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The King of Clowns or Argentina chose Milei


Strannik

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Remember the times when Trump became the president and suddenly reality TV paled in  comparison to his coverage?

Well, you've seen nothing yet!

Introducing the new President of Argentina: "El Loco" Javier Milei.

Edited by Strannik
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The back story: populace used to numerous social policies that state couldn't afford, extensive inefficient governments afraid to change status quo, hyperinflation.

The break: anarcho libertarian prez with no management experience and rhetoric that make Trump look and sound like a ... Biden ;)

https://www.nytimes.com/2023/11/19/world/americas/argentina-election-javier-milei.html

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Day 1:

Bloomberg is happy:  His government’s moves to devalue the peso 54% and slash the budget were received well on Wall Street, where traders bid up the country’s bonds, and, more importantly, at home, where there were no signs of panic among inflation-wary Argentine shoppers an

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-12-14/on-day-one-of-argentina-overhaul-milei-scores-crucial-victory

Forbes cautions: 

Argentinians have been using $ for a while now, so the major blow is to the country's credibility:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes.com/sites/johntamny/2023/12/14/it-only-took-javier-milei-two-days-to-commit-a-monumental-error/amp/

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First week (sounds like a certain folks dream):

halt new infrastructure projects; lay off recently hired government workers; reduce energy and transportation subsidies for residents; cut payments to Argentina’s 23 provinces; and halve the number of federal ministries, from 18 to nine.

https://www.nytimes.com/2023/12/12/world/americas/argentina-javier-milei-cuts.html

The country has been a symbol of economic dysfunction for decades, with bouts of severe inflation, debt defaults, bank runs, currency fluctuations and the political instability that often followed.

Those cascading problems have largely been caused by severe economic mismanagement, by governments on both the left and the right. The latest economic crisis has its roots in the policies of the leftist former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who financed large social programs and economic subsidies partly by draining reserves and simply printing more pesos.

Argentines elected a conservative president, Mauricio Macri, in 2015 to try to reverse such spending, but his bid for major changes failed in the face of massive protests from unions and the poor, who rely on state assistance. Instead, the major legacy of Mr. Macri’s presidency was taking on the biggest loan ever from the International Monetary Fund, eventually amounting to $44 billion, which Argentina is now struggling to pay back.

 

The I.M.F. cheered Mr. Milei’s moves on Tuesday, saying they “will help stabilize the economy and set the basis for more sustainable and private-sector led growth.”

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And what brother doesn't need his sis - he overturns 2018 nepotism law and assigns her to a top position in his government.

Funny background facts: 

Not married, lived with his sister who took care of him (he did not know cost of milk), organized his campaign and whom he promised to introduce as a First Lady. 

And no, those of you with a dirty mind - he did not allegedly shag her:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.batimes.com.ar/news/amp/argentina/days-before-debate-argentinas-presidential-candidate-javier-milei-denies-shagging-his-sister-in-fake-news-list.phtml

Oh and he described himself as a sex instructor in 2020. 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/fox59.com/news/national-world/ap-international/ap-meet-the-influential-women-behind-argentinas-president-elect-javier-milei/amp/

Edited by Strannik
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The chainsaw: President plans to strike down or modify at least 300 pieces of “collectivist” legislation that he claims have “impeded, hindered an stopped” the country’s growth.

Two takes:

https://www.batimes.com.ar/news/economy/milei-outlines-chainsaw-deregulation-plan-for-argentinas-economy.phtml

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-12-21/milei-announces-sweeping-reforms-to-deregulate-argentina-economy

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Social protests and government responce:

Milei’s administration had said it will allow protests, but threatened to cut off public aid payments to anyone who blocks thoroughfares. Marchers were also forbidden to carry sticks, cover their faces or bring children to the protest.

https://apnews.com/article/argentina-javier-milei-protests-economy-social-groups-c1b7d6506769f1331c37db6e16fe29a1

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President Javier Milei — after vowing to break economic relations with China because of his hatred for “shithead communists” — has officially requested the renewal of its currency swap with Argentina as one of the very first acts of his Presidency.

China suspends 6.5 bln currency swap with Argentina:

https://amp.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3245805/china-reportedly-suspends-us65-billion-currency-swap-agreement-argentina

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Firstly,  I support  *some* of the libertarian policies that he advocates.  However one doesn't buy a broken clock because it shows correct time few times a day.  And he is quite a clown, so deserves the dedicated thread. 

Then I knew that a number of local folx with the poor understanding of political economy, real (not propaganda) history and critical thinking, but enamoured with Ain Rand sophistry would love to see the experiment this guy *might* provide us in real time, so let's document and see what happens. 

Edited by Strannik
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It's a step in the right direction, the problem is that it takes time for the market to adapt under the best of circumstances, much less when collapse was imminent going into the radical reforms.

That means two things are stacked against him: first, it may be too late no matter what anyone tries to do, even actions that would have corrected the downfall had they been done earlier, in which case proponents of opposing economic theories will tout it as evidence that these policies do not work, and it will be the freshest taste in anyone's mouth the next time anyone proposes them.  Second, even if it can result in recovery if given a sufficient run, it may take so long that the people will not suffer the meanwhile (especially given his antics giving adversarial media fuel to manipulate sentiment against him) and he will not last long enough for it to work. 

 

It would have almost been better to let it collapse and poise himself to pick up the pieces, so the blame will remain squarely on the old system. Appoint a more reasonable face to put in front of the camera but give direction in the background. The result will be more suffering short term, but less prolonged suffering and more stability with public opinion.

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On 12/24/2023 at 11:04 AM, Burncycle360 said:

It's a step in the right direction, the problem is that it takes time for the market to adapt under the best of circumstances, much less when collapse was imminent going into the radical reforms.

I wouldn't be so sure, first I'm quite superficial regulations, no structural reform. and many are antitrust laws whose repeal favors monopolies. Well, like every politician he received a lot of campaign donations and he should return the favor.

 

On 12/24/2023 at 11:04 AM, Burncycle360 said:

That means two things are stacked against him: first, it may be too late no matter what anyone tries to do, even actions that would have corrected the downfall had they been done earlier, in which case proponents of opposing economic theories will tout it as evidence that these policies do not work, and it will be the freshest taste in anyone's mouth the next time anyone proposes them.  Second, even if it can result in recovery if given a sufficient run, it may take so long that the people will not suffer the meanwhile (especially given his antics giving adversarial media fuel to manipulate sentiment against him) and he will not last long enough for it to work. 

This is the usual counterfactual history, the previous government, whose obvious uselessness no one can defend. He also had bad luck:
 1_ Disastrous inheritance even by Argentine standards (very very bad) from the previous management
 2_Pandemic
 3_ War in Ukraine (increased costs due to being an energy importing country)
 4_ The worst drought in 100 years in the election year.

This fact is the most important for a country that depends too much on agricultural exports, guaranteeing that the year 2023 would be economically very bad and the current government would lose.
But at the same time, the end of the drought guaranteed that the year 2024 would be better regardless of the measures of the current government. Then any improvement could be estimated as a result of the new government or simple change in external conditions according to each person's taste.

 

 

On 12/24/2023 at 11:04 AM, Burncycle360 said:

Second, even if it can result in recovery if given a sufficient run, it may take so long that the people will not suffer the meanwhile (especially given his antics giving adversarial media fuel to manipulate sentiment against him) and he will not last long enough for it to work. 

This should not be a problem, in Argentina the largest media outlets are generally center-right, therefore not only does he accumulate political power, he has the media, judicial power and businessmen in its favor. In theory he has the unions against it, but in general they are corrupt and have been bought by center-right governments before. They can hardly put a spoke in their wheel.

On 12/24/2023 at 11:04 AM, Burncycle360 said:

It would have almost been better to let it collapse and poise himself to pick up the pieces, so the blame will remain squarely on the old system. Appoint a more reasonable face to put in front of the camera but give direction in the background. The result will be more suffering short term, but less prolonged suffering and more stability with public opinion.

In reality he does not have that possibility, his coming to power was to a certain extent an anomaly of circumstances: the exceptionally bad situation due to the drought + bad government + power games in the center-right opposition coalition. If it had not been for this particularity, the former mayor of the city of Buenos Aires (a centrist politician part of a center-right alliance) was the natural candidate for the position of president.

Either he came to power now or he never came. Something similar to Hitler with the great depression in Germany.

 

Edited by mandeb48
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1 hour ago, mandeb48 said:

3_ War in Ukraine (increased costs due to being an energy importing country)

That despite Argentina having significant amounts of oil, and being able to export it after covering local consumption. That is a strike against the previous government, and quite unrelated to the Ukraine thing. Even more, as the rising oil price should have prove a boon for the Argie economy.

Edited by sunday
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35 minutes ago, sunday said:

That despite Argentina having significant amounts of oil, and being able to export it after covering local consumption. That is a strike against the previous government, and quite unrelated to the Ukraine thing. Even more, as the rising oil price should have prove a boon for the Argie economy.

Argentina import natural gas from Bolivia and lgp by sea.  The  price increase of 2021 was a blow to  argentina economy.  In absolute terms it does not seem like an alarming figure, but it just coincided with the loss of agricultural exports due to the drought. Argentina exports some oil but does not compensate for the import of natural gas..

https://www.ambito.com/economia/cuanto-perdio-la-argentina-la-guerra-ucrania-n5658707

Edited by mandeb48
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57 minutes ago, Murph said:

The more I see about this guy the more I like him.

Which part? The one that promised to lower taxes during the election campaign or the part where he increased them when he came to power?

The part that accuses a political rival of being a dirty communist who threw bombs in kindergartens or the part where he appoints her minister of security?

The part where he said he wouldn't trade with the Chinese because they are communists or the part where he borrowed money from the Chinese state?

He is all this together

Edited by mandeb48
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2 hours ago, mandeb48 said:

Argentina import natural gas from Bolivia and lgp by sea.  The  price increase of 2021 was a blow to  argentina economy.  In absolute terms it does not seem like an alarming figure, but it just coincided with the loss of agricultural exports due to the drought. Argentina exports some oil but does not compensate for the import of natural gas..

https://www.ambito.com/economia/cuanto-perdio-la-argentina-la-guerra-ucrania-n5658707

Of course, robbing foreign oil corporations of their investments in the country would have helped in achieving energy independence, would not it?

https://apnews.com/article/argentina-ypf-preska-burford-petersen-eton-18d2dc00f0a1f9fa0233292edd1e57cb

Quote

U.S. judge orders Argentina to pay $16 billion for expropriation of YPF oil company

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — A U.S. judge ruled that Argentina must pay $16.1 billion to minority shareholders of state-controlled oil company YPF due to the government’s 2012 nationalization of a majority stake in the firm.

U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska in New York issued final judgment Friday detailing the dollar amount that the South American country would have to pay.

Preska on Friday ordered Argentina to pay $14.38 billion to Petersen Energía, including $7.5 billion in damages and $6.85 billion in interest and $1.7 billion to Eton Capital, including $897.75 million in damages and $816.58 million in interest. Interest will continue to accrue if Argentina fails to pay, Preska said.

Argentina, which is currently suffering dire economic woes that include a low level of Central Bank reserves, rising poverty and a galloping inflation of more than 100% per year, has vowed to appeal the ruling.

Cleptocracy is never a good idea. Milei has the work of Heracles to do in the Augean stables of Argentinian economy - there is an Argentian saying: El zonzo vive de su trabajo y el listo vive del zonzo. It could be translated as "The schmuck lives from his work and the wiseguy lives from the schmuck", more or less. Not a good philosophy for a productive, prosperous society.

 

Edited by sunday
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I am not going to defend the neatness with which the nationalization was carried out. I don't know the details but I don't have much faith in the impartiality of some courts.

 

 

As for the second part, just look at who Milei has surrounded himself with to know that honesty and hard work will probably not be a characteristic of his government.

 

The essence of Argentina as a song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvMcaSgiMro

 

Siglo veinte, cambalache
Problemático y febril
El que no llora no mama
Y el que no afana es un gil
¡Dale, nomás!
¡Dale, que va!

¡Que allá en el Horno
Se van a encontrar!
No pienses más, sentate a un la'o
Que a nadie importa si naciste honra'o
Da lo mismo al que labura
Noche y día como un buey
Que el que vive de las minas
Que el que roba, que el que cura
O está fuera de la ley

 

Edited by mandeb48
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The Clown and the Joos:

Javier Milei has praised Benjamin Netanyahu and said he is considering converting to Judaism. Many in Argentina's Jewish community hope they don't get blamed if the new president's libertarian ideas fail

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/2023-12-26/ty-article-magazine/.premium/new-president-milei-argentinas-jews-and-israel-a-tricky-triangle/0000018c-a1fe-df1f-a7bf-b7ff05de0000

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