, Watson explains. He writes that another round of increases will likely take place after this structure expires in three months, but keeping inflation down is a major government concern, and could slow future cuts.

Moreover, though President Mauricio Macri has made plenty of changes early in his administration, political conditions are also poised to become more difficult next month, which explains the need to make moves now.

More detail from Watson’s note:

President Mauricio Macri retains the political latitude to push ahead with his gradual fiscal reduction plan. A recent poll put the president’s approval rating at 71%. Macri’s recent trip to Davos was a success, with Argentina widely seen as a relative bright spot amid an otherwise gloomy panorama for EMs; Macri brought back a major investment pledge from Coca-Cola, and has talked of up to USD 20bn in investment inflows in 2016. The government will also look to introduce palliative measures when congressional sessions start on 1 March; these include measures to reduce VAT on basic goods and lower the threshold at which income tax becomes payable. These measures will be essential if inflation is seen to jump significantly in the early part of this year.

However, the political window for adjustments will not remain open for long. The political waters are set to become choppier from late-February. First, collective salary negotiations with the Buenos Aires provincial teachers’ union are set to begin in mid-February; these negotiations usually set a marker for other union wage talks extending into March. The inflationary effects of December’s devaluation and the subsidy cuts will make this year’s wage talks challenging for the government. Second, former president Cristina Fernandez (2007-15) is planning to launch her new foundation in late-February; the launch event will mark Fernandez’s re-entry into the political fray as she attempts to position herself as the strongest opponent to Macri within the broad Peronist movement. Although the Peronists are split, which offers Macri an opportunity to leverage divisions for political gain, Fernandez remains a formidable adversary.

The Global X MSCI Argentina exchange-traded fund (ARGT) is climbing 1.2% in recent trading. Among utilities with ADRs, Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora Norte S.A. (EDN) is up 1.6% and Pampa Energia (PAM) is up 2%.

8. NEW ARGENTINA SUBSIDIARY JOINS ACTON INSTITUTE IN GLOBAL THINK TANK RANKINGS (Acton.org)
January 28, 2016

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Jan. 28, 2016)—The Acton Institute made another strong showing in a leading ranking of global think tanks which showed the Grand Rapids-based research and educational institution among the best organizations of its kind in the United States and abroad. Acton’s new Argentina subsidiary in Buenos Aires, Instituto Acton, made its first appearance among the “best independent think tanks” category. The University of Pennsylvania’s Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) released its 2015 Global Go-To Think Tanks Report today.

Highlights from the 2015 University of Pennsylvania report:

Acton Institute is 9th (out of 90) in the Top Social Policy Think Tanks ranking (9th in 2014).
Acton Institute is 29th (out of 75) in the Top Think Tanks in the United States (29th in 2014).
In Top Think Tanks Worldwide, Acton ranks 155th (out of 175) (previously unranked).
10th in Best Advocacy Campaign (11th in 2014) for PovertyCure.
17th (out of 61) in Best Think Tank Conference (17th in 2014) for Acton University.
Instituto Acton was ranked 100th (out of 144) Best Independent Think Tanks.
The Think Tank & Civil Societies Program maintains comprehensive data on more than 6,500 think tanks worldwide, of those more than half are considered in the ranking, but fewer than 300 organizations make it into the final report. Free market think tanks had a strong presence on the report this year, taking top spots in several categories in the U.S. and internationally.

While the TTCSP has been in existence for more than 25 years, this is the program’s 9th ranking report. James G. McGann, director of the program said that the goal of this research and report is “to increase the profile and performance of think tanks and raise the public awareness of the important role think tanks play in governments and civil societies around the globe.”

The program has a rigorous ranking criteria which includes: the “quality and commitment of the think tank’s leadership;” the “quality, number, and reach of its publications;” the think tank’s “reputation with policymakers;” its “media reputation;” its “ability to produce new knowledge;” “financial stewardship;” and the organization’s “impact on society.”

The Go-To Think Tank Report also included some interesting facts about think tanks: 30 percent of all think tanks are located in North America and 27 percent are in Europe. The United States has the most think tanks with 1,830, followed by China with 429. In the United States, Washington, D.C., has the most of any state or district with 396 and Michigan is home to 30 other think tanks besides Acton.

The full report here: http://www.timbro.se/pdf/2015-Go-To-Think-Tank-Report.pdf

Impacts

A recession is likely this year and growth thereafter will remain muted.

The continuing economic malaise in Brazil will also be a drag on manufacturing recovery.

The political panorama is currently fluid but is likely to solidify in opposition to Macri.

Outlook

Despite some international applause for new President Mauricio Macri’s efforts to roll back the policy choices of the 2003-15 Kirchner governments, domestic opinion is broadly sceptical and short-term expectations poor.

Macri’s tendency to opt for decrees thus far – an approach adopted by his predecessor, who was much criticised for it – is likely to stiffen opposition, especially in provinces where his government, characterised as pro-finance and pro-business, is not seen as representative of views outside the capital.

The dominant Peronist party is in some disarray and in search of new leadership, leaving an opening for Macri to reach accords with at least some factions. However, the party will regroup quickly; governing without at least some Peronist backing is likely to prove near impossible.

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INTERVENTOR JUDICIAL AL BANCO CENTRAL

31 enero, 2016

ARGENTINA SALVAJIZADA

Las noticias que corren respecto a las reservas de Argentina y del Banco Central, y las deudas de nuestro país con el exterior, prima facie demuestera que existe un conflicto múltiple de intereses, entre el Poder Ejecutivo (que quiere disponer de los fondos), el Congreso Nacional (que cree que le corresponde a él según la Constitución el manejo del Estado, y también están en pleito dos “players” importantes: la provincia de San Luis que tiene una demanda iniciada en jurisdicción originaria de la Corte Suprema para preservar las reservas, y el supuestamente inamovible, pero desplazado Presidente del Banco Central, licenciado Redrado.

Como si fuera poco, la Presidenta Fernandez de Kirchner habría dicho que Redrado no podrá entrar nunca mas al Banco, y se supone que la policía impedirá ingresar por orden del Ejecutivo, al mencionado Redrado. Lo cual motivaría quizás una presentación de sus abogados para que este mismo fin…

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UN EQUIPO ECONÓMICO DESOBEDIENTE (La Nueva Provincia 5-8-85 )

30 enero, 2016

ARGENTINA SALVAJIZADA

 

La “ley de la tendencia” indica que estamos saliendo de la pesadilla y de la decadencia, luego de décadas de desgobierno; militar y políticamente, hemos abandonado ese dirigismo “fascistoide”, y nuestro presidente ha manifestado públicamente que nos quiere conducir hacia un sistema económico al estilo occidental, es decir, con libertad.

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ARGENTINE UPDATE – Jan 27, 2016

29 enero, 2016

WEDNESDAY
1. ARGENTINA AND ARAMCO ARE DEALS FOR DIFFICULT TIMES (The New York Times)

2. NEW HEAD OF ARGENTINA’S FINANCIAL-CRIMES AGENCY AIMS TO REPAIR TIES WITH U.S. (The Wall Street Journal Online)

3. BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA: SMALL MARKET, GLOBAL MINDSET (Financial Times)

4. ARGENTINA SUCCUMBS TO BOND TURMOIL AS MACRI EUPHORIA CAST ASIDE (Bloomberg News)

5. CHAVEZ’S DREAM OF UNITY STUMBLES AHEAD OF LATIN AMERICAN SUMMIT (Bloomberg News)

6. ARGENTINA ORDERS HALT TO LATAM AIRLINES WORKERS’ STRIKE (Reuters News)

7. ARGENTINA EYES RAISING NATURAL GAS PRICES TO BOOST OUTPUT: GOVERNOR (Platts)

8. MACRI’S ‘HONEYMOON’ TO END WITH UNION SALARY TALKS (Business News Americas)

9. PAE, TECPETROL FACE ARGENTINA OIL PRICE CONUNDRUM (Business News Americas)

10. ARGENTINA GAS PRODUCERS NEED MORE FEDERAL SUPPORT – GOVERNOR (Business News Americas)

11. PAMPA ENERGIA DEBT SHELF SPARKS M&A TALK (Reuters News)

12. ARGENTINE CORN CROP SUFFERS LOSSES DUE TO DROUGHT –EXPERT (Reuters News)

13. ARGENTINA: WILL OIL, GAS FRACKING BRING YPF 50% UPSIDE? (Barrons)

14. WHAT? ARGENTINA CONSIDERS IMPORTING BEEF (PRI org)

1. ARGENTINA AND ARAMCO ARE DEALS FOR DIFFICULT TIMES (The New York Times)
By Rob Cox
Jan. 26, 2016

Two big deals dominated the agenda in Davos, Switzerland, last week: Argentina’s negotiations with holdout creditors and Saudi Arabia’s potential sale of a piece of its national energy leviathan, Saudi Aramco.

One would open up a robust democracy to global markets after years of feckless governance and isolation. The other would help a repressive regime retain its grip. That both would arguably leave the world better off underlines its fragile state.

The plutocrats assembled in Davos at the World Economic Forum, which concluded on Saturday, spent most of their time reassuring each other that sliding stock markets represent no threat to their prosperity similar to the 2008 financial crisis. When their discussions ventured further afield – and beyond the surging poll numbers of Donald J. Trump’s presidential bid — Argentina and Saudi Arabia were front and center. They represent starkly divergent developments that, while not suggestive of crisis at the doorstep, showcase the tenuous nature of global stability.

Argentina’s return to the economic mainstream is the happier of the two. The newly elected president, Mauricio Macri, hopes to reach a settlement with creditors led by Elliott Management who went unpaid when his predecessors defaulted. Though Mr. Macri said he had not met with Elliott’s leader, Paul Singer, his delegation of cabinet members, including his finance minister and a former JPMorgan banker, Alfonso Prat-Gay, and even the leader of the opposition party, charmed the pants off the international bankers and world leaders in attendance.

In addition, the Argentines used their Swiss visit to meet with bank chief executives to lay the groundwork for expanding the country’s dollar reserves. By lending money to the central bank in return for as-yet-to-be-determined collateral – via a so-called repo operation – financial institutions can help bring Argentina back to the markets. That presumably entails support from the International Monetary Fund, with whom Mr. Macri and his entourage also tangoed in Davos.

As Mr. Macri made a point of noting, that will benefit everyone. In an interview with Reuters, he boasted that Argentina’s agricultural industry could feed 600 million people – but only if it could reach them.

“For that we need infrastructure. We need roads, ports — for that we need financing,” he said. “We are near,” he continued, to having “the worst logistics in Latin America. That’s a great opportunity also for companies and investors.”

Mr. Macri’s performance should increase external pressure on the hedge fund holdouts headed by Elliott to accept any offer that looks objectively reasonable. Mr. Singer has a strong track record of holding fast to his legal convictions, but does he really want to be known as the man who deprived the world’s hunger of prime Argentine beef?

Contrast Argentina with the other big deal floating around Davos: a stock offering from the national petroleum company of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Bankers on Wall Street and in the City of London were feverishly preparing underwriting proposals last week for the share sale, which would probably be limited to a downstream division of Aramco to avoid shining the full spotlight of transparency on the parent’s books and vast oil reserves.

Top executives from banks working on the pitches professed little alacrity about the deal, for reasons that are both selfish and moral. On the first point, though an initial public offering of Aramco could be the biggest equity deal in history, the fees will be negligible. The last big Saudi Arabian I.P.O., a $6 billion offering for National Commercial Bank in November 2014, paid underwriting commissions of below 0.1 percent. By contrast, the Chinese e-commerce group Alibaba paid 12 times as much to the banks that took it public in a $25 billion deal two years ago.

That might be tolerable to the banks if the deal were of a more philosophically palatable character, along the lines of, say, restoring Argentina’s access to credit. Saudi Arabia last year summarily executed more than 150 people, the most in two decades, according to Amnesty International. Notwithstanding Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s talk of transparency, the offering has to be seen as part of the Al Saud dynasty’s coping mechanism for sliding oil prices and the damage this is doing to the finances of the kingdom.

Sustained low oil prices, partly the result of the kingdom’s hopes to squeeze out higher-cost producers from Iran to Calgary and from North Dakota to Brazil, threaten the social spending that is critical to keeping social unrest at bay. As my colleague Andy Critchlow estimates, Riyadh may need to sell half a trillion dollars of assets to cover budget shortfalls if oil hits $20 a barrel.

In an Aramco I.P.O., there’s no money to be made and no pathway to moral redemption. So why participate? Though the idea of financing a regime that kicked off this year with 47 beheadings is troubling, the alternative would be worse for global stability: a chaotic, Libya-style breakdown.

It’s naïve to think that financiers alone have the power to prevent Saudi Arabia from spreading geopolitical anxiety or to turn Argentina into a trustworthy, developed market. But given the delicate state of the global economy, World Economic Forum bankers should give it their best shot.

2. NEW HEAD OF ARGENTINA’S FINANCIAL-CRIMES AGENCY AIMS TO REPAIR TIES WITH U.S. (The Wall Street Journal Online)
By Taos Turner
27 January 2016

Mariano Federici charged with bolstering fight against money laundering, drug trafficking

BUENOS AIRES—President Mauricio Macri on Tuesday appointed a former International Monetary Fund official to head Argentina’s financial crimes agency, in a move that aims to bolster the country’s contribution to the global fight against money laundering and drug trafficking and to improve the agency’s relations with its counterpart in the U.S.

Mariano Federici, the agency’s new head, said a priority for the agency is to restore full ties with the U.S. Treasury Department, which has its own financial crimes agency, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN. The U.S. stopped providing Argentina with financial intelligence last year, Argentine officials said, amid concerns that authorities in the government of then President Cristina Kirchner had used confidential information from FinCEN for political purposes in a court case here.

In recent years, law-enforcement officials here say, Argentina has become a destination for narco-trafficking organizations that transport cocaine and other drugs into the country. Authorities say the groups are setting up drug-processing labs and fighting for control of the trade, leading to a spike in homicides in some cities.

“We are going to put a very strong emphasis on fighting drug trafficking, which is a priority for Macri,” Mr. Federici said in an interview last week. “We think this is one of the most serious threats facing the country.”

Mr. Federici said the agency will also focus heavily on working with local financial institutions, including banks and casinos, to combat international terrorism. “Our contribution to the global fight against terrorism is often underestimated, even though we suffered two terrorist attacks in Argentina,” Mr. Federici said, referring to car bombings that targeted the Israeli Embassy and a Jewish community center here in the 1990s.

Argentina’s financial crimes agency is one of about 150 financial intelligence units around the world, which are used to detect financial crimes, including money laundering and the financing of terror groups. FIUs, among them Treasury’s FinCEN, share confidential information to track the illegal use of financial institutions.

Mr. Federici was a top anti-money-laundering official at the IMF and worked with Latin American countries to combat it. That is a priority for Argentina, where officials here say drug-trafficking gangs from Mexico and Colombia have been moving money.

During Mrs. Kirchner’s tenure, the U.S. stopped sending information to Argentina from FinCEN in 2009 and again in 2015 amid concerns that confidential information was being used for political purposes, Argentine officials said. FinCEN and U.S. Treasury representatives declined to comment on the breakdown in relations.

Last year, the U.S. Justice Department rejected a request by Argentina to let it use information from FinCEN in a court case against the family of a prominent prosecutor. Alberto Nisman, the prosecutor, had accused Mrs. Kirchner of trying to sabotage his investigation into the 1994 terrorist attack on a Jewish community center in Buenos Aries that left 85 people dead.

In September, Argentina’s ambassador to the U.S., Cecilia Nahón, said in a letter to the State Department that Argentina was frustrated by U.S. delays in replying to requests by the judge for help in obtaining additional information that could be used as evidence in the case against Mr. Nisman’s family.

“All we see are unjustified delays and unnecessary bureaucratic delays, which do not allow for the judicial investigations to move forward,” said the letter, which was published on Argentina’s presidential news site.

Mr. Nisman was found dead with a bullet wound to his head, on January 18, 2015, a day before he was scheduled to testify about his allegations in Congress. A federal judge and an appellate court declined to investigate Mr. Nisman’s accusations, saying there was no evidence any crime had been committed relating to his investigation.

José Sbattella, who ran Argentina’s financial crimes agency until last month, said he was unable to prevent the federal judge from using classified intelligence material from FinCEN in the case against Mr. Nisman and his family. The judge’s actions, he said, violated Argentina’s agreement with the U.S. to keep information from FinCEN confidential. He said the judge acted on his own and that Argentina’s FIU had no legal authority to stop him. He denied that the agency mishandled any information last year.

An appellate court eventually removed the judge from the case, citing concerns about his impartiality. Mr. Nisman’s relatives are trying to get the case thrown out. The judge couldn’t be reached to comment.

Mr. Sbattella acknowledges that Argentina’s FIU leaked classified material from FinCEN to a pro-government newspaper here in 2009, a year before he was appointed to the agency. He says he spent much of his tenure trying to improve relations with FinCEN.

“All that time we kept sending information to FinCEN,” Mr. Sbattella said Tuesday.

Under Mr. Macri, Argentina has moved to repair relations with Washington, Europe and global financial institutions, among them the International Monetary Fund.

A U.S. Treasury Department spokesperson said Argentina “has an important role to play in the global fight against money laundering and terrorist financing,” adding that “Treasury is encouraged by recent efforts to strengthen Argentina’s FIU, and looks forward to positive collaboration with Argentina on these issues.”

3. BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA: SMALL MARKET, GLOBAL MINDSET (Financial Times)
By Benedict Mander
January 26, 2016

E7PY7K Overview of white homes in River Plata and Belgrano suburb with Stadium in Buenos Aires

Population 13m (Greater metropolitan area)
Corporation tax 35%
Setting up 3-6 months (urgent filings under 15 days)

Buenos Aires is home to a rich blend of peoples and cultures, whose origins range from Spain, Italy and eastern Europe to China, Africa and the US. Recently, it has become a magnet for people from many South American neighbours.

The case for: The diverse and creative population has benefited from an excellent public education system, as well as some 40 universities (mostly private) and more than 30 research centres.

Last year, the city’s efforts to foster a start-up cluster won the Cities Challenge of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress, organised by the Kauffman Foundation. The market-friendly government led by the centre-right President Mauricio Macri has grand plans to make Argentina a “normal” country again.

Buenos Aires also boasts bookshops and theatres to rival other cultural capitals of the world. With fine weather and pleasing architecture, this “Paris of the South” is a great place to live.

The case against: Plagued by periodic financial and political crises, Argentina could win the prize for the world’s worst-performing economy, having lost its status as one of the richest countries a century ago. It ranks as one of the region’s worst countries in the World Bank’s Doing Business report. Paradoxically, however, double and sometimes triple-digit inflation and all manner of economic controls such as the recently removed strict capital controls has bred a financially savvy population.

Support for start-ups: Venture capital is thin on the ground and many start-ups seek funding from overseas, although that is starting to change. Kaszek Ventures has raised more than $200m since it was founded in 2011, and investor optimism over economic reform is expected to create opportunities. More accelerators such as NXTP Labs, set up in 2011, and publicly backed schemes, such as an entrepreneurship academy with free live and online courses launched by the city of Buenos Aires, are emerging. Endeavor, an international non-profit organisation that supports entrepreneurs operates here.

Local heroes: Buenos Aires has fostered some of the region’s most successful tech start-ups. MercadoLibre, Latin America’s answer to eBay, is the region’s only internet company listed on Nasdaq. Globant, which develops software for clients such as Google and Coca-Cola, became the region’s first software company to float on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014. Despegar , the online travel company, may soon follow suit.

What the locals say: “The market size here may be relatively small, but entrepreneurs have a much more global mindset . . . In Argentina, from the get-go entrepreneurs are pushed to think beyond our borders and aspire to be part of the region,” says Gabriela Macagni, executive director of Endeavor.

Martín Migoya, Globant’s chief executive and co-founder, says being in the same timezone as the huge market in North America, where most of its clients are, is a huge plus.

4. ARGENTINA SUCCUMBS TO BOND TURMOIL AS MACRI EUPHORIA CAST ASIDE (Bloomberg News)
By Carolina Millan
January 26, 2016

* Country’s bonds sink 3.9%, twice emerging-market average
* Argentina’s benchmark notes hit nine-year high last month

Argentina managed to sidestep an emerging-market bond rout late last year on optimism newly elected President Mauricio Macri will end the nation’s isolation. But now, the deepening selloff roiling global markets is proving to be too much for investors to ignore.

The country’s dollar-denominated notes have lost 3.9 percent this month, more than three times the average in emerging markets, data compiled by JPMorgan Chase & Co. show. Its benchmark bonds due in 2033 have slid 4.1 percent from a nine-year high reached Dec. 30 and are now trading at the lowest price since Macri was elected Nov. 22.

While Macri has followed through on promises to dismantle currency controls and start negotiations with disgruntled creditors since taking office last month, the turmoil in global markets fueled by plunging commodity prices upended a plan to sell local notes and fueled the decline in overseas notes as investors dumped risky assets. Argentina’s foreign debt is rated Caa2 by Moody’s Investors Service, eight levels below investment grade. Standard & Poor’s has a SD, or selective default, grade on the debt.

“There’s been a strong risk-off in emerging markets, and even if Argentina has been separate from other global trends, it’s not immune,” said Joaquin Almeyra, a fixed-income trader at Bulltick LLC. “You’ve seen a lot of pain across Latin America and this was a question of contagion.”

5. CHAVEZ’S DREAM OF UNITY STUMBLES AHEAD OF LATIN AMERICAN SUMMIT (Bloomberg News)
By Nathan Gill
January 27, 2016

* Regional leaders meet in Quito to discuss integration agenda
* Spat between Venezuela, Argentina escalates as Macri cancels

Before he died, Venezuela’s late president, Hugo Chavez, had a dream to unite Latin America and the Caribbean against the dark forces of the U.S. empire. It’s not working out like he planned.

As presidents and prime ministers from the regional group CELAC meet Wednesday in an attempt to knit closer ties, President Nicolas Maduro, Chavez’s hand-picked successor, finds himself fending off attacks from the nation’s former ally, Argentina.

“Why does a country have to put up with the whole onslaught of right-wing governments,” Maduro said Saturday after Argentina’s newly-elected president, Mauricio Macri, criticized his government’s human-rights record. “I’m going to the summit of Latin America and the Caribbean nations in Quito with everything. No one is going to shut me up.”

While it’s unlikely anyone will shut Maduro up, his feud with Macri highlights political divisions across the region, where governments from Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff to Ecuador’s Rafael Correa are struggling to fend off allegations of corruption and economic mismanagement after a collapse in global commodity prices plunged their economies into recession. The bickering can only weaken CELAC, said Cynthia Arnson, director of the Latin America program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington.

“Venezuela historically has wanted to push confrontation with the U.S. and within Latin America,” Arnson said Tuesday in a telephone interview. “If CELAC is going to be merely a forum for ideological confrontation, it will quickly lose relevance.”

CELAC vs OAS

CELAC, the acronym for the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, was formed in 2011 at a summit in Caracas to help integrate the region and provide a forum to resolve disputes without the intervention of the U.S. and Canada. At the time, Chavez predicted the group would replace the Organization of American States, which includes the North American countries.

For now, the OAS is holding its ground. Whereas 34 of 35 heads of state attended the last meeting of the OAS in Panama last year, 27 of 33 are confirmed for Wednesday’s meeting in Quito. Among those missing are the heads of state of Cuba, Uruguay, El Salvador and Argentina.

Macri, who defeated the official candidate of former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s political party in December, called for the release of prisoners in Venezuela who human rights groups say are being held for political reasons. His press office said Sunday that doctors had advised him not to travel to the summit because of a rib injury.

The other leaders from the member states will discuss poverty reduction and inequality, climate change, infrastructure financing and immigration, among other issues, according to Ecuador’s Foreign Ministry.

“The real question for CELAC is what kind of organization it proposes to be,” Arnson said. “It’s important that there be regional institutions, but as yet there does not seem to be a clear agenda.”

6. ARGENTINA ORDERS HALT TO LATAM AIRLINES WORKERS’ STRIKE (Reuters News)
By Richard Lough
Jan 26, 2016

Argentina’s labor ministry ordered striking aviation employees to resume wage talks with LATAM Airlines and return to work, a ministry official said on Tuesday, after their walkout grounded four flights out of Buenos Aires’ main airport.

The workers, who belong to Argentina’s Union of Commercial Airline Senior and Professional Personnel, went on strike at dawn at Ezeiza International Airport over stalled pay negotiations.

An online departure board on the website of airport operator Aeropuertos Argentina 2000 showed delays of four flights from Buenos Aires to Chile, Peru and Brazil.

Local TV showed snaking queues in the Ezeiza check-in hall, and passengers were advised to contact the company.
Labor relations are prickly in Argentina, where trade unions routinely butt heads with private companies and the government over the scale of pay increases.

A spokeswoman confirmed the mandatory negotiations but said she had no further details.
The strike is a sign of what is to come for President Mauricio Macri ahead of wage talks with the country’s most powerful unions in the coming weeks. Macri oversaw the lifting of capital controls that led to a sharp devaluation of the peso .

LATAM operates TAM in Brazil and LAN Airlines in Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, Peru and Colombia.
In a separate dispute with the Argentine Federation of Aeronautic Personnel, or FAPA, the government earlier this month ordered salary talks between pilots and LAN Argentina.

Union officials said both pay rows would fester if the company did not offer a bigger salary increase.

“At the end of the month the compulsory talks between LAN Argentina and the FAPA union will end, and we’re likely to have another conflict because the pay offer the company has made is very low,” Sergio Mercau, a spokesman for an affiliated pilots union, told TV channel C5N.

7. ARGENTINA EYES RAISING NATURAL GAS PRICES TO BOOST OUTPUT: GOVERNOR (Platts)
By Charles Newbery
26 Jan 2016

Argentina is considering raising natural gas prices to boost production so that producers can sustain employment levels even as low global oil prices raise the threat of layoffs, a provincial governor said Tuesday.

Omar Gutierrez, governor of the gas-rich Neuquen province, said he is working on the plan for higher prices with Guillermo Pereyra, a national senator who also runs the Union of Private Oil and Gas Workers in the southwestern provinces of La Pampa, Neuquen and Rio Negro.

Gutierrez said they have taken the proposal to national Energy Minister Juan Jose Aranguren, and will meet with him again.

“Neuquen has a very significant opportunity to provide the larger gas supplies that the country needs,” Gutierrez said in a statement. “We are working to achieve a higher average price.”

The price for gas supplies from new developments, mostly of shale and tight gas production, is now at $7.50/MMBtu, while it runs between $2.70/MMBtu and $3.00/MMBtu for supplies from older, conventional gas wells.

Gutierrez said the idea is to increase the price to an average $5.80/MMBtu for supplies from older wells.

This increase would come in response to a national plan gradually to eliminate subsidies on electricity and gas rates. The move will lead to higher rates and wellhead prices from February, reducing the strain on public finances and providing more incentives to companies to ramp up exploration and production.

The higher price “will make new investments possible,” the governor said.

Another benefit is that higher gas prices will help mitigate the impact of lower oil prices, he added.

At the start of the year, the national government reached an agreement with oil producers to cut domestic crude prices by 10% to $54.90/b for heavier crudes produced in the south and to $67.50/b for a light crude produced in Neuquen.

While domestic crude prices are still higher than the around $30/b international price, the 10% drop has put at risk investments in oil exploration and production, in particular for crude for export. 532,000 b/d crude production.

Neuquen, by comparison, produces 20% of Argentina’s 532,000 b/d crude production and 47% of its 120 million cu m/d of gas, according to the Argentine Oil and Gas Institute (IAPG) industry group.

There is room to increase gas production because Argentina is running a deficit of 8% in gas supplies that peaks at 50% in the colder months of May to September. This has brought seasonal shortages that are partially plugged by importing an average of 30 million cu m/d of supplies from Bolivia by pipeline and from the global market via two floating regasification terminals.

Neuquen holds huge potential to increase gas output from shale and tight plays, including Vaca Muerta, which is starting to be brought into production by YPF, Chevron, Shell, ExxonMobil, Total and other companies.

8. MACRI’S ‘HONEYMOON’ TO END WITH UNION SALARY TALKS (Business News Americas)
26 January 2016

The ‘honeymoon’ period of Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri will end when union salary negotiations begin in March, says former central bank president Martin Redrado.

Macri came to power in December and has moved quickly to change the previous economic model of heavy state intervention and strict controls, including doing away with FX controls, cutting export taxes and starting talks with holdout creditors.

The outcome of the salary negotiations could have an impact on several key issues for the government, including lowering inflation, reducing the fiscal deficit and maintaining a stable FX rate, Redrado told a Scotiabank seminar in the Chilean capital Santiago. These difficult negotiations with strong unions will also show how capable Marci and his team really are in governing a country such as Argentina, Redrado added.

All the important unions are expected to request salary increases of at least 30%, and such hikes would make it very difficult to reach this year’s inflation target, Redrado said.

Finance minister Alfonso Prat-Gay announced earlier this month an inflation-targeting plan, with the goal of gradually bringing down price increases to 5% in 2019, from 20-25% this year.

Meanwhile, the legislative period begins in March and Macri will have to negotiate reforms with congress, where he does not have a majority. The good news for Macri, said Redrado, is that the Peronist movement is fragmented, and this could open up bipartisan deal-making opportunities.

SO FAR SO GOOD

The Macri government is off to a very good start but the future challenges are “enormous” since the previous government left the country’s economic indicators in a state of despair, said Redrado.

A GDP contraction and an annual inflation rate of around 30% is the most likely scenario for this year, but 2017 could see 3-4% GDP growth and 20% annual inflation if the government is able to advance with its ambitious reform agenda, Redrado said.

The Harvard-trained economist believes Argentina will reach an agreement with the holdouts this year, which would allow the country to return to the international markets again and reap the benefits of lower-cost financing. The most important thing in this complex issue is that Argentina’s attitude towards the holdouts – referred to by former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner as “vulture funds” – has completely changed under Macri, he said.

Redrado was head of Argentina’s monetary authority during 2004-10 and he is the founder of economic think tank Fundación Capital. Fernández de Kirchner dismissed Redrado from his post in early 2010 due to his opposition to the use of central bank reserves to help finance the a growing fiscal deficit.

9. PAE, TECPETROL FACE ARGENTINA OIL PRICE CONUNDRUM (Business News Americas)
26 January 2016

Although Argentina’s government-fixed domestic oil prices have sustained E&P investment through the current global downturn, producers in Chubut province have been unable to reap the full benefits.

That’s because up to 40% of output from the province is exported, according to a report from state news service Télam.

Prices for Argentina’s Medanito and Escalante benchmark crudes averaged US$77/b and US$63/b, respectively, during 2015, the report said, citing BP-controlled Pan American Energy (PAE) and Argentine firm Tecpetrol as Chubut’s main oil exporters.

By comparison, WTI crude averaged US$48.67/b, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

The Medanito light crude blend is produced in the Neuquén basin, while the medium Escalante blend comes from the Golfo San Jorge basin (pictured), which straddles provinces Chubut and Santa Cruz.

Due to a lack of refining capacity, there is less internal demand for the heavier Escalante, the report said, forcing Chubut producers to export it at global prices, which have hit their lowest point in over a decade.

Citing production costs of US$35/b, and with WTI futures trading at around US$30/b as of Tuesday, Chubut oil exporters have asked for support from the government of President Mauricio Macri to sustain production, the report said.

Meanwhile, Macri’s energy ministry has set the internal market prices for Medanito and Escalante at US$63.50/b and US$54.90/b as of January.

Analysts at Raymond James this week projected that Macri will probably keep prices stable for the rest of 2016, but that the medium-term goal is to bring local prices in line with global benchmarks.

10. ARGENTINA GAS PRODUCERS NEED MORE FEDERAL SUPPORT – GOVERNOR (Business News Americas)
26 January 2016

The governor of Argentina’s Neuquén province, Omar Gutiérrez, called on the national government to maintain and expand subsidies for natural gas producers.

Argentina guarantees a wellhead price of US$7.50/MMBtu for new natural gas production, under a measure implemented in 2012 to stimulate investment and reverse declining output.

By comparison, according to a report in state-run newspaper Neuquén Informa, the domestic market price for natural gas currently fluctuates between US$2.70 and US$3.00/MMBtu, with the federal government absorbing the difference.

The government also subsidizes end-use of natural gas for consumers, creating a situation widely cited by experts as unsustainable, and which energy secretary Juan José Aranguren has pledged to address through gradual subsidy reform.

But as subsidies to gas consumers are phased out, federal assistance to gas producers should be strengthened, Gutiérrez argued, according to the report.

The governor cited a desire, on the part of Argentina’s gas-producing provinces and labor unions, to maintain the US$7.50/MMBtu price for “new gas” and to fix an average price of US$5.80/MMBtu for “old gas.”

Gutiérrez pointed to the government’s artificially high domestic oil price as an essential tool that should be replicated for natural gas.

Argentina’s new President Mauricio Macri and minister Aranguren face a formidable challenge as they aim to return the local energy sector to a more market-based, international model while keeping the hydrocarbon-producing provinces – which largely voted against Macri in the November presidential election – happy.

The four important groups in Neuquén’s oil and gas sector, Gutiérrez said, are the private operators; the workers’ union; the provincial government, which awards and renews E&P concessions; and the national government, which sets pricing policy.

Neuquén province is home to the Vaca Muerta shale deposit, where firms including national oil company YPF, Chevron, Dow Chemical and ExxonMobil continue to ramp up investment in unconventional E&P.

11. PAMPA ENERGIA DEBT SHELF SPARKS M&A TALK (Reuters News)
26 January 2016

NEW YORK, Jan 26 (IFR) – Pampa Energia’s shareholders have approved a US$500m debt program, raising speculation that the Argentine utility is accumulating a war chest for an acquisition of Petrobras assets.

Pampa CEO Marcelo Mindlin has expressed an interest in buying the Brazilian oil company’s Argentine assets.

And local press reported the company had been analyzing an offer for a stake of slightly more than 60% for US$1bn-US$1.3bn.

“They were bidding for Petrobras assets, so you can assume there is an acquisition finance behind that (debt shelf) and possibly a bond take-out,” said a DCM banker focused on Argentina.

Analysts at Raymond James wrote last month that acquiring an up to 67% stake in Petrobras Argentina could be financed through debt and the sale of assets, given the credit’s low leverage.

As of the third quarter last year, the company had a net debt to Ebitda ratio of just 0.1 times, which would jump to around 1.3 times if it bought 67% of Petrobras in the US$1bn-US$1.3bn range, the analysts said.

Pampa is the country’s largest electricity company and is expected to benefit from the eventual lifting of utility tariffs as newly installed President Mauricio Macri looks to establish more market-friendly policies.

Changes to the existing tariff structure are expected to be announced as soon as February, as part of the government’s effort to cut the growing fiscal deficit.

“We favor Pampa as it offers exposure to the generation sector, which we believe will be the best-performing segment in the industry, while benefiting from the improvement in profitability in the other businesses (transmission and distribution),” said Raymond James.

The company’s early-stage backers cashed in on those prospects late last year through an all-secondary US$74.6m follow-on offering.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch was sole bookrunner.

Yet while market optimism about policy changes in Argentina is high, sliding crude prices and broader volatility is likely to up the cost of any bond take-out.

“It is still Argentina and it is still high-yield,” the DCM banker said.

“The US high-yield market is not healthy at the moment, and I don’t think the tariff issue alone will drive values.”

Possible comps for Pampa Energia include other Argentine utilities such as Transener, TGS and Edenor.

According to Thomson Reuters data, those companies have 9.75% 2021s, 9.625% 2020s and 9.75% 2022s trading at mid-market yields of around 11.20%, 9% and 9.8%, respectively.

12. ARGENTINE CORN CROP SUFFERS LOSSES DUE TO DROUGHT –EXPERT (Reuters News)
26 January 2016

BUENOS AIRES, Jan 26 (Reuters) – Drought has caused irrecoverable corn crop losses in some areas of Argentina despite the El Niño weather phenomenon which usually triggers heavy rains in South America, an analyst at the country’s main grains exchange said.

Argentina is the fourth largest exporter worldwide of the grain and farmers raced to plant more in recent weeks after the new, business-friendly government eliminated export taxes and quotas for corn.

However, a lack of rain and high temperatures in the north east of the province of Buenos Aires, the main agriculture district of the country, is threatening the corn harvest.

“This zone is burning up,” said Sofia Corina, an analyst at the Rosario exchange. “I’ve received reports of lost plots of corn and corn that has lost 50 percent of its yield.”

“This is completely unheard-of for a year of El Niño,” she added.

El Niño is a warming of ocean surface temperatures in the eastern and central Pacific that occurs every few years, triggering heavy rains and floods in South America and scorching weather in Asia and as far away as east Africa.

Two weeks ago, the Rosario exchange estimated the corn harvest for 2015/16 would be 23.8 million tonnes, up from 20.2 million tonnes in the previous season, due to a larger planting area and higher yields.

Corina said the area hit by drought represented 8 percent of the main agricultural area of the country, which is also a top global exporter of soy and wheat.

The expert said the lack of water also impacted soy but given the oilseed was not in its key period of growth, there was still time to avoid losses of the crop.

“If it rains, it can still be saved and manage to maintain its yields,” she said.

Argentina’s National Meteorological Office does not expect rain for that region in its weather forecast that predicts up to Friday. The temperature there is expected to reach up to 33 degrees Celsius (91.4 degrees Fahrenheit).

13. ARGENTINA: WILL OIL, GAS FRACKING BRING YPF 50% UPSIDE? (Barrons)
By Dimitra DeFotis
January 26, 2016

Tudor Pickering upgraded Argentina oil-and-gas exploration and production company YPF (YPF) and its price target implies U.S.-traded shares could have 50% upside.

Shares in the state-run energy company jumped nearly 5% Tuesday to a recent $14.94. Shares of YPF have tumbled 38% over the past 12 months, while shares of Petrobas Argentina (PZE) are up 20% and shares of Brazil’s state-run Petroleo Brasileiro or Petrobras (PBR) are down nearly 60%. The upgrade, to Buy from Hold, calls YPF a relatively defensive name in Latin America “with large resource potential to unlock.” From the upgrade report:

“We are upgrading YPF to Buy from Hold with an unchanged $23 price target based on … Argentine [oil] pricing of ~$65 per barrel, which implies 5x 2016 enterprise value/DACF. We see YPF as advantaged in this market given fixed pricing, the recent devaluation of the peso bringing down costs making the Vaca Muerta shale play (more than 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day of gross production) much more interesting. YPF’s balance sheet is not so much of a concern to us given we expect that YPF’s ability to attract capital to the Vaca Muerta will be enhanced with a more business friendly government, encouraging recent type curve data and lower costs improving economics.”

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that YPF and American Energy Partners, headed by the founder and former CEO of Chesapeake Energy (CHK), Aubrey McClendon, agreed to jointly explore and develop unconventional oil-and-gas projects in Argentina. The U.S. company is expected to fund, or find private-equity backing, for most of the $500 million to be invested in Vaca Muerta, WSJ reported:

“The deal, the latest in a series of international joint ventures by the Argentine state-run firm, underscores growing interest in Argentina’s Vaca Muerta–or “dead cow”–shale formation, in the Patagonian Province of Neuquén, which has turned Argentina into the world’s top shale producer outside of North America. “

Chesapeake suspended preferred dividends last week, and Chesapeake’s debt was downgraded Tuesday. See our posts on Why Petrobras Argentina & YPF Zig When Oil Prices Zag and more on new Argentine President Mauricio Macri’s $500 Billion Shale Oil Investment.

14. WHAT? ARGENTINA CONSIDERS IMPORTING BEEF (PRI org)
By Simeon Tegel
January 26, 2016

In Argentina, one of the world’s great ranching nations, eating steak every day is a way of life. Is it on the brink of importing beef?

The news is just the latest chapter in the country’s long-running drama of economic turmoil. Many citizens are hoping the new conservative government of President Mauricio Macri will finally end both the drama and turmoil.

But beef? It’s considered practically a human right in a land that lives for Sunday afternoon asados — or cookouts. The news that it may be imported comes amid forecasts that Argentines will eat less beef this year, a per capita average of 123 pounds compared to 2015’s 130 pounds, as domestic consumption is hit by a complicated mix of inflation and supply chain turbulence.

The previous presidencies of the late Nestor Kirchner and then his wife, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, saw frequent tensions between the government and Argentine ranchers.

The couple’s leftist policies led them to slap a 15 percent export tax on beef and issue a permit system for foreign sales while forcing ranchers to hit quotas for sales to local markets — at lower prices than on international markets.

The plan was aimed at ensuring that even poor Argentines could afford beef in a nation where it is regarded as a basic staple to be eaten morning, noon and night.

http://www.globalpost.com/sites/default/files/styles/w1024/public/photos/201601/rtr3qtvh.jpg?itok=z6SfJ_wz
Meat is grilled at the open air Mataderos Fair in Buenos Aires May 25, 2014. The event was staged as part of the 204th anniversary commemorations of the May Revolution.

But critics called it populist and warned of the harmful effects of alleged market interference, while farmers developed an aversion to selling their wares nationally.

Argentina’s beef herd remains one of the largest in the world at 51 million head of cattle, with production relatively stable. The problem is not a shortage of cattle in the South American nation.

Instead it is inflation, and what the government fears is speculation by some ranchers, seeing domestic beef prices rise by 13 percent just in December.

Vice President Gabriela Michetti warned: “We are seriously considering opening up imports of beef because it is one of the [food items] that most took off [in price]. There were negotiations with the sector but the problem continues. The government is very worried.”

She added that the beef industry was not fulfilling promises to keep prices down and that the government was also determined to avoid a “neoliberal” market readjustment, that would see prices immediately floated, leaving many poor consumers unable to afford steak.

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Empobrecidos x Cristina, los salarios bajarán

28 enero, 2016

El cristinismo nos empobreció, y deberemos mayoritariamente empobrecernos algo. Si la moneda nacional fuese estable, los salarios de empleados estatales disminuirían, si un 15% quien percibía 10.000 recibirá 8.500 porque un Estado empobrecido debe gastar menos (o endeudarse aún mas). Tenemos un precedente: con Fernando de la Rúa y López Murphy, ministro de economia y un gabinete ministerial plagado de economistas encontró que técnicamente lo correcto era bajar los salarios. Pero como la moneda argentina era el dolar, debido a que regía la convertibilidad, y al dolar no lo imprimimos en Argentina, propusieron reducir un 13% los salarios, ej. quien percibía 10.000 pesos convertibles bajaba a $8.700. Era una reducción real respecto del dolar, muy parecida a la que hacen los gobiernos inflacionarios argentinos sin convertibilidad: el objetivo es reducir salarios: todo país robado por su Presidente y asociados empobrece a su pueblo.

Igual que cuando una guerra se pierde. Esto sucedió con Galtieri, de la Rúa y Cristina K., pero al General Galtieri nos lo impusieron sin consultar los militares, con el relato falso de la soberanía nacional para proyectarse en el Poder sin necesidad de votos durante varios años mas. A de la Rúa y Cristina los votamos, nos robaron y debimos pagar los platos rotos. A de la Rúa lo echaron porque no era peronista y Duhalde necesitaba la Presidencia que había perdido dos años antes al haber el Pueblo elegido a de la Rúa. Porque de la Rúa prometió mantener la estabilidad y lo hizo. Sospecho los peronistas necesitaban dinero y poder, e inventaron hechos vandálicos que posibilitaron el golpe de Estado para que en solo un mes, el perdidoso Duhalde fuese electo Presidente por la Asamblea Legislativa, esquivando inconstitucionalmente el voto popular al cambiar la ley de Acefalia entre el fatídico fin de año 2001 y el idem comienzo del 2002. Simultáneamente anularon la convertibilidad, posibilitadi la temible inflación del peso ya no convertible, que enriquece a Gobernantes y Asociados y empobrece a la gran mayoría de los argentinos.

Macri como ingeniero necesita en corto tiempo que la inflación disminuya y eso se advierta. Lo que robaron desde los 8 años de Cristinismo no es posible calcular, porque el INDEC – palabras que oí ayer del licenciado Todesca, a cargo de la difícil tarea de recomponer los indices de precios reales, que en Argentina son difíciles de calcular, a menos que usemos tres parámetros confiables, según nuestro blog: el dolar en primerísimo término, aunque Todesca lo haya omitido mencionar ayer, y después el indice de precios de la Ciudad Autónoma y su equivalente de la Provincia de San Luis.

El sentido común indica que remontar la pérdida causada por engaños y robos de los últimos ocho o doce años requiere bastante tiempo. Los kirchneristas e izquierdistas sostienen que Macri está provocando inflación porque el Estado emite dinero, y con eso buscan distraer a la opinión pública para que comencemos a desconfiar del recién electo Presidente, cuya victoria puso en descubierto el desprestigio del kirchnerismo y el peronismo. Los gobernadores provinciales necesitan dinero fresco que solo puede fabricar el Gobierno Nacional generando mayor inflación, y comienza un tira y afloje para presionar al Gobierno Nacional. Si éste no entrega dinero inflacionario a las provincias, al estar desgobernadas desde siempre, la diferencia entre Ciudad Autónoma y Provincia de buenos Aires con el resto del país (22 provincias) seguirá aumentando. Y si entrega suficiente dinero inflacionario para que las provincias generen mayor trabajo en su territorio, habrá empapelamiento excesivo de pesos y la inflación aumentará. Máxime cuando los gobernadores suelen ser bastante bandidos, hacen desde joven la carrera del Poder y los que llegan a mandar, son autoritarios y difícilmente se empobrecen Gobernando provincias. La prueba está a la vista: nuestros Gobernadores suelen ser gente con patrimonio personal considerable a veces en manos de testaferros.

¿EXISTE SOLUCIÓN A LA ECONOMÍA ARGENTINA?

Un cambio es posible, siempre que resulte electo un Presidente sensato y honesto, y a Macri todavía no podemos medirlo con seguridad, porque sus antecedentes son sus ocho años como Jefe de Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, donde también sucedieron cosas sospechosas, como hemos informado en particular con la misteriosa e incomprensible ley 4.004 que Macri no vetó, que costó al pueblo de Buenos Aires mas de veinte millones de pesos a cambio de …….NADA (leer dicha ley 4004 en Google o buscar en nuestro blog charlas vinculadas al derrumbe en 2011 del edificio Bartolomé Mitre al 1200 a 3 cuadras del Obelisco porteño.

CAMBIOS QUE SUGERIMOS

1) que cada provincia se comporte como la Constitución ordena: se ocupe de percibir sus impuestos, aumentando los existentes, y BAJAR gastos provinciales al máximo, son excesivos, ya que la cantidad de empleados públicos en cada provincia implica un porcentaje enorme del gasto total.
2) Que cada provincia dicte leyes laborales provinciales para atraer a desocupados que quieran trabajar percibiendo poco, en vez de intentar sobrevivir del Estado con planes para ayudar a pobres que pueden trabajar. La provincia que mejor legisle en forma sensata, atraerá mano de obra ociosa de otras provincias e inversores dispuestos a contratarla, siempre que los gobernadores sean gente de confiar. La provincia mas confiable parece San Luis, su indice es un de los dos recomendados por el licenciado Todesca para calcular inflación y variaciones de precios. El otro es el de la Ciudad Autónoma.
3) Que las provincias se endeuden en el mercado local e internacional con fines serios. En algunos casos Gobernadores bandidos engañaran a sus vecinos, pero otros serios y honestos comprenderán que cada provincia puede y debe luchar competitivamente con las restantes para atraer inversiones que ocupen mano de obra privada. Los buenos gobernadores serán reelectos, los bandidos descartados, porque el pueblo está aprendiendo a votar, especialmente desde que es inaceptable golpes de Estado a nivel nacional, provincial y casi municipal.
4) Conviene que la Ciudad Autónoma cambie su estatus y se convierta en Provincia, al igual que las 23 que tenemos. Esto causará que su jefe de gobierno se convierta en Gobernador provincial, y si debe litigarse contra el Estado Nacional, sea directamente en única instancia ante la Corte Suprema de Justicia de la Nación. Esto surge de la triste experiencia de Macri amenazado por el cristinismo, que pudo haber sido encarcelado siendo Jefe de gobierno, si algún Juez lo ordenaba, sin necesidad de ser sometido a juicio político previo. Cuanto antes, mejor. A los gobernadores hay que respetarlos. Pero apenas hay indicios graves de incurrir en delitos, deben ser investigados en serio por la Justicia. Sería conveniente que a los gobernadores los juzgara la Justicia Federal, porque los Tribunales Supremos provinciales parecen tener dificultades para actuar con independencia,porque en las capitales de las Provincias los vecinos se conocen y suelen ser amigos o parientes, y eso dificulta un juicio imparcial.

ESPERAR EL RESULTADO

28 enero, 2016

ARGENTINA SALVAJIZADA

Votar por un Presidente implica una doble espera: primero, si resulta electo, cosa que a veces se sabe de antemano. Pero hay una segunda y larga espera, de digamos cuatro años circa, ya que hay que esperar el desempeño o performance del nuevo Amo de  Argentina, en este caso, ELLA.  Pero sucede que como ya estuvo cuatro años en el Poder, y Nestor otro tanto, ahora hay un 54 por ciento de votantes convencidos que seguira Argentina creciendo, mientras que otros porcentajes menores se debaten en la duda. La prensa libre, en general, es pesimista, porque esta controlada por grupos internacionales que temen al fascismo peronista, comunista o cristinista, todos considerados populismos corruptos, incapaces de trabajar para la totalidad de la poblacion. Los estos bandidos serian inutiles e inoperantes, creen. Y personalmente adhiero a esa teoria.

Pero hay otra parte de las comunicaciones, que han sido y siguen pagas por…

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PRIORIDADES HUMANAS

26 enero, 2016

ARGENTINA SALVAJIZADA

En Argentina seria sencillo crear reglas de juego para que mayor cantidad de gente pase a trabajar en actividades productivas. El trabajo porcentual de pocos habitantes produce comida suficiente para alimentar a todo el pais, y ademas exportar. Quedan asi disponibles recursos humanos para producir otras cosas, siguiendo con el orden de prioridades y el principio de la division del trabajo. No dependemos de las importaciones para movilizar el trabajo hacia proyectos constructivos. Si nos organizamos, los capitales para financiarlos vendran por si solos, ya que podremos desarrollar un fuerte mercado para inversores, en creditos en dolares con garantia hipotcaria, a una tasa bastanter superior a la internacional.

Esto requiere el dictado de legislaciones adecuadas a la naturaleza humana y a la realidad nacional. Es lo que no han logrado obtener nuestros gobernantes, a partir de que el dirigismo economico se instalo, desplando asi el Estado a la libre actividad…

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Jorge Altamira critica al Gobierno de Macri

26 enero, 2016

Acabo de ver a Altamira por T.V. usando su enorme inteligencia en canal A24 para intentar convencer que Macri es el culpable de haber sido los argentinos derrotados por el desgobierno durante los años de Cristina kirchner. El político critica injustamente, pareciera intenta perdurar como líder de un partido obrero con muy pocos votos, casi en extinción. Y quizas por eso fracasa porque dudo consiga engañarnos. Veamos.

El simpático Altamira intenta que olvidemos que Macri ganó la Presidencia, porque la mayoría de los votantes en el balotaje advirtió que hemos perdido ocho o doce años desgobernados por un kirchnerismo altamente sospechado de ladrón, izquierdoso, mentiroso e incapaz. Esto ha sido parecido a la época de Galtieri, que en poco tiempo se las ingenió para provocar una guerra en Malvinas donde como era previsible, Argentina fuimos derrotados, y los isleños reforzaron su intención de ser gobernados bien y ratificaron por referendum que prefieren seguir siendo parte del Reino Unido, a pesar de las inútiles resoluciones de la ONU para que Argentina y y el Reino Unido se sienten a negociar. Cristina ganó si se enriqueció desde el poder, como la opinión pública comenta, pero el grueso del pueblo trabajador perdió por la creciente inflación y el aumento de la corrupción, inseguridad y narcotráfico. Digamos que fueron dos guerras las que perdimos los argentinos. Nos empobrecimos en ambas porque perder una guerra siempre es una perdida. Pero económicamente la perdida de Malvinas significó que los militares dejaron de sentirse los dueños del país (como explico desde ¿DONDE ESTÁN LOS ESTADISTAS? mi libro publicado en 1998 legible en el blog cliqueando en el margen derecho). Gracias a ello, tenemos “democracia” desde 1983, cuando asumió como Presidente el hiperinflacionario Alfonsín, que tuvo que renunciar seis meses antes de terminar su mandato precisamente porque la hiper no perdona, y la estabilidad monetaria es herramienta imprescindible para un sistema Republicano donde la Constitución se respeta y se hace cumplir porque el Presidente, el congreso y los Jueces obligan a que suceda, junto con los gobernadores provinciales e intendentes municipales.

Altamira intenta convencernos que la pérdida del pueblo argentino durante el cristinismo debe ser pagada por las grandes empresas nacionales y extranjeras, en vez de ser afrontada por todos los argentinos. El se equivoca y supongo lo sabe. Si un país pierde la guerra, sus habitantes mueren, son heridos, pierden sus bienes y son ocupados a veces por los vencedores. Y deben entonces rendirse ante el enemigo y la pérdida real bélica y económica, que significa PERDIDA económica real.
¿Que hace la gente cuando se empobrece? la mayoría debe aceptar vivir con menos, incluso sufrir hambre e incluso hay muertes, lo vemos en el siglo XXI en demasiados paises todavía. Empero, el Estado Argentino cambió de conducción el 10 de diciembre pasado, y no hubo tiempo para que un cambio positivo ya se note en materia económica, ni que la inflación desaparezca por arte de magia.

Necesitamos algo de tiempo para verificar si Macri es mejor, igual o peor que Cristina, esto depende de él y su equipo y también de la oposición y los políticos, intelectuales, hombres comunes, es decir, de lo que va sintiendo cada uno de los que habitamos Argentina. Dicen que el plazo minimo son cien días, pero pareciera que desde el 10 de diciembre último la gente se siente mejor. Gobierno nuevo es nueva esperanza, quizás esa es la razón. Pero el modelo de Macri es el que normalmente usan las naciones que progresan mientras que el modelo kirchnerista era apenas “disfrutado” por Venezuela, Cuba y algunos otros paises perdidos de Africa y Asia.

La incultura argentina puede revertirse mediante la educación, y por suerte, todavía se produce suficiente comnida para que los argentinos comamos. No todos comemos lo que queremos, sino lo que podemos o debemos. Y si algunos están desnutridos, ya existen sistemas para solucionar esos problemas. Dicen que el mejor antidoto para el hambre es el trabajo productivo privado, y eso en Argentina puede mejorar si Macri logra que en las 23 provincias y la Ciudad Autónoma aparezcan leyes laborales locales que incentiven el trabajo, para que exista competencia leal entre las distntas partes territoriales. Al final de mi mencionado libro está mi proyecto de ley presentado el 17-6-98 registrado como Letra P N° 287 a la Camara de Diputados de la Nacion, para generar trabajo privado en las provincias inundadas en el Nordeste argentino, y que lamentablemente no se consideró ni fue apoyado poruno de los excesivos diputados que tenemos. Podría reflotarse, se parece bastante a un plan para generar trabajo que funciona entiendo bien en la Republica de Colombia y permite que menores de edad se eduquen y trabajen para salir de la pobreza y el narcotráfico.

Estos proyectos creo son sensatos, a diferencia de la critica sin proponer soluciones posibles que hace Altamira, cuyo objetivo no parece intentar solucionar los graves problemas de Argentina, sino proyectarse como político izquierdista que postula salidas imposibles para Argentina, que siempre mayoritariamente ha repudiado al comunismo y al marxismo. Peron decía que el comunismo existía en Argentina porque su gobierno lo financiaba para que no desapareciera alto tan inservible e inútil, y la historia le ha dado la razón, porque ser marxista es posible, pero ganar votos suficientes para dirigir a Argentina lo alcanza. Ni siquiera el populismo ladrón izquierdoso de Cristina le alcanzó para que el candidato del Frente para la Victoria, Daniel scioli, pudiese salir Presidente en vez de Mauricio Macri. Ergo, quejarse de que la Provincia de Buenos Aires, donde el gobierno nuevo de Vidal ha recibido ayuda del Estado de Macri porque no quedó dinero para pagar los sueldos, es un problema de los propios bonaerenses que cometieron el error de elegir y reelegir a Scioli siendo un pésimo Gobernador. Algo que sostuvimos desde este blog, fundados en que no usaba su derecho constitucional a emitir dinero provincial, según quedo pactado como condición para que Buenos Aires aceptara ingresar como miembro de la Republica Argentina al reformarse la Constitución en 1860 y designándose a Bartolomé Mitre para que Argentina pasase a ser un país civilizado de vanguardia donde los extranjeros podían venir a trabajar y los capitalistas a invertir para bien de todos.

Quien pierde una guerra, se empobrece, y los que sufren son siempre los mas débiles y mas pobres. los que se beneficiaron con la guerra económica perdida en los años kirchneristas fueron los gobernantes y sus asociados, que todavía siguen ricos y han logrado dicen ocultar mal habidas fortunas. Es la Justicia quien debe actuar y lo está haciendo. El Kirchnerismo está asustado y pronto sus altas autoridades comenzarán a ser condenadas por la justicia y encarcelados, esperemos. Porque esta vez se les fue la mano, se creyeron monarcas y demostraron ser bandidos comunes todavía en libertad, esperemos por poco tiempo.

El político Altamira por suerte tiene buena salud y carece de poder real en el sentido de no llegar al Poder, y por ende, es inofensivo. Se parece a aquellos comunistas que Peron apoyó económicamente para que perduraran, como si fuesen los ultimnos dinosaurios. Oirlos y verlos por TV es un placer, por suerte ELLOS no nos gobernaron. Espero que los Kirchners no velvan, por idénticas razones que Altamira. Pero además, que sus fastuosas propiedades sean embargadas y vendidas para en parte castigarlos y también para que sea un ejemplo al pueblo de lo que NO debe hacerse desde el poder. Que la Patria se los demande, si en Dios no creen.

DESGOBERNAR EDUCA

25 enero, 2016

ARGENTINA SALVAJIZADA

Para los que crean que el gobierno cristinista es un desastre, quisiera recordarles que los pueblos aprenden a veces mucho mas de sus errores que de sus aciertos. Remember Hitler, Missolini, Hiroito, Stalin y asociados, y veran que los tiranos provoca reacciones, y los malos gobernantes tambien. Asi que enhorabuena si ahora la mayoria credula infantil la reeligio, porque en realidad la reelegimos todos los argentinos. Si hubiese sido una Estadista, yo hubiese estado feliz, aunque no la hubiera votado, mas no por ella tomar medidas insensatas debo sentirme ajeno: este juego al que teoricamente jugamos, la Republica, hay que vivirlo desde afuera del poder, sobre todo si uno ha sido criado en un medio y una epoca diferente. Yo llegue a viajar en ferrocarriles ingleses, cosa que la Presidenta no hizo. Y me consta que Aerolineas fue una compañia tramposa, y deficitaria, y  que no presentaba  balances mucho antes de ser…

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REVERTIR DERROTA EN MALVINAS (2002)

25 enero, 2016

ARGENTINA SALVAJIZADA

CHARLA 258ª DEL CURSILLO DE ECONOMÍA CRIOLLA – 1-04-02


REVERTIR NUESTRA DERROTA EN LAS MALVINAS

UN CHOQUE ENTRE CULTURAS
UN ACERCAMIENTO CULTURAL

UN ACERCAMIENTO CULTURAL A MALVINAS

Veinte años es un período considerable, especialmente para los argentinos, que hemos visto el cambio operado en el mundo desde que invadimos las Islas Malvinas hasta hoy, en medio de los cuales la caída del Muro de Berlín representa uno de los acontecimientos GLOBALES mas significativos. ¿Hemos aprendido algo, mucho o NADA  durante estas dos décadas tan significativas para nuestra Historia Nacional? Cada uno de nosotros tiene sus propias respuestas.

Pero esa guerra causó mas de mil muertes, de AMBOS lados, y para los argentinos significó una derrota en muchos aspectos, y continuará SIENDO ETERNAMENTE UNA DERROTA si no somos capaces de extraer algún tipo de aprendizaje, aunque hoy nos parezca doloroso. Porque ADEMAS de llorar a nuestros muertos – y a los…

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