Archive for 31 enero 2017

Jorge Altamira critica al Gobierno de Macri

31 enero, 2017


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…

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La pobreza Argentina x ¿ADAM SMITH o MACRI?

28 enero, 2017


mucho se habla sobre respecto a achicar la pobreza, mucho dinero ganan los analistas argentinos del Estado y de la actividad privada, pero comparados con el resto de los países, parece obvio que descendemos en el ranking mundial de eficiencia productiva y reducción de la pobreza. La guerra contra la pobreza se volvió tema populista, lo usan los gobernantes corruptos y los religiosos idem, y los gobernantes y religiosos se enriquecen, pero proporcionalmente la pobreza crece, en forma relativa, y no parece achicarse a pesar de las propuestas del Presidente Macri.

Recordemos que aunque murió hace años, Adam Smith – un estudioso moralista en LA RIQUEZA DE LAS NACIONES explicaba en 1776 que dos son los motivos de la riqueza o pobreza de las naciones, pero UNO siempre es el mismo motivo: la proporción de miembros de cada nación que trabaja en forma productiva. Eso parece el ABC de la…

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26 enero, 2017







By Nicholas Nehamas and Kyra Gurney
January 24, 2017

A luxury condo tied to a top aide of Argentina’s former president sold for $10.7 million earlier this month. The deal is part of a fire sale of related U.S. properties under investigation in Argentina.

The real estate empire — ranging from a strip mall bank branch in Kendall to a high-rise condo in Manhattan — was valued at nearly $65 million.

A federal prosecutor in Argentina began looking into the mysterious properties after they were linked to a maze-like offshore corporate structure controlled by Héctor Daniel Muñoz, the right-hand man of former president Néstor Kirchner.

The true owners of the properties have not been identified. But they could be feeling the heat: The condo at the Regalia tower in Sunny Isles Beach is the fifth property sold since the prosecutor opened an investigation last year.

Also sold: A CVS pharmacy building in Little Havana that traded for $13.1 million in July; bank branches in Pompano Beach and Kendall that sold for $5.8 million in August and $6.5 million in November, respectively; and a small unit at luxury tower Icon Brickell that sold for $320,000 in November.

Muñoz’s role was revealed in April thanks to the trove of offshore corporate files known as the Panama Papers. The investigation followed.
But the inquiry now appears to be fizzling after the prosecutor, Juan Manuel Pettigiani, handed it to another government agency for further analysis in June, as required by Argentine law. Little progress has been made since then, Pettigiani said Monday.

“It’s very sad that in my country activity that could be tied to public corruption is not of public interest,” he wrote in an email to the Miami Herald. “It is sad to see the truth escaping.”

Both Muñoz and Kirchner are dead. Kirchner’s wife, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who succeeded him as president, was recently indicted for corruption in Argentina. The name of current president Mauricio Macri also surfaced in the Panama Papers; he has denied any wrongdoing.

In the past, drug dealers and corrupt foreign officials have been busted buying expensive homes in the United States, leading to new federal regulations on money laundering in real estate.

Making a profit

The four-bedroom unit at the Regalia sold for the same price paid in 2014, when a company controlled by Muñoz associate Sergio Todisco bought the brand-new condo.

Breaking even on a luxe Miami condo might seem like a bad deal. But if Argentine pesos were changed into dollars and used to buy the condo in 2014, the math changes. The dollar has boomed in value against the peso since then. If the proceeds from the 2016 sale were converted back to pesos, the investment would have roughly doubled in value. Foreign investors routinely take advantage of such currency fluctuations to turn a profit.

The buyer of the Regalia unit is listed in Miami-Dade County property records as a company managed by Sean Sullivan of Boca Raton.
Three of the other properties also sold for an apparent loss — in dollars, at least. The Regalia sale, first reported by the Real Deal, comes six months after a Little Havana pharmacy building also owned by the Argentine network sold for $13.1 million.

A lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade County accused the seller — Elizabeth Ortiz Municoy, Todisco’s ex-wife — of trying to hush up the pharmacy deal. Municoy didn’t want “the CVS property listed for sale … [and] … and wanted to keep the sale of the CVS property confidential,” according to a civil complaint filed by another broker. In a legal response, Municoy’s attorney denied the charges and counter-sued for breach of contract. Her Surfside-based realty firm also marketed the unit at the Regalia for sale, according to a Realtor’s database, asking $12.5 million in 2015 and $10.95 million last year.

Municoy’s involvement in that deal contradicts statements she previously made to the Herald. She consistently has denied playing a role in the real estate deals drawing scrutiny in Argentina. A voice message left at her office Tuesday morning was not returned.

The properties still owned by the Argentine network include a bank branch in Miami Shores and luxury condo units in Brickell, Hollywood and Sunny Isles Beach. Their total value? Nearly $10.3 million.

By Caroline Stauffer
Jan 24, 2017

Argentina this week will sell up to 12.5 billion pesos ($782 million) worth of reopened inflation-adjusted peso bonds maturing in 2021, the Finance Ministry said on Tuesday. The sale will take place between Wednesday and Thursday, a week after the country sold $7 billion of dollar bonds.

The bond will yield 2.5 percent above a reference coefficient linked to the inflation rate. Argentina’s government sees inflation at 17 percent this year, though economists see it exceeding 20 percent. “The bonds will accrue interest over adjusted balances as of the issue date at a rate of 2.5 percent per year, which will be payable per semester due on January 22 and July 22 of each year until maturity,” the statement said.

By Maximilian Heath
Jan 24, 2017

PERGAMINO, Argentina (Reuters) – Soy grower Carlos Zucarelli looks over his farm in Argentina’s bread-basket province of Buenos Aires, watching ducks float around on a shallow lake covering much of what was meant to be this year’s crop area. His and other farms in the area of Pergamino in northern Buenos Aires are still suffering from the effects of heavy December and January rains that flooded about 20 percent of their fields. Of Zucarelli’s 70 hectares, 40 percent is underwater.

“It’s irrecoverable because there’s no time left to replant soy. It’s still going to take time for this part of the farm to dry out,” he said, the ducks quacking in the background. Elsewhere in Buenos Aires province and the southern part of the neighboring province of Santa Fe, flood-related losses are estimated by the Rosario grains exchange at 660,000 hectares.

The exchange sees Argentina’s soy harvest at 52.9 million tonnes, under the 55.3 million tonnes produces in 2015-16. The flooding in the world’s No. 3 soybean exporter caused soybean and soymeal prices on the Chicago Board of Trade to hit six-month highs last week.

In Pergamino as a whole, farmers say about 20 percent of seeded crop land has been overcome by excessive moisture. Another farmer down the road is Ariel Pizi, who says about 12 percent of his planting area has been lost. Close to the flooded parts of his farm, soy leaves are turning yellow rather than the usual green, meaning they are also suffering from too much rain. “The losses are just enough to wipe out our profit margin,” he said. The water on his and other farms has turned what should be green fields into a range of yellowish colors punctuated by black splotches of land that will not be replanted this year.

Some 500 millimeters of water have fallen in this area since late December, said Luis Crosetti, advisor to the Pergamino chapter of the AFA (Federation of Argentina Farmers). “If the rains continue the production losses will be … bigger,” Crosetti said.

The agriculture minister has not yet issued a soy harvest estimate but he told local media that he expected the December and January rains to have “a strong effect on production.”

By Luke Patey
January 24, 2017

Argentina’s president promised to separate his country’s economy from Beijing. That was before Beijing had its say.

BuENOS AIRES, Argentina — One of the most noticeable features of China’s engagement in Argentina over the past two decades has been the rapid growth of small Chinese-run supermarkets across the large South American country. In the wake of a devastating financial crisis at the turn of the century, many Argentines have come to rely on low-cost supermarkets manned by Chinese immigrants to buy their everyday stables.

But in Palermo Hollywood, a leafy neighborhood in Buenos Aires populated by hipster cafes and boutique hotels, a new side of China’s presence in Argentina can be found. The neon lights of a redbrick building marked Restaurante Beijing, a fine-dining establishment catering largely to the city’s affluent Asian residents and, increasingly, to satisfying the appetites of a growing Chinese business community.

Moving beyond the ubiquitous Chinese-run supermarket, China’s economic partnership with Argentina has soared to new heights. In recent years, China Inc. has been busy buying up large stakes in Argentina’s energy, mining, and banking sectors. Taking its engagement a great leap forward in 2014, China agreed to provide Argentina with over $20 billion in loans to finance numerous infrastructure projects, including new railway lines and hydropower dams.

But the rush of Chinese investment and finance into Argentina has produced new tensions in the relationship. Sitting down to dinner with a Chinese diplomat at Restaurante Beijing early last year, I had hoped to hear more about the latest wave of Chinese money flowing into the country, and how Beijing was coping with the potential destabilizing impact of the recent national election.

Just months earlier, Mauricio Macri, the former mayor of Buenos Aires, had won a runoff election to become Argentina’s new president. Macri promised to take the country in a new direction: away from the populist policies and fiery anti-American rhetoric of his long-serving predecessor, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, and toward a center-right agenda of liberalizing the economy and restoring relations with the United States and Europe.

The changing of the political guard threatened to upset Argentina’s budding relations with China. During the final 18 months of her presidency, Kirchner agreed to take on huge new debt from China. Now Macri, questioning the lack of transparency in the agreements, which were not released publicly, and the possible negative environmental footprint of the planned construction projects, vowed to review and potentially cancel China’s mega-deals.

At Restaurante Beijing, the Chinese diplomat brushed aside the incoming government’s concerns over transparency: “I say to our new Argentine friends, ‘Go take a look at the agreements, we’ll wait.’ And if they find nothing wrong, they should respect the contracts.”

He maintained an air of certainty that Macri would not overturn the deals. China’s offer of billions in loans was too large to turn down, a simple rule of thumb that helps explain China’s quietly growing power in Argentina and beyond. “Let me put it this way,” he said blankly, “nobody hates money.”

Mauricio Macri was trying to do something few world leaders had dared: Say no to China.

Macri’s agenda was an affront to the role of China in underpinning Argentina’s economic revival over the past decade. China had not only become a new and large trading partner, buying the majority of Argentina’s soybean exports, but also a critical financial backer when the country was unable to borrow from international markets due to its massive debt default in 2001.

With Argentina’s economy floundering after the 2014 commodity bust, spurning the world’s eminent global economic power hardly seemed a wise move. Beijing’s reaction to the threat from Argentina’s new president offered a microcosm of how China, a one-party state, is reacting to democratic political change endangering its interests overseas.

Saying no to China was also an antithetical position for Macri. The son of a prominent business tycoon, and a former boss of the Boca Juniors, one of Argentina’s most successful football clubs, Macri was staunchly pro-business. After he was elected president, he promoted banking and energy executives to key cabinet roles and moved forward with pro-market reforms.

But Macri’s personality is more nuanced than his stiff businessman-turned-politician background portrays. He is not a man fearful of change or taking risks. A 12-day kidnapping ordeal at the hands of rogue police officers in 1991 compelled Macri to start his political career. Changing course on relations with China was another bold move.

Under Kirchner, Argentina fostered close ties with Beijing, while maintaining an acrimonious relationship with the United States and Europe. Kirchner blamed Washington for how Manhattan-based hedge funds, which she commonly referred to as “vulture banks,” profited from buying Argentine debt at distressed prices, and flatly refused to negotiate with many of the debt holders.

But Macri wanted to make amends and rekindle ties with the West. “If everything comes from China, this will be an imbalance,” Macri told a reporter at a 2015 investment conference in California. “We are mainly descendants of Europeans,” he said, “so it’s easier to deal with Europe than Asia.”

Months after coming to power, Macri welcomed a line of Western leaders to Buenos Aires, capped off with the arrival of U.S. President Barack Obama in March 2016. The U.S. president’s high-profile visit was a testament to Macri’s skill in steering Argentina’s new foreign policy forward. “No one thought he would move so fast,” a senior Western diplomat told me. “Who else can get Obama after only a few months in office?”

Pictures of Obama meeting cordially with Macri, and later locking arms with renowned Argentine tango dancer Mora Godoy in a short strut at a state dinner, stood in contrast to the more formal proceedings between China’s President Xi Jinping and Kirchner in previous years.

“China is still a very important partner to Argentina, and I expect it to be very active in the future,” Diego Guelar, Argentina’s ambassador to China, told me. “But the relationship was based on Argentina’s isolation. There is a new environment now. China is not going to be alone.”

And Macri’s new outreach to the West was paying dividends. A few months after being elected, he was able to settle Argentina’s long-standing debt problems by offering a repayment deal to hedge fund holdouts. The conciliatory move warmed relations with the United States and ushered Argentina back into global financial markets with a $16.5 billion bond sale, a record amount for an emerging market.

Macri also quickly gathered pledges for new foreign investment worth over $30 billion. Although not entering the country as quickly as hoped, it was a vast improvement from the previous year. And American blue chips, including General Motors and Dow Chemical, were at the front of the queue. “I’m optimistic about the changes that have happened in Argentina with the new government,” said Rex Tillerson, outgoing ExxonMobil CEO and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of state.

It is still the early days, but by forging closer ties with the United States and Europe, and implementing market-friendly policies, Macri was introducing competition to Chinese companies, which had been reaping the rewards of favorable treatment offered by his predecessor. “Macri hasn’t cut off China, but he wants to lower Argentina’s dependency on it,” a senior Western diplomat told me in Buenos Aires. “Now the Chinese need to get in line like everyone else.”

While so many world leaders were looking to China for new trade and investment opportunities, Argentina’s new president was succeeding in drawing interest from the West’s stagnating economies. It was in the ornate reception hall of Casa Rosada, the presidential palace in Buenos Aires, that Kirchner christened billions in new loan-for-infrastructure agreements with China’s President Xi Jinping. The move locked Argentina into a generation of debt payments, but in return, among other projects, China agreed to bankroll and build a major upgrade to Argentina’s ailing railway network as well as two large hydropower dams in the far south of the country. But when Macri swept into power in late 2015, he immediately put the projects on hold and placed a microscope on their financial and environmental consequences.

In hopes of finding out whether China’s mega-deals were really in jeopardy, I spoke with Juan Uriburu Quintana at the offices of Electroingenieria, an Argentine construction company and one of China’s main domestic partners in the country. Quintana was responsible for the company’s legal and institutional affairs with China. It was easy to see why he was a well-suited interlocutor. For nearly a decade, Quintana had lived and worked in China and Taiwan and could switch almost effortlessly among Spanish, English, and Mandarin.

Quintana also had experience with the Argentine national railways company, the key domestic partner in a $2.4 billion project financed by China to rehabilitate a fleet of trains and 930 miles of railway line in the Belgrano network, a main artery in Argentina’s railway system.
“We call it ‘Train to the Clouds,’” Quintana told me. Ascending into the towering Andes, the popular passenger train was one of the highest railways in the world. In passing through Argentina’s agricultural heartland and onward to Chile’s Pacific coastline, the Belgrano network had the potential to be much more than a tourist attraction. In particular, by linking the Argentine heartland with the Pacific coast of South America, the train line offers agricultural goods a quicker route to China.

China’s loan to improve the railway network promised to substantially increase freight cargo size and double speeds, enhancing the competitiveness of Argentina’s agriculture industry. But Beijing was not offering billions of dollars in loans for altruistic reasons. “China is interested in the railway because it gives faster and cheaper access to our raw materials,” Quintana said.

With benefits ironed out for both sides in the railway project, Macri’s critique fell squarely on his predecessor’s agreement to borrow $4.7 billion from Chinese banks to build two hydropower dams on the Santa Cruz River. Some 1,550 miles south of Buenos Aires, Santa Cruz province is part of the larger Patagonia region, known for its breathtaking natural beauty and iconic glaciers. Preparatory work had already begun on the hydropower dams when Macri suspended construction in late 2015.

Although the dams would diversify Argentina’s energy sources and bring thousands of new jobs to Santa Cruz, they would leave a deep scar on its landscape. Over 116,000 acres were to be flooded, and altering the watercourse of the glacial river would ravage the region’s pristine ecosystem. When completed in 2020, the sparsely populated Santa Cruz would not even have the transmission capacity to handle the 1,740 megawatts of electricity produced. In a December 2015 meeting with prominent environmentalists, Macri reportedly said that he favored other viable and cleaner energy projects over the hydropower dams in Santa Cruz. “Let’s try to stop them,” he said.

There were also political reasons for Macri’s opposition to the dams. Santa Cruz is the political backyard of the Kirchner family. The larger of the two dams was to be named after Néstor Kirchner, Cristina’s late husband, who was also a former president. Although China’s mega-deals have steered clear of any allegations, the former President Cristina Kirchner is facing corruption charges for dealings with business partners in Santa Cruz.

But Juan Quintana believed the delay to the dams would be short-lived. Electroingeneria and its partners implored the Macri government to move forward in order to protect the jobs created by the project as well as Argentina’s strategic relationship with China. This reflected the broader rift of public opinion toward the dams: Argentina needed to find energy alternatives beyond oil and gas but still protect its environment. It was a fine line for Macri to walk. “Macri inherited the situation of being very linked with China. We cannot afford to upset one of our biggest trading partners,” Quintana told me. “Otherwise, there are going to be consequences.”

In April 2016, Macri was set for his first encounter as president with China’s leader Xi Jinping. On the sidelines of a global summit in Washington, the two men met to discuss the fate of China’s mega-deals. The meeting did not last long. After sitting with Xi for only a half hour, Macri later told the Argentine press that Beijing was “willing to revisit agreements” in order “to deepen the relationship instead of reducing it.” His tone toward China was far more conciliatory than it had been earlier.

But Macri’s hands were tied in the negotiations. Some weeks earlier, Zhang Zhijie, president of the China Development Bank, had paid a visit to Buenos Aires to give a polite warning to Argentina’s new government. As leader of the world’s largest development bank, and the main lender to Argentina’s infrastructure projects, Zhang wanted to remind Argentine officials to read the fine print of their loan agreement.

Gaining access to the official documents only after coming to power, the incoming government was told by China’s top banker that the hydropower dams agreement contained a cross-default clause: In the event it was canceled, China’s loan for the Belgrano railway project would be stopped. The Santa Cruz hydropower dams were to be the largest ever built by a Chinese company overseas, and personally endorsed by Xi. Chinese officials were not about to let their leader lose face from a potential cancellation. They set conditions in the loan to help ensure its survival in the face of any political turbulence.

China bet correctly that Macri was not about to sacrifice the important railway project, and upend Argentina’s broader relations with China, in order to stop construction of the dams. Shortly after the meeting between Macri and Xi, Argentine officials gave the go-ahead for construction to continue. The outcome in Argentina was not unlike others in the world where domestic political change has threatened major Chinese investments. From Zambia to the United Kingdom, China has been a political punching bag for opposition figures and incoming leaders to scrutinize the initiatives of their predecessors. Once settled in power, however, new leaders tend to roll back the tough talk, realizing the nearly irreplaceable importance of China as a trading partner and investor. Yet despite often wielding asymmetric economic power in its foreign relations, China can be a negotiable global power. If the business bottom line is respected, and political embarrassment avoided, Beijing is not above accommodating the objectives of new leaders.

Saying no to China’s mega-deals was not possible for Argentina’s new president. But Macri did manage to bend the terms of the hydropower dams agreement to fit his objectives. To avoid going over cost, and to dampen the negative environmental impact, China agreed to lower the capacity of dams by including fewer turbines and adding another transmission line. Conservation groups were also successful in forcing a new environmental assessment through the Argentine Supreme Court. But ultimately Macri did not stop the project altogether.

It was a clear demonstration that Chinese finance is becoming a potent tool of coercion in global affairs. From thousands of Chinese-run supermarkets to multibillion-dollar infrastructure projects, Beijing managed to exploit its significant economic influence in Argentina to rebuff the agenda of its duly elected president. And while Mauricio Macri is the latest global leader to feel the political power of Chinese trade and investment, he is certain not to be the last.

By Brendan O’boyle And Rachelle Krygier
January 24, 2017

Populists on both left and right have found common cause with the U.S.’ new president, even if their view appears to be a minority in the region. At least one group is giving Donald Trump’s presidency rave reviews so far: Latin American populists.

Whether they see shadows of their own nationalist views in Trump’s “America First” agenda, or merely sense an opportunity for improved diplomatic ties with Washington, high-profile populist figures on both the left and right have taken to Twitter and other media to express their support.

In Argentina, Trump fever has been especially high among politicians close to former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who from 2007 to 2015 slapped high tariffs on imports, manipulated economic data and vilified the country’s traditional economic and political elite. Trump “is doing everything we did,” Fernández’s former trade secretary, Guillermo Moreno, said in an interview with MDZ radio. Moreno even said he believes Trump “is a Peronist” – a reference to the nationalist, union-dominated movement that has dominated Argentine politics since the 1940s.

Daniel Scioli, who narrowly lost a bid to succeed Fernández as president in 2015, likewise commended Trump’s emphasis on national industry in a Facebook post, echoing the new president’s #AmericaFirst hashtag with his own #PrimeroArgentina.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, currently besieged by a catastrophic recession and shortages of food, medical supplies and other basic goods, told reporters the new occupant of the White House had been a victim of a “brutal hate campaign” by the media. “He won’t be worse than Obama,” Maduro added.

These sympathetic views appear to be a minority among Latin American leaders – at least so far. The region is dominated by presidents such as Peru’s Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, Argentina’s Mauricio Macri and Chile’s Michelle Bachelet, all of whom are committed to trade and the prevailing globalism of recent years. Latin America’s own bouts with populist protectionism in the 2000s in Brazil and Argentina, for example, ended in recession.

Some analysts also question how sincere some of the support for Trump is – especially from the ideological left. With such statements, Maduro may be motivated less by common cause and more by a desire to seek better diplomatic ties at a time of national crisis, according to Venezuelan political analyst and consultant John Magdaleno. “Given what Trump has said and his choices for cabinet members, Maduro can presume that Trump won’t be as diplomatic as Obama and that there may be the possibility of an economic or more severe diplomatic intervention. So he’s just trying to open a space for dialogue in this moment of vulnerability,” Magdaleno told AQ.

Similar thinking may have motivated Bolivian President Evo Morales, who on inauguration day tweeted his hopes that his country could restore diplomatic relations with the U.S. by exchanging ambassadors, which they haven’t had since 2008. “We hope that with the new president of the U.S., interventions and military bases in the world end,” Morales wrote in another tweet.

One figure whose affinity for Trump is based more on shared values is Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, a right-wing former army officer who has placed as high as fourth in nationwide polls for the 2018 presidential race. He has been the leading candidate among wealthy Brazilians, and tapped into a nationwide anger with the political establishment amid unprecedented recession and corruption scandals.

Bolsonaro posted a video congratulating Trump on his inauguration. He had hoped to travel to Washington to attend, but said in an interview that aired the next day that it wasn’t possible. “I always rooted for Trump … I think (his victory) can help us,” he said.
Like Trump, Bolsonaro has publicly voiced support for torture and blamed the media for distorting his views. “At the end of the day, Trump stood up to the politically correct, stood up to the polling firms, stood up to the big rotten media,” Bolsonaro said admiringly in the interview.

It’s not just national politicians climbing on board. Two city council members from southern Brazil signed a letter to Trump asking to attend the inauguration, and congratulating him for winning with an agenda that “criticized the invasion of immigrants.”

Some analysts have expressed alarm over the rising Trump-ism. Prominent Brazilian economist Ricardo Amorim wrote on Facebook on Jan. 22 that Trump’s economic agenda was starkly similar to that of former President Dilma Rousseff, a leftist leader whom most blamed for leading Brazil into its recession before she was impeached in 2016.

“Protectionism to defend the interests of the country and our jobs. Exponential increase of public deficit through government spending and tax cuts. A worse than distorted relationship between the government and the private sector … Dilma called it a ‘new economic matrix’ and Trump calls it ‘make America great again,” Amorim wrote.

Unlike many other populists in the region, Mexico’s Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador has not welcomed the Trump presidency – but he may stand to benefit from it. The former mayor of Mexico City, who is gearing up for a third presidential run, has presented himself as someone who will stand up against Trump – and in favor of Mexico’s interests. He saw his popularity spike after Trump’s victory in November. A poll from Mexican newspaper El Financiero found that López Obrador was believed by Mexicans to be the most apt to take on the likely challenges of a Trump presidency.

Indeed, while recent election results in Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru indicate that Latin America’s populist wave is in decline, many leaders believe they stand to see their political fortunes rise as a result of Trump’s victory.

As Argentina’s Moreno remarked: “Now, when we return, we won’t have the world against us.”

By Daniele Siqueira, AgRural Commodities Agrícolas
January 25, 2017


The Brazilian soybean harvest was 2.2% complete as of Jan. 19, up from 1.5% a year ago and 1.2% on the five-year average. Mato Grosso leads, with 7.5% (about 2.2 million tons), but the return of widespread rains to the state has slowed down the harvest in several areas. More rains are forecasted for the state and will probably prevent farmers from harvesting a total of 7 million tons until the end of January, as forecasted by AgRural in early December.

Mato Grosso do Sul and Goiás, also in central Brazil, had harvested 1% and 0.2% of their soybean area by Jan. 19, respectively. In Paraná (south), Brazil’s second largest soybean producing state, harvest has had a slow start. Despite the good shape of the crop, some areas planted earlier are not ready for harvest yet because they had a slower development due to lower-than-normal temperatures in October and November.

On Jan. 9, AgRural forecasted the Brazilian soybean production at 103.1 million metric tons (mmt), up 7.7 million metric tons from last year. But the soybean crop still has a long way to go in states that plant later, such as the southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul and states in the north/northeast of the country, where farmers start harvesting only in late February or early March. Rio Grande is in good shape so far, but more rain would be welcome in the northeast, especially in Bahia. Isolated areas in Paraná, Mato Grosso do Sul and Goiás also have had some troubles due to irregular rainfall.

Summer corn harvest (35% of the Brazilian total corn production) is also beginning in Brazil (0.5% by Jan 19), but it’s behind schedule due to excessive moisture in the south. Winter corn planting (65% of the Brazilian total corn production), which is planted right after the soybean harvest, is underway in central states. Delays are expected due to rains in Mato Grosso. By Jan. 19, 2.8% of the total area estimated for south-central Brazil was planted, ahead of 0.8% a year before.

AgRural forecasts the Brazilian total corn production at 88.6 mmt, compared to 66.6 mmt last year, when the winter crop was damaged by a severe drought in central states.


The country has a good soybean crop on its way and some farmers are already harvesting their first areas. Yield reports are good and our clients there believe that the total production will surpass the USDA forecast of 9.17 mmt. Some areas planted later, however, have been struggling with lack of moisture and high temperatures.


What’s the real damage caused by excessive rains in Argentina? That’s the billion dollar question right now. In mid-January, Rosario Grains Exchange said that, at that moment, the soybean production could reach 52.9 mmt, compared to an initial forecast of 56 mmt (the USDA forecasts 57 mmt). But they admitted that the number was preliminary and unofficial, since their researchers still have much field work to do in order to assess the damage caused by floods. Also, Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange said that 770 thousand hectares of soybeans (1.903 million acres) were impacted by above-than-normal rains in December and January. Plus, 400 thousand hectares (988 thousand acres) will not be planted due to drought in the south of the grain belt and flood in central areas. Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange doesn’t have a production forecast yet. But, although those acreage numbers look pretty bad (the total soybean area initially estimated was 19.6 million hectares, or 48.4 million acres), the exchange said that several areas beaten by above-than-normal rains still have soybeans in good shape. The problem is that more rains are forecasted for central Argentina over the next two weeks. By Jan. 19, 99% of the soybean area was planted.

They’re not too concerned about corn, which has a record planted area this year (4.9 million hectares, or 12.1 million acres). According to Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange, 95% of that area was planted by Jan. 19 and about 290 thousand hectares (717 thousand acres) had been impacted by above-than-normal rains.

We don’t have clients in Argentina and we don’t go there often (we’re neighbors, but very different countries). We just track their most reliable sources, such as the exchanges. The problem with Argentina is that it’s really hard to forecast their production. They have a very wide planting window even within the same province. Example of their complex calendar: they start planting corn in late August, take a break of three to four weeks in November (for weather reasons), resume in early December and finish planting in late January. Then, they harvest from mid-February until early September. It’s an eternal loop. And no, they don’t grow two corn crops a year, like Brazil. It’s all summer corn. Crazy, right? It is very hard is to estimate corn and soybean production in Argentina.

To make a long story short, I would say that Argentina is in trouble for sure, but it’s not as bad as the market was saying until last week, at least so far. If excessive rainfall continues, however, their losses can be really big, especially because some of the flooded areas are among their best, with excellent soils and high yield potential.

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ARGENTINE UPDATE – Jan 19 & 20, 2017 News Clips

24 enero, 2017

Friday, January 19th, and Saturday, January 20th News Clips













January 19, 2017
In this Jan. 13, 2017 photo, volunteers walk with shovels on the way to help clear clear the mud and help locals the town of Volcan, Jujuy province, Argentina. The mudslide was caused by the Intense rains that hit the area one week ago, flooding the town with mud, killing several and causing the evacuation of thousands. (Gianni Bulacio/Infoto via AP) (Associated Press)

VOLCAN, Argentina — People in this small town in northern Jujuy province are scrambling to rescue what’s left of their belongings a week after torrential rains unleashed a devastating mudslide that buried most of the homes.

Volcan was the worst-hit by the heavy rains that swelled rivers in the region about 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) north of Argentina’s capital.

The mudslide killed two people and forced the evacuation of more than 1,000 in several communities in an area frequented by tourists known as the Quebrada de Humahuaca.

Residents have dug out jars, furniture, even religious icons and statues and carted them to rooftops for safekeeping, though rescue teams fear that the roofs will cave in.

Using shovels and buckets, some people are still cleaning out mud, while hundreds more remain in shelters waiting for help promised by the provincial government to rebuild their homes.

President Mauricio Macri said Tuesday that climate change is to blame for the heavy rains and that the government will take on infrastructure work to prepare for destructive flooding.

By: Benedict Mander on King George Island
January 20, 2017

Climate change unleashes growing international and commercial interest.

Surveying the landscape surrounding the desolate bay on King George Island, 75 miles north of the Antarctic peninsula, Argentina’s foreign minister Susana Malcorra gestures towards jagged outcrops of rock protruding from the snowy expanse.

“It used to be much whiter at this time of year,” she said on a recent visit to the largest of the South Shetland Islands, warning that climate change had unleashed growing international and commercial interest in the Antarctic.

“As Antarctica becomes more relevant for the world, we have to strengthen our presence to protect our interests,” she told accompanying journalists. “What happens to Antarctica happens to Argentina.”

Argentina first established a permanently inhabited base in Antarctica in 1904, almost a decade before Captain Robert Scott’s fateful South Pole expedition. Its main foothold today is the Carlini research station, which undertakes scientific work including the effects of climate change on the region.

Visiting Carlini, Ms Malcorra said the work of the base was vital to enforcing the 1959 Antarctic Treaty, which enshrined the vast territory as a scientific preserve. Argentina was one of the founding signatories of the treaty, penned at the height of the cold war as a conflict prevention tool, suspending all territorial claims and banning military activity.

For now, commercial activity in the Antarctic is limited mainly to fishing and tourism — enforcement largely involves the use of satellites and naval patrols to keep poaching of the rich fishery stocks in check.

But there are increasing concerns that nations such as Russia and China are looking at opportunities to exploit Antarctica’s mineral riches, mirroring fears over the Arctic as melting sea ice opens up the historic Northern Sea Route between Europe and Asia and the possibility of oil exploration.

“Who is to say what countries like Russia and China will do in 30 years’ time? They might say ‘we need these resources’ [that are] in the Antarctic,” said one diplomatic source.

But Ms Malcorra’s visit, the first to the Southern Ocean island by an Argentine foreign minister, was also aimed at assuring Argentines that the year-old government of Mauricio Macri, president, was serious about defending overseas territorial claims.

The Macri administration has come under fire — even from influential members of his own governing coalition — for seeking to mend relations with the UK which have suffered from a dispute over the Falkland Islands, a British overseas territory invaded by Argentina in 1982.

Indeed, Argentina’s claims in the Antarctic over a wedge-shaped chunk of land almost as large as Egypt fall, within a slightly larger area that is claimed by the UK. They also overlap with Chilean claims. King George Island is known to Argentines as Isla 25 de Mayo (May 25 Island), after their independence day.

As a result of the Antarctic Treaty, the region has for decades been held up as a unique example in global co-operation. King George Island is home to a dozen international research stations, including China’s Great Wall base and a Russian outpost with an ornate miniature Orthodox church, continually manned by a priest.

Many would like matters to stay the way they are and ensure the region’s resources are protected. Last year, for instance, the Antarctic region’s Ross Sea was declared the world’s largest marine protected area.

Máximo Gowland, head of Antarctic affairs at Argentina’s foreign ministry, says science is “the paramount issue” in Antarctica. “Everything that is going on in Antarctica has to have a scientific basis to it, so all countries are basically revamping their Antarctic science,” he says, adding that Argentina is keen to boost scientific investment.

Nevertheless, the researchers working at the Carlini station are acutely aware of the geopolitical tensions that serve as a backdrop to their work.

“Antarctica brings [science and politics] together, so that we do scientific research thinking also about politics,” says Lucas Ruberto, who leads the team. “They are two different paths that find their common point in what we do here.”

The wealth of the Antarctic belongs to everyone, but an important part of it is ours
Susana Malcorra, Argentine foreign minister

Ms Malcorra insists her government is strengthening sovereignty in a “modern” way by defending the integrity of the polar region and of Argentine territory. She points out that while many Argentines think their country ends at Tierra del Fuego — which they call the “end of the world” — its southernmost province includes the Antarctic claims.

To emphasize this, the previous government decreed that official maps show Argentina’s Antarctic claims on the same scale as the rest of the country, rather than in a smaller-sized inset.

“We have to preserve [Antarctic resources] and ensure they are managed in a way that does not affect the ecosystem,” Ms Malcorra says, adding: “The wealth belongs to everyone, but an important part of it is ours.”

By: Benedict Mander
January 19, 2017

Just in the nick of time.

Argentina has issued $7bn of international debt, taking advantage of calmer conditions across bond markets before the inauguration of Donald Trump as US president on Friday.

Amid strong demand, with orders for around $22bn, Argentina’s finance ministry said that it sold the bonds at 200 basis points lower than its bumper $16.5bn issue last April that marked its return to the international capital markets after a protracted absence since a 2001 debt default.

“This confirms investors’ trust in the capacity of this government to control inflation and stimulate economic growth,” said the finance ministry in a statement — even though economic growth so far remains elusive more than a year into President Mauricio Macri’s term.

BBVA, Citi, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, JP Morgan and Banco Santander managed the bond sale, which saw Argentina issue $3.25bn of 5-year bonds at 5.625 per cent, and $3.75bn of 10-year bonds at 7 per cent. The average interest rate of 6.3 per cent compares to 7.2 per cent last year.

By Carolina Millan
‎January‎ ‎19‎, ‎2017‎ ‎

* Country plans to sell $10 billion of overseas bonds in 2017
* Government still facing growth, inflation challenges

Argentina’s borrowing costs have tumbled since Mauricio Macri was inaugurated as president in December 2015.

In the past year, he’s dismantled most of the country’s currency controls and, crucially, ended a feud with bondholders, allowing Argentina to access to global debt markets after more than a decade in the wilderness.

But even as the government prepares another sale of dollar debt this week, Macri is still grappling with an economy in the doldrums, stubborn inflation — starting to slow from a peak of as high as 47 percent in Buenos Aires — and a crippling budget deficit.

Capital Markets

•Argentina is looking to sell $10 billion of foreign debt in 2017 after issuing $19 billion last year, when it ended a 15-year hiatus following its historic default on $95 billion of debt.
•Yields on Argentina’s notes due in 2024 have tumbled 2 percentage points since Macri’s inauguration in December 2015.

•To capitalize on soaring investor demand, Argentina started issuing fixed-rate peso bonds for the first time in nine years in August. JPMorgan Chase & Co. also said Jan. 5 that Argentina’s local government bonds were eligible for its index and may be added as soon as late February.


•On Jan. 5, the government removed a rule requiring financial portfolio investments remain in the country for at least 120 days, part of an ongoing effort to jettison the nation’s capital controls. The move may lead to a reclassification of Argentina’s stocks by MSCI Inc. to emerging markets in June.
•In one of his first moves as president, Macri lifted a crawling peg on the peso and allowed it to trade freely. The currency weakened 38 percent since the move, but remains stronger than most analysts had forecast.


•Macri has said Argentina is on the verge of exiting a year-long recession and should grow more than the 2.7 percent forecast by the International Monetary Fund in 2017. Still, the government last year had to revise down its projections for a recovery as the reforms Macri implemented damped demand.
•The central bank has managed to slow inflation after ratcheting up a key interest rate last year. But core inflation has remained unchanged in the past few months.

•The government expects to post a 4.2 percent deficit in 2017 as spending remains high to pull the economy out of its slump.


•“We’re still holders, we’re still buyers of Argentine debt,” said Jim Dondero, the president and co-founder of Dallas-based Highland Capital Management LP, which oversees $15 billion. “We’re optimistic. We characterize Argentina as ‘exceeded expectations’ on the regulatory and reform side. We continue to be optimistic overall for spread compression on the debt side.”
•“The fast pace at which they took financial and political action has already brought huge gains to the country,” said Gerardo Rodriguez, a former Mexico Deputy Finance Minister who now manages emerging-market funds for BlackRock Inc. in New York. “Now, the next stage of changes will be harder because making changes on the margin is always more complicated. Especially in a context of slow economic growth.”
•“I’m cautiously optimistic, on concerns that the government might not be able to achieve its targets for growth and inflation,” said Sean Newman, who helps manage $1.4 billion in emerging markets debt at Invesco Advisers Inc. “Their expectations are a bit more optimistic than what might actually occur.”

By Nicolás Misculin
Jan 19, 2017
Argentina’s Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra shakes hands with a crew member of the Islas Malvinas ship as they approach Argentina’s Carlini Base in Antarctica, January 12, 2017. Picture taken January 12, 2017. REUTERS/Nicolas Misculin

On King George Island in Antarctica, the thunderous sound of ice sliding off the Fourcade Glacier and crashing into the icy water bordering Argentina’s Carlini research base serves as a daily reminder of a warming climate.

The glacier has retreated 500 meters (1,640 feet) over 25 years, scientists working on this island just north of the Antarctica Peninsula say, affecting an entire ecosystem of algae, sea lions and penguins, as well as raising sea levels.

“This glacial retreat at Potter Cove releases a mass of fresh water that alters salinity levels and unleashes sediment … changing the abundance and diversity of wildlife,” said Rodolfo Sanchez, director of Argentina’s Antarctic Institute.

The Antarctic Peninsula suffered the most severe temperature variation in the world, with average temperatures rising 2.5 degrees Celsius in 100 years, according to Sanchez, who accompanied Argentina’s Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra and journalists to Carlini.

The European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service said 2016 was the hottest on record by a wide margin.

An iceberg the size of the U.S. state of Delaware is poised to break off from the Larsen C ice shelf, an event that will fundamentally change the peninsula’s landscape, Welsh scientists said earlier this month.

Scientists at Carlini, the largest research center of Argentina’s 13 Antarctica bases, refer to ice blocks covering the base’s beach in white before they melt as “debris” because of their role in transforming the region’s fauna.

Widespread deaths of shrimp-like krill have jeopardized the food supply for mammals and birds at a protected wildlife reserve on King George Island, known in Argentina as May 25 Island.

Javier Negrete, a marine mammal specialist, said the colony of female elephant seals that normally come to the base between September and November to give birth was reduced by some 30 percent since 1995 to 320 last year.

“It’s not clear if the animals are disappearing or relocating,” he said.

Meanwhile, habitat for Emperor and Adelie penguins is shrinking while King penguins and other species that are common in warmer climates are traveling farther south.

For human visitors, the changes observed over a quarter of a century at the Carlini base have been abrupt.

“I started coming here in 1990. It snowed, but it did not rain… now in the summer it is raining all the time,” said Sanchez.

By Eliana Raszewski
Jan 19, 2017

A Jewish community center in Buenos Aires was briefly evacuated after a false bomb threat on Thursday, Argentina’s Jewish community association AMIA said in a statement, a day after dozens of similar episodes were reported in the United States.

The threat also came a day after the two-year anniversary of the mysterious death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who had been investigating whether former President Christina Fernandez tried to cover up Iran’s alleged role in a 1994 attack on another AMIA building in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people.

The AMIA statement said police had received an anonymous phone call threatening a center for senior citizens near the AMIA building that was attacked nearly 23 years ago.

The history of the attack “obliges this institution to demand the highest levels of security and prevention, and to pay the utmost attention to this type of provocation,” the statement said.

Iran denies any role in the 1994 attack. Nisman’s death is still being investigated, and an appeals court revived his case against Fernandez last month.

Twenty-seven Jewish community centers in 17 U.S. states reported receiving false telephone threats on Wednesday, prompting evacuations and an FBI probe into the second wave of hoax attacks to target such facilities this month.

By Fabian Cambero
Jan 19, 2017

Chile is looking at boosting energy exports to Argentina and connecting with electricity grids in neighboring countries, as it seeks to capitalize on friendly relations to drive down prices, the energy minister said Thursday.

Chile, which has almost no hydrocarbons of its own and an energy-intensive copper mining industry, has struggled for years with high power prices.

But a shift towards renewables and warming relations with neighboring countries is starting to take some of the pressure off.

Last year, Chile began exporting gas to Argentina for the first time in order to meet elevated winter demand, sending 361 cubic meters.

It also supplied 101 gigawatt hours of electricity.

“The company that exported electricity has already asked permission to export again and (state energy firm) ENAP is finalizing negotiations to sell gas again to Argentina,” Energy Minister Andres Rebolledo told journalists at a briefing on Thursday.

In coming weeks, Chile will suggest a program of energy swaps with Argentina, allowing for energy exports in both directions in relevant areas along the countries’ shared 5,200 kilometer (3,230 miles) border, Rebolledo said.

Argentina used to be an important supplier of gas to Chile, but cut off exports in the mid-2000s after its own supply faltered.

Chile and Peru are also looking at connecting border towns on the same electric grid, in a possible first step towards greater electricity integration, said Rebolledo.

“Today, there is a favorable political-economic context to build the bases for what could be a regional electric connection,” he said.

By Tracy Rucinski
Jan 19, 2017

A U.S. bankruptcy judge denied on Thursday a request by Peabody Energy Corp (BTUUQ.PK) shareholders to order the appointment of an official equity committee in the coal miner’s Chapter 11 restructuring, crushing hopes of a recovery for investors.

Shareholders led by hedge fund Mangrove Partners had urged the creation of an official committee, which would receive money from Peabody for lawyers and advisers and could help craft a reorganization plan.

At a hearing in St. Louis, Mangrove cited several paths for a potential recovery for Peabody shareholders given a rise in coal prices.

In rejecting the request, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Barry Schermer asked why more money should be spent on legal fees when unsecured creditors such as Aurelius Capital Management and Elliott Management accept that they will not be paid in full.

The two funds, among the most litigious on Wall Street, spent years battling Argentina in U.S. courts over the country’s 2001 default.

“Aurelius and Elliot are not used to leaving money on the table,” Schermer said. “Look at Argentina.”

In a bankruptcy, unsecured creditors are the last on the totem pole for recovery. They would have to be repaid in full for anything to be left for shareholders, who generally lose their entire investment.

In the case of Peabody, unsecured creditors will recover about 30 cents on the dollar.

The coal industry has been recovering from weak prices that pushed three of the four largest U.S. producers into bankruptcy over the past two years.

Many of the dozens of bankruptcies filed by energy companies in the past year have involved similar campaigns by shareholders who have pointed to rising commodity prices to justify the appointment of an official equity committee.

Few, however, have won court approval.

Peabody hopes to exit bankruptcy in April, a year after filing for bankruptcy, with a plan to cut $5 billion of debt and raise capital from creditors with a $750 million private placement and a $750 million rights offering.

Peabody shares will be canceled and replaced with new stock which will be owned by creditors, the majority of which support the reorganization plan.

The shares closed up 2.8 percent at $3.98 in over-the-counter trading on Thursday, well off session highs.

21 January 2017

The flat-footed economy is pulling dancers off the floor

WHEN couples tango outdoors in Buenos Aires, it is usually to cadge coins from tourists. A recent display, outside the city hall, had a new purpose: to draw attention to the plight of the city’s milongas, tango events where the dancers’ only audience is other dancers.

Perhaps 150 milongas take place weekly in dance halls and community centres across the capital, either in the afternoons or after midnight. “They are the heart of the tango,” says Julio Bassan, president of the Association of Milonga Organisers (AOM). And they are in trouble.

With a weak economy and high inflation cutting into incomes, attendance fell by as much as half last year, Mr Bassan reckons; 17 milongas closed. “When there’s so much uncertainty, the first thing that people cut back on is recreation,” says Jimena Salzman, who runs the Milonga de las Morochas (“Milonga of the Dark-Haired Women”). She charges an entrance fee of 100 pesos ($6.25), the cost of a cinema ticket. That puts some people off. “I love to dance, but I need to eat,” says Augustín Rodrigo, a teacher, who has reduced his daily tangoing to twice a week.

A milonga is a dance as well as an event, a forerunner to the tango that mixes Cuban, African and European influences. In tango’s heyday, some 70 years ago, milongas attracted thousands of dancers. Club Huracán in the city’s south had seven dance floors. Some cling to tradition. A man must invite a woman to dance with a cabeceo (nod). If she accepts, the pair will dance anti-clockwise to a tanda, or set of three or four songs. A cortina, a few seconds of music, signals the end of a set, during which the man escorts his partner back to her seat.

Few milongas are so conservative now. Young milongueros prefer modern tango, which mixes the music of classical composers like Carlos Gardel, who died in 1935, with electronic beats. But the young come less often. In an age of dating apps, fewer find mates in milongas.

Tango itself is in no danger. Glitzy shows are a daily event in Buenos Aires. But campaigners say neighbourhood milongas are tango’s spiritual home. On December 7th the city council passed a “milonga promotion law”. It sets up a registry and offers tax exemptions and 9m pesos a year of financial aid from the budget. Like it or not, taxpayers will help keep milongas alive.

By Tom Azzopardi
19 Jan 2017

Chile and Argentina are advancing in talks to agree on reciprocal exchanges of electricity and natural gas between the two countries, Chilean Energy Minister Andres Rebolledo said Thursday.

Speaking to correspondents in Santiago, the minister said he will present Argentine counterpart Juan Jose Aranguren next week with a draft proposal for regulations allowing such swaps.

“It would be very interesting to have a model that would allow you to sell electrons or molecules of electricity or gas at one point and import them at another,” Rebolledo said.

A decade ago, Chile was a major importer of natural gas from its neighbor, but flows along the pipelines were reversed last year as Argentina struggles with a lack of capacity in its energy infrastructure.

Between May and August last year, Chile exported 361 million cu m of natural gas to Argentina, which had been imported as LNG from Trinidad and Tobago and the US.

State energy firm ENAP is currently in talks with its Argentine counterpart ENARSA to repeat the exports this year.

Chile also exported 101 GWh of electricity to its neighbor along an existing line to northwest Argentina.

But greater synergies could be gained by balancing imports and exports at different points along the border.

“This is super attractive as our country breaks up in the south we are not physically integrated,” Rebolledo said.

ENAP has discovered significant reserves of unconventional gas in Chile’s southernmost Magallanes region, which is much closer to Argentina’s Patagonia than the Chilean capital Santiago, 2,000 km to the north.

Argentina could export gas from its Neuquen field to southern Chile via the Gas del Pacifico pipeline as it lacks sufficient internal domestic capacity to move that gas to Buenos Aires.

Chile is also keen on developing an interconnection between its northernmost city Arica and the Peruvian city of Tacna, 50 km away. The line would also allow Chile to export excess solar power to its neighbor during the day, receiving electricity generated from Peruvian natural gas at night.

Broader energy integration across the region would require the development of a lateral regulatory framework. But Rebolledo said recent economic and political developments made it a favorable time for such a deal.

Argentina, Brazil and Peru have also gained new pro-business presidents since the end of 2015.

January 20, 2017

LONDON, Jan 20 – Argentina is on track to meet its 3.5 percent growth target this year, and should remain immune to the rising tide of protectionism in the United States, Treasury Minister Nicolas Dujovne told Bloomberg TV on Friday. “We are pretty confident that the economy will grow in 2017 close to 3.5 percent, that’s the figure that was included in the budget, with 17 percent inflation, and we are on track to achieve those two objectives,” Dujovne said from the World Economic Forum in Davos.

He added that there were likely to be some moves towards protectionism under incoming U.S. President Donald Trump but the impact on Argentina would be marginal because it remains a relatively closed economy. Dujovne also expects Argentina’s bond yield spreads to compress further, citing the country’s fiscal consolidation as the government’s reforms gain traction. “The economy is showing signs of recovery,” he said.

By Brendan O’boyle
January 19, 2017

Activists say recurring shortages of crucial drugs are partly due to administrative struggles at the national health ministry.

For nearly a year, HIV positive Argentines have endured what advocates call a “crisis” and a “national emergency.” Shortages and delays in the delivery of antiretroviral drugs have beleaguered many who depend on them to stay healthy, sparking public outcry and a protest outside the Health Ministry in Buenos Aires in December.

Since then, officials from the ministry have met with representatives from groups at the front lines of the fight against HIV, and promised that the shortages have been addressed. However, reports of missing medication persist. On Jan. 17, the health minister of Chubut province, in southern Argentina, said in an interview that the national Health Ministry had not sent shipments of drugs for HIV, cancer and tuberculosis. While Argentina has received due applause for providing universal free HIV treatment, advocates of citizens living with the virus are wary of the ministry’s continued assurances in light of the recurrent crisis, which they say is evidence of burdensome bureaucracy and poor leadership.

“We’ve had shortages in the past, but never of this magnitude,” said Lucas Gutiérrez, a member of the National Front for the Health of People with HIV, a coalition of five HIV, women’s and LGBT advocacy groups that formed in response to the lack of medication, which has primarily affected those who aren’t covered by private insurance. “We want solutions.”

After meeting with the National Front group on Jan. 10, Dr. Carlos Zala, the Health Ministry’s AIDS program director, told AQ that there were no actual shortages of HIV drugs in the country. He said reports of missing medication were due to supplier delays and bureaucratic roadblocks, such as shipments of drugs to government pharmacies falling behind as they await various signatures of government officials.

“There isn’t a lack of economic means or political will to purchase the medication,” Zala told AQ. “There have been some administrative delays in its purchase, with some of that responsibility being ours and some not.”

For Marcela Romero, a regional coordinator for the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Transgender People, such delays can be dangerous. Romero told AQ that delays result in patients receiving only a fraction of their prescribed dosage at a time. This heightens the risk of an interrupted dose, which diminishes the drug’s effectiveness.

Romero and other HIV advocates say much of the problem is administrative. Kurt Frieder, executive director of Fundación Huesped, a human rights group focused on HIV/AIDS prevention, told AQ that shortages were partly due to disorganization at the health ministry, noting that the purchase of necessary drugs had “not been made in due time.” Others say the government’s response once shortages have become apparent has been too slow. Matías Muñoz, a national coordinator for the Argentine Network of Positive Young People (RAJAP), said that it took months – and eventually the December protest – for the ministry to respond to their complaints of shortages that they began seeing in March 2016.

While not without its challenges, Zala told AQ that the Health Ministry has been able to provide regular treatment for more than 95 percent of the some 55,000 Argentines with HIV who don’t get treatment through private insurance or social security. The ministry was “very satisfied” with that percentage, Zala said.

For Muñoz, from RAJAP, the goal should be 100 percent.

“Whether it’s one person or a million, Zala’s responsibility is to make sure we all have our treatment,” Muñoz told AQ.

HIV advocates aren’t the only ones to suggest missteps at the Health Ministry in light of recurring scarcity. Dr. Daniel Gollán, the health minister under former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, recently called the current ministry the “worst in the country’s history,” criticizing what he said were steps to “shrink and privatize” the country’s healthcare system.

Zala, meanwhile, attributed some of those complaints in part to the country’s political polarization and attempts to discredit the Macri administration.

Most Argentines living with HIV, meanwhile, are probably more concerned with getting their medicine than politics. There may be reason to believe that a recent restructuring at the Health Ministry could help reverse the trend of medicine delays. The resignation of deputy health minister Néstor Pérez Baliño was officially announced on Jan. 9. According to Argentine newspaper Página 12, the departing official said his resignation was part of a division of his Community Health department, which he oversaw and manages 70 percent of the ministry’s budget, into two smaller units. Time will tell whether this will decreases the kind of bureaucracy observers say has hindered the provision of medicine. If not, shortages may keep returning, which could prove a tough pill for everyone to swallow.

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Trump analyzed

24 enero, 2017

Para GERMAN PIRAN Hoy a las 6:35

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trump analyzed !!

Home › Psychodynamic Approach › Sigmund Freud › Id, Ego and Superego

Id, Ego and Superego

by Saul McLeod published 2007, updated 2016

Perhaps Freud’s single most enduring and important idea was that the human psyche (personality) has more than one aspect. Freud (1923) saw the psyche structured into three parts (i.e. tripartite), the id, ego and superego, all developing at different stages in our lives.
These are systems, not parts of the brain, or in any way physical.

According to Freud’s model of the psyche, the id is the primitive and instinctual part of the mind that contains sexual and aggressive drives and hidden memories, the super-ego operates as a moral conscience; and the ego is the realistic part that mediates between the desires of the id and the super-ego.

Although each part of the personality comprises unique features, they interact to form a whole, and each part makes a relative contribution to an individual’s behavior.

The id (or it)

The id is the primitive and instinctive component of personality. It consists of all the inherited (i.e. biological) components of personality present at birth, including the sex (life) instinct – Eros (which contains the libido), and the aggressive (death) instinct – Thanatos.

The id is the impulsive (and unconscious) part of our psyche which responds directly and immediately to the instincts.

The personality of the newborn child is all id and only later does it develop an ego and super-ego.

The id remains infantile in it’s function throughout a persons life, and does not change with time or experience, as it is not in touch with the external world. The id is not affected by reality, logic or the everyday world, as it operates within the unconscious part of the mind.

The id operates on the pleasure principle (Freud, 1920) which is the idea that every wishful impulse should be satisfied immediately, regardless of the consequences. When the id achieves its demands we experience pleasure, when it is denied we experience ‘unpleasure’ or tension.

The id engages in primary process thinking, which is primitive, illogical, irrational, and fantasy oriented. This form of process thinking has no comprehension of objective reality, and is selfish and wishful in nature.

The Ego (or I)

The ego is ‘that part of the id which has been modified by the direct influence of the external world.’
(Freud [1923], 1961, p. 25)

The ego develops in order to mediate between the unrealistic id and the external real world. It is the decision making component of personality. Ideally the ego works by reason, whereas the id is chaotic and totally unreasonable.

The ego operates according to the reality principle, working out realistic ways of satisfying the id’s demands, often compromising or postponing satisfaction to avoid negative consequences of society. The ego considers social realities and norms, etiquette and rules in deciding how to behave.

Like the id, the ego seeks pleasure (i.e. tension reduction) and avoids pain, but unlike the id the ego is concerned with devising a realistic strategy to obtain pleasure. The ego has no concept of right or wrong; something is good simply if it achieves its end of satisfying without causing harm to itself or to the id.

Often the ego is weak relative to the headstrong id and the best the ego can do is stay on, pointing the id in the right direction and claiming some credit at the end as if the action were its own.

Freud made the analogy of the id being a horse while the ego is the rider. The ego is ‘like a man on horseback, who has to hold in check the superior strength of the horse.’ (Freud, 1923, p.15)
If the ego fails in its attempt to use the reality principle, and anxiety is experienced, unconscious defence mechanisms are employed, to help ward off unpleasant feelings (i.e. anxiety) or make good things feel better for the individual.

The ego engages in secondary process thinking, which is rational, realistic, and orientated towards problem solving. If a plan of action does not work, then it is thought through again until a solution is found. This is know as reality testing, and enables the person to control their impulses and demonstrate self-control, via mastery of the ego.

An important feature of clinical and social work is to enhance ego functioning and help the client test reality through assisting the client to think through their options.

The Superego (or above I)

The superego incorporates the values and morals of society which are learned from one’s parents and others. It develops around the age of 3 – 5 during the phallic stage of psychosexual development.

The superego’s function is to control the id’s impulses, especially those which society forbids, such as sex and aggression. It also has the function of persuading the ego to turn to moralistic goals rather than simply realistic ones and to strive for perfection.

The superego consists of two systems: The conscience and the ideal self. The conscience can punish the ego through causing feelings of guilt. For example, if the ego gives in to the id’s demands, the superego may make the person feel bad through guilt.

The ideal self (or ego-ideal) is an imaginary picture of how you ought to be, and represents career aspirations, how to treat other people, and how to behave as a member of society.

Behavior which falls short of the ideal self may be punished by the superego through guilt. The super-ego can also reward us through the ideal self when we behave ‘properly’ by making us feel proud.

If a person’s ideal self is too high a standard, then whatever the person does will represent failure. The ideal self and conscience are largely determined in childhood from parental values and how you were brought up.


Freud, S. (1920). Beyond the pleasure principle. SE, 18: 1-64.
Freud, S. (1923). The ego and the id. SE, 19: 1-66.

How to cite this article:
McLeod, S. A. (2016). Id, Ego and Superego. Retrieved from

Alacranes: peligro en los subterraneos

21 enero, 2017

Melconian no quería despedirse del Banco Nacion

19 enero, 2017

Domingo Cavallo re Gonzalez Fraga

19 enero, 2017

Domingo Cavallo
Para Hoy a las 11:47
Domingo Cavallo
Sobre el último artículo que leí de Javier Gonzalez Fraga
Posted: 19 Jan 2017 05:47 AM PST
Hace pocos días, Javier González Fraga escribió en la Nación un artículo titulado “el camino es el gradualismo, con fuertes inversiones“. Debe haber sonado a música en los oídos de Durán Barba y de los asesores políticos y económicos a los que Macri escucha, sobre todo por contraste con las advertencias de los economistas que, como yo, sostenemos que el gradualismo (especialmente el gradualismo en materia de ajustes de precios y tarifas de los servicios públicos, de reducción del gasto público y de la eliminación de impuestos distorsivos) es el principal freno a las inversiones. Aún hablando poco en público, todas las opiniones de Carlos Melconian reflejan esta última posición y es probable que éste haya sido el motivo de su reemplazo en el Banco de la Nación.
Cuando leí el artículo de Javier, estuve tentado a escribir un post titulado: ”el gradualismo que pregona González Fraga es el gran inhibidor de inversiones productivas”. Pero decidí no hacerlo para no repetirme respecto de post anteriores. Lo hago ahora porque, a pesar del gran aprecio personal que tengo por Javier González Fraga, me temo que su consejo a Macri tienda a hacerlo equivocar más de lo que ya se ha equivocado.
La tesis de González Fraga es que las políticas de shock, a las que él denomina “atajos”, provoca “logros” que no son sostenibles en el tiempo, ni política ni socialmente. La primera vez que le escuché esta definición creí que era una alusión al shock Duhaldista de 2002, que mediante el artificio de la pesificación forzada de la economía y la virtual expropiación de todos los depósitos en dólares de los ahorristas para financiar el desendeudamiento de los grandes deudores públicos y privados, produjo la mayor devaluación de la historia y la aparición casi milagrosa de los denominados “superávits gemelos”. Me hubiera parecido no sólo realista sino sumamente beneficioso que reconociera la insostenibilidad política y social de esos supuestos “logros” económicos,
Pero esa primera interpretación, que me parecía una suerte de arrepentimiento honesto del fuerte apoyo que le había escuchado brindar al shock duhaldista sólo unos años antes, no era la del autor. Todo lo contrario. Para él, política de shock es la que lleva a la apreciación real de la moneda, fenómeno al que denomina, en todos los casos, “atraso cambiario”. Es importante entender el verdadero significado de “atajo” en el lenguage de González Fraga para entender que si Macri presta atención a su consejo, las inversiones productivas brillarán por su ausencia.
No caben dudas que las políticas populistas, que provocan atraso cambiario, terminan en shocks que, como mínimo, tienen un efecto estanflacionario inicial y en la mayoría de nuestras experiencias anteriores, terminaron en períodos de inflación persistente, más alta que la de las décadas precedentes y, eventualmente, en hiperinflación. Este es sin duda el caso de los shocks que siguieron a la experiencia populista extrema del primer peronismo (1946-49) seguido del ajuste basado en controles y restricciones cambiarias del segundo peronismo y la “revolución libertadora” (1950-1958) y del tercer peronismo (1973-1975) seguido del Rodrigazo.
No es cierto que estos ajustes fueran hechos por gobiernos no peronistas… siempre. Perón se vio obligado a hacer un ajuste bastante severo a partir de 1950 e intentó hacerlo sin una fuerte devaluación, pero las devaluaciones irremediables se produjeron luego de la caída de Perón entre 1955 y 1958. El shock más fuerte se vivió al inicio del gobierno de Frondizi, que había llegado al poder con apoyo de Perón. La estabilización que siguió al shock de 1958, como en el caso de todas las estabilizaciones que procuran recrear condiciones de crecimiento sostenido, fue acompañado con una apreciación real de la moneda, sólo interrumpida por la crisis, más política que económica, de 1962. Fue este proceso exitoso de estabilización y desarrollo el que dió lugar a la década larga de crecimiento que va de 1960 a 1972, años en que la inflación no superó nunca el 30% anual y llegó a bajar hasta el 10% anual y la economía creció a un promedio del 3% anual.
El ajuste que siguió a las políticas populistas del tercer peronismo comenzó con el Rodrigazo que se produjo durante el gobierno peronista y cuyos efectos signaron la trayectoria económica del gobierno militar, el que, por intentar ser gradualista y evitar costos políticos y sociales, a diferencia del gobierno militar de Chile, no llegó nunca a corregir los defectos estructurales de la economía argentina. No se puede llamar ajuste al esquema de reducción de la inflación basado en la tablita cambiaria sostenida con endeudamiento, porque lejos de ser un ajuste, fue una política gradualista en la que el déficit fiscal y un gasto público, que no habían bajado, se financiaron con endeudamiento.
La experiencia posterior al Rodrigazo, desde 1975 hasta 1990 fue la de un largo período estanflacionario, con una economía crecientemente desorganizada, que terminó en la hiperinflación de 1989. Es absolutamente equivocado atribuir a algunos años de supuesto atraso cambiario (78-80 según González Fraga y 86-87 agrego yo, a pesar de que Javier lo omite) la causa de la triste experiencia del período 1975-1990 en que la inflación anual fue siempre superior al 100% y en promedio, el PBI declinó el 1,5% anual. Los problemas de la economía argentina entre 1975 y 1990 no fueron resultado de políticas populistas de los militares o de Alfonsín, sino de la ausencia de los cambios organizacionales que la economía requería y que no se instrumentaron, precisamente porque se quiso hacer “gradualismo” y evitar confrontar con los fuertes poderes corporativos que durante esos años dominaron a la economía Argentina.
El gobierno de Menem, al menos mientras yo fui su Ministro de Economía, fue la antítesis del populismo. La convertibilidad dio total libertad para las operaciones cambiarias a punto tal que se legalizó el uso del Dólar como moneda alternativa al Peso convertible. Fue ese carácter convertible del Peso y la libertad para operar en dólares lo que evitó que la estabilización de la economía produjera atraso cambiario. Con la fuerte entrada de capitales que siguió al lanzamiento de la convertibilidad y a todas las reformas económicas que la acompañaron, incluida una fortísima reducción del gasto público como porcentaje del PBI y la eliminación de casi 20 impuestos fuertemente distorsivos, si no se hubiera admitido el bi-monetarismo, la conversión obligatoria a pesos de los miles de millones de dólares que venían del exterior o salían de los colchones, hubieran provocado una muy fuerte apreciación del peso y su consecuente atraso cambiario. La convertibilidad con tipo de cambio fijo lo evitó, porque el Banco Central estuvo dispuesto a comprar todos los dólares que se le ofrecieran a 1 peso. De no haberlo hecho, es probable que en lugar de 1 peso, el precio del dólar hubiera bajado a 0.70 o incluso a una cifra menor. Se produjo una fuerte expansión monetaria por acumulación de reservas, pero la inflación no aumentó sino que bajó rápidamente y tendió a desaparecer. La remonetización de la economía y la fuerte entrada de capitales, permitieron un inmediato aumento de la inversión y del consumo, dando lugar a un 10% de crecimiento del PBI en el primer año (1991) y del 34% acumulado entre 1991 y 1994. A esta política no se la puede denominar ni populista ni de atraso cambiario. Todo lo contrario. Fue una política de ajuste expansivo de la economía, basado en la capacidad que tuvo la convertibilidad, acompañada de las reformas económicas que le siguieron, de influir sobre las expectativas y atraer de inmediato un fuerte influjo de inversiones productivas.
Es cierto que en su etapa final el gobierno de Menem, cuando yo ya era su principal crítico, mucho más que los radicales, tuvo un período más populista, que en realidad acompasó al populismo que nunca dejaron de hacer varios gobiernos provinciales, especialmente el de Duhalde. Fue entre 1997 y 1999 cuando aumentó el gasto público y se dispararon tanto el déficit fiscal de la Nación como el de las provincias. Fue ese el período de fuerte colocación de bonos en los mercados del exterior. El mayor error fue financiar el déficit provincial con endeudamiento con los bancos a tasas flotantes de interés, BADLAR mas 7% anual.
El Gobierno de De la Rúa heredó una situación desequilibrada y un endeudamiento peligroso que se agravó por los shocks externos que afectaron a la economía: devaluación del Real, fortaleza inédita del dólar, depreciación del Euro y precios bajísimos para la soja y demás productos de exportación. Intentó hacer un ajuste inevitable y ordenado, pero los populistas de su propio partido y los que estaban al frente de algunas provincias (tanto peronistas como radicales) lo boicotearon. Tanto a Machinea, como a López Murphy y a mí. Si no se hubiera producido el golpe institucional del 20 al 30 de diciembre de 2001, el ajuste habría estado completado para el mes de febrero del 2002, cuando se podría haber dejado flotar el Peso con déficit cero, fuerte reducción de la factura de intereses y sin vencimientos de deudas en dólares antes de tres años. La devaluación no hubiera superado el 20% y se hubiera evitado el ajuste monstruoso que implementó Duhalde. Sobre lo que este ajuste significó, está siendo muy elocuentemente explicado por Fernando Iglesias, así que me abstengo de describirlo.
Este ajuste monstruoso era absolutamente innecesario y sólo se entiende como resultado del fortísimo lobby de los endeudados en dólares que quisieron sacarse de encima sus deudas a costa de los ahorros de los depositantes en el sistema bancario. Encontraron que el corralito les daba la excusa y podían echarle la culpa a Cavallo del robo alevoso que estaban cometiendo. Para compensar en algo la dureza del ajuste, congelaron precios y tarifas del sector público y, virtualmente, expropiaron el capital que había sido invertido en los sectores de energía e infraestructura. Por supuesto, fue el freno más fuerte a las inversiones productivas que pueda imaginarse. También introdujeron las retenciones a las exportaciones, supuestamente como medida transitoria para atenuar el efecto de la devaluación extrema sobre los precios, pero que Kirchner mantendría y acentuaría como forma de tener una herramienta para controlar a los gobiernos provinciales.
Las políticas del Kirchnerismo fueron tan o más populistas que las de los gobiernos de Perón y se prolongaron por más tiempo porque gozaron de una bonanza externa inédita. Primero funcionaron con la lógica del “tipo de cambio real alto” que le gusta a González Fraga y a Roberto Lavagna, y cuando la inflación llegó al 20% anual, como ineludiblemente iba a ocurrir a causa del deseo de mantener alto el precio del dólar, avanzaron hacia la inflación dibujada y reprimida con controles de precios, aumento de las retenciones y, finalmente, con controles de cambio. A partir de 2012, sin duda se puede hablar de atraso cambiario, y hay un indicador indiscutible de su magnitud: la brecha entre la cotización en el mercado paralelo y la cotización en el mercado oficial.
Pero mucho peor que el atraso cambiario fue el atraso tarifario que comenzó en 2002 y se mantuvo por 14 años. Fue mucho peor porque dio lugar a una paralización de inversiones productivas y a subsidios que representan un 4% del PBI y el 60% del déficit fiscal. El atraso tarifario es más serio que el atraso cambiario porque, al persistir, obliga a continuar cobrando impuestos distorsivos que constituyen un freno adicional a la inversión y deterioran la competitividad.
El mayor error que cometió Macri en el diseño de su política de estabilización fue el gradualismo en el ajuste tarifario. Tendría que haber sido gradualista en la unificación del mercado cambiario, reemplazando de inmediato el mercado paralelo por un mercado financiero y turístico libre, por el que deberían haberse dejado entrar a las inversiones, para después avanzar gradualmente hacia la unificación. Esto hubiera evitado el fuerte impacto sobre la tasa de inflación del primer semestre de 2016 que tuvo la devaluación del Peso en el mercado comercial. La eliminación de las retenciones sí tenía que ser de golpe y debía ampliarse de inmediato con la eliminación de los impuestos más distorsivos: impuestos a las transacciones financieras, contribuciones patronales a la seguridad social e ingresos brutos provinciales en las etapas intermedias de producción. Todo esto hubiera sido posible si el gasto público se reducía inmediatamente en un 4% del PBI gracias al reajuste completo de las tarifas.
El efecto inicial sobre la inflación del ajuste tarifario completo no hubiera sido muy diferente al que produjo la inmdiata unificación cambiaria, pero la respuesta de la inversión hubiera sido inmediata. La fuerte inversión, entrando por el mercado financiero, hubiera provocado la apreciación del Peso en ese mercado y en el momento de la reunificación completa, unos pocos meses después, el salto devaluatorio hubiera sido menor al que resultó a largo de todo el año 2016, con la gran ventaja de que después de ese salto la gente podría haber esperado estabilidad cambiaria y de los precios porque ya habría desaparecido del horizonte el fantasma de los ajustes graduales de tarifas de los servicios públicos.
El haber elegido una estrategia gradualista en materia de ajuste de las tarifas públicas, que significó una demora en la contención del gasto público y del déficit fiscal, hizo imposible la eliminación temprana de los impuestos distorsivos. Esta es la causa principal de la ausencia de inversiones. Para colmo, si la estabilización iba a basarse en una política monetaria de altas tasas reales de interés, que sólo influye sobre las expectativas inflacionarias a través de la caída de la demanda y la apreciación insostenible del peso, la recesión puede demorar en revertirse. Otra causa de la demora de las inversiones.
Este error no se hubiera cometido si Macri y sus principales asesores no hubieran subestimado la gravedad de la crisis fiscal y de precios relativos que heredaron y si no hubieran identificado la crisis que enfrentaba su gobierno con la del 2001. No se puede razonar de la misma forma cuando hay que salir de una crisis deflacionaria (como la del 2001) que cuando la crisis a resolver es inflacionaria, fiscal y de precios elativos distorsionados (como la de 2015).
Por eso, me preocupa el consejo que pueda darle Javier González Fraga a Macri, consejo que seguramente no le daba ni le daría Carlos Melconián.
No es que yo crea ahora que Macri debe hacer de golpe el ajuste que debió haber hecho y no hizo al comienzo de su gobierno. Entiendo que la cercanía al proceso electoral y las complicaciones que, aún con pocos e imperfectos ajustes, enfrentó en 2016, lo lleven a no querer hacer grandes olas. Pero me preocupa que puedan no aprovechar el año electoral para que algún equipo trabaje en preparar un buen plan de estabilización y crecimiento para lanzar inmediatamente después de la elección. Pensar que los mercados internos y externos le van a seguir ofreciendo crédito en condiciones aceptables durante 2018 y 2019 es una quimera. Y las inversiones no llegarán hasta que los ajustes imprescindibles se hayan completado o, al menos, los inversores se convenzan que no quedarán como manifestaciones de deseo.

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