Friday, January 31, 2014

New Argentina Economic Collapse?

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Consumer prices are soaring, the treasury is running low on foreign currency and the peso has had its sharpest slide in 12 years. Instead of rioting, though, Argentines are falling back on tried and true survival skills to cope with the turmoil.

Inflation is at about 30 percent...

So some Argentines are hoarding dollars, while others stockpile goods or plow their savings into real estate.

More people ride bikes now following recent increases in public transportation fares. They eat less at restaurants and cook at home. They buy cheap, pirated DVD copies of the latest films rather than go to the cinema.
Is this where the US is heading?
Many Argentines note that the current economic woes are not as bad as Argentina's financial collapse in 2001-2002. Unemployment remains relatively low, and many people benefit from government handouts. Yet they worry the country may be at a tipping point.
That does sound familiar.
The presidential couple negotiated or paid off most of Argentina's defaulted debt, nationalized the pension system, and retook control of the national airline and oil company. They also kept energy cheap through subsidies and dug deep into the treasury to redirect revenue to the poor through handouts.
Quite familiar. The government robbed people's private pension plans to pay it's own debts: They robbed the savers at the point of the government's guns, and now wonder why people don't save money or invest.

Read the whole thing. I think it is where we are going.

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