SD Sniffing Dogs in Argentine Borders

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Drugs, explosives?  No, its US dollars what dogs in Argentina border controls are trained tosniff for.
This has been going on for some time, since the unofficial ban on foreign currencies was imposed. The main focus of attention was the check points between Argentina and Uruguay, mostly the popular ferry services between Buenos Aires and the neighboring country. This time it was the border with Chile, where a man was arrested for trying to get into the country with 98.000 USD in cash hidden under his clothes.
Now if you want to brutally attack a senior Americantourist in downtown Buenos Aires, that you can do without a problem and even if doing so in front of a police officer the worse that will happen is that you’ll have to lose 6 hours of your day making a statement, then its back to mugging people for you. Murdering, robbing or raping people is not the kind of thing the Argentine government is worried about stopping, but those rich pigs with USD, now those they quickly throw behind bars. If they are not politicians, that is.
That’s the ironic thing about the rule of law and the WROL myth. The fact is, during periods of tyranny, the law wont be there to protect you but it will be enforced when new rules to take away your freedom are created.
FerFAL

Mortgages and eating Cats after the Economic Collapse

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La Plata, Argentina. Desperate people tear up a cow in the middle of the Road.

Hi Ferfal,

I came across your website yesterday and thinking maybe I should order your book for self education.

I’ve called the bookstore but been told that we can not order your book from Australia coz none of the major publishers are offering this book at this stage. Please advice the best way to order your book in overseas, thanks.

I also have three questions for you if you could answer:

(1)   In the event of the economic collapse, why people can’t buy some food online? Eg: ordering camping food or military food online in overseas, or calling their overseas relatives to ship all the food to them in Argentina during that difficult time? Could you elaborate bit more on this please?

(2)   Was the seafood market very active during the time of economic collapse in Argentina? Did people learn how to fishing in order to sustain their life during that time?

(3)   What happened to most of the Argentine families when their house are still on mortgage but can’t pay the mortgage fees during the economic collapse? Did the banks took their houses back, or the government had ordered some sort of special policies to allow them paying the mortgage money back in a later stage?

Looking forward to your email and I’m impressed by your depth knowledge in this area.

Kind regards,

Shao

Hello Shao,

My book, “The Modern Survival Manual” is only available through Amazon. Although shipping can be a bit expensive in some cases ( I assume Australia would be such a case) Amazon does ship world wide.

About your questions,

       1) he problem wasn’t finding the food, online or otherwise, the problem was having the money to buy it. During an economic collapse people have very little money, that money doesn’t buy you much thanks to inflation and a lot of people don’t even have jobs. As food and other grocery items keep getting more and more expensive people get to a point where they have problems putting food on the table. First they stop buying beef, then they cant afford chicken, hotdogs, etc, until it gets to a point where a significant amount of people just don’t have enough money to put even a bowl of pasta or rice on the table. Millions go to bed hungry every day. We would all do well to keep that in mind more often.

            2) A few months after the economic collapse a few interesting things took place. In the few ponds in parks where ducks used to be found, they quickly went missing. People soon realized how good they tasted and how easy it was to just grab them and go. Some of the more desperate people, they ended up eating dogs, cats, pigeons, even rats. The word got around that cat didn’t taste that bad and in a matter of weeks you just couldn’t find any more stray cats when just a few months earlier they were all over the city. In the country, kids with slingshots and air rifles would go bird hunting so as to bring something home to throw in the pot. Hares became increasingly hard to find and last time I checked they were almost extinct in some areas.

In a large city like Buenos Aires there aren’t many good fishing spots although you always see someone fishing in the coast of River Plate. Along the sea cost and rivers people did go fishing of course and still do (even though the water is highly polluted) , but while it does put some food on the table the reality is that fish doesn’t pay the bills, at least not when caught with a fishing pole, so people would do what they can in terms of work to make some money and then maybe go fishing on weekends, more as a hobby than as a way of putting food on the table. 

      3) What happens to anyone else in that situation, they lose their homes. Some emergency measures were taken but it only helped a small number of people with mortgages, those with smaller ones, and even then it was just a bit more time to pay, it really didn’t help if you simply had no money coming in to take care of the bills. People would lose their homes, or not be able to keep up with rent and end up moving back with their parents or some other family member or friend. Those were the lucky ones, thousands ended up living on the streets, literally under bridges or in growing shantytowns, full of new homeless people. Don’t ever expect bankers (or their employees in public office) to do you any favors. It simply will not happen.

Take care and good luck!

FerFAL


The New York Times: “Cry for Me, Argentina”

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This was posted just a few hours ago in the New York Times. The situation in Argentina is of course pretty bad, and the article does a good job explaining many of the problems (and its main problem, Peronism) . Keep in mind, Argentina is not alone in this mess. The problem is global by now, although as always some countries are better off than others.
FerFAL
USHUAIA, Argentina — A bon mot doing the rounds in post-commodities-boom South America is that Brazil is in the process of becoming Argentina, and Argentina is in the process of becoming Venezuela, and Venezuela is in the process of becoming Zimbabwe. That is a little harsh on Brazil and VeArgentina, however, is a perverse case of its own. It is a nation still drugged by that quixotic political concoction called Peronism; engaged in all-out war on reliable economic data; tinkering with its multilevel exchange rate; shut out from global capital markets; trampling on property rights when it wishes; obsessed with a lost little war in the Falklands (Malvinas) more than three decades ago; and persuaded that the cause of all this failure lies with speculative powers seeking to force a proud nation — in the words of its leader — “to eat soup again, but this time with a fork.”
A century ago, Argentina was richer than Sweden, France, Austria and Italy. It was far richer than Japan. It held poor Brazil in contempt. Vast and empty, with the world’s richest top soil in the Pampas, it seemed to the European immigrants who flooded here to have all the potential of the United States (per capita income is now a third or less of the United States level). They did not know that a colonel called Juan Domingo Perón and his wife Eva (“Evita”) would shape an ethos of singular delusional power.
“Argentina is a unique case of a country that has completed the transition to underdevelopment,” said Javier Corrales, a political scientist at Amherst College.
In psychological terms — and Buenos Aires is packed with folks on couches pouring out their anguish to psychotherapists — Argentina is the child among nations that never grew up. Responsibility was not its thing. Why should it be? There was so much to be plundered, such riches in grain and livestock, that solid institutions and the rule of law — let alone a functioning tax system — seemed a waste of time.
Immigrants camped here with foreign passports rather than go through the nation-forming absorption that characterize Brazil or the United States. Argentina was far away at the bottom of the world, a beckoning fertile land mass distant enough from power centers to live its own peripheral fantasies or drown its sorrow in what is probably the world’s saddest (and most haunting) dance. Then, to give expression to its uniqueness, Argentina invented its own political philosophy: a strange mishmash of nationalism, romanticism, fascism, socialism, backwardness, progressiveness, militarism, eroticism, fantasy, musical, mournfulness, irresponsibility and repression. The name it gave all this was Peronism. It has proved impossible to shake.nezuela.

Argentina makes cover of The Economist

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The article is mostly accurate describing the causes of the problems in Argentina although it does keep in mind to forget to mention a key element such as the role of the IMF and the same old multinational corporations that always seem to float around when countries fall apart. With a bit of bigotry it pokes fun at how Argentines cook food, and takes a few shots at Spain and Italy while failing to mention the serious economic and sociopolitical problems Britain has itself.
 Argentina should serve as an example of what not to do. Still, many developed nations are repeating the same model, and because of a few “cosmetic” differences here and there most don’t seem to realize they are being dragged down the same miserable path. After all, in which country is it that 14 year olds keep get pregnant so as to get a council flat and benefits? And lets better not mention lying politicians blaming the weather for decades flood protection infrastructure neglect.
 FerFAL

 

The parable of Argentina

There are lessons for many governments from one country’s 100 years of decline

A CENTURY ago, when Harrods decided to set up its first overseas emporium, it chose Buenos Aires. In 1914 Argentina stood out as the country of the future. Its economy had grown faster than America’s over the previous four decades. Its GDP per head was higher than Germany’s, France’s or Italy’s. It boasted wonderfully fertile agricultural land, a sunny climate, a new democracy (universal male suffrage was introduced in 1912), an educated population and the world’s most erotic dance. Immigrants tangoed in from everywhere. For the young and ambitious, the choice between Argentina and California was a hard one.
There are still many things to love about Argentina, from the glorious wilds of Patagonia to the world’s best footballer, Lionel Messi. The Argentines remain perhaps the best-looking people on the planet. But their country is a wreck. Harrods closed in 1998. Argentina is once again at the centre of an emerging-market crisis. This one can be blamed on the incompetence of the president, Cristina Fernández, but she is merely the latest in a succession of economically illiterate populists, stretching back to Juan and Eva (Evita) Perón, and before. Forget about competing with the Germans. The Chileans and Uruguayans, the locals Argentines used to look down on, are now richer. Children from both those countries—and Brazil and Mexico too—do better in international education tests.

 Why dwell on a single national tragedy? When people consider the worst that could happen to their country, they think of totalitarianism. Given communism’s failure, that fate no longer seems likely. If Indonesia were to boil over, its citizens would hardly turn to North Korea as a model; the governments in Madrid or Athens are not citing Lenin as the answer to their euro travails. The real danger is inadvertently becoming the Argentina of the 21st century. Slipping casually into steady decline would not be hard. Extremism is not a necessary ingredient, at least not much of it: weak institutions, nativist politicians, lazy dependence on a few assets and a persistent refusal to confront reality will do the trick.
(continue reading)

 


Argentines falling back on tried and true Survival Skills

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 “2 units of sugar maximum per purchase”
Fernando:
Thought you might be interested in the following from New York City’s FOX TV station yesterday if you didn’t see it already:
…Argentines are falling back on tried and true survival skills to cope with the turmoil.
“Argentines jockey to cope with economic turmoil”
Sorry to hear about what’s going on back in Argentina these days.
Have a nice weekend,

Chris

Argentines jockey to cope with economic turmoil

Posted: Jan 30, 2014 1:42 PM Updated: Jan 30, 2014 1:42 PM

ALMUDENA CALATRAVA and DEBORA REY

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 and there’s been a 15 percent drop in the peso’s value against the U.S. dollar over a few days. But Argentina has gone through five much more dire economic times since the 1930s.

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.
Sofia Basualdo, a 43-year-old geography teacher, responded to growing inflation with a shopping spree to beat further price rises.

“I might pay one peso for a product today, but next week I’ll likely have to pay two pesos,” Basualdo said as she left a Buenos Aires supermarket pushing a shopping cart filled to the brim. “In this country, when you start smelling inflation it’s best to buy and save.”
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.

“People are adopting defensive measures to survive,” said Jorge Raventos, a political analyst and former spokesman for Argentina’s foreign relations ministry. “People endure this by zig-zagging along, but it’s hard to know how much they can take before they explode.”
Although it is exceedingly difficult because of strict regulations, some people and businesses have succeeded in past years in sending their dollars out of Argentina as a hedge against inflation. Then Deputy Economy Minister Axel Kiciloff last year estimated Argentine individuals and companies had socked away up to $200 billion in undeclared currency outside the country.
But like most people, Carlos Partcha, an 80-year-old retired journalist, has taken the simpler measure of buying U.S. dollars and stashing them under his mattress — as he has done for more than a decade.

“We don’t trust anything anymore. Not even the banking institutions,” Partcha said. “I had saved in dollars, and when the banks froze deposits in 2001, I got pesos back and lost my money.”

Read more: http://www.myfoxny.com/story/24588158/argentines-jockey-to-cope-with-economic-turmoil#ixzz2s1PtBJmY
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Argentina is Falling Apart

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The Wall Street Journal has a good article about it. With reserves dropping like a rock, out of control inflation and massive social problems, it is now just a matter of watching how further down it can go.

 

The recent scenes of widespread anarchy due to the police strike across the country are still fresh in people’s minds. Due to recent blackouts, some people have been without power in Buenos Aires for three weeks and inflation according to independent firms is 30%, a very different tune compared to the one sung by the government that claims inflation is 10%.

Argentina’s Crumbling Economy

 

Officially, inflation is 10.5%, but skeptics think it’s much higher. Capital flight is accelerating.

 
By
On a visit to Buenos Aires in November I noted a sense of foreboding hanging over the city. With the economy in a stall, consumer prices rising and capital fleeing the country, porteños from every walk of life seemed to be bracing for a storm—and resigned to the hardship it would bring to this harbor city.
The city infrastructure looked defeated too: The wide boulevards and grand 19th-century buildings are now tired and grungy and the streets smelly. Angry graffiti and tattered posters deface walls, adding to the general feeling of lawless decay. It takes a long time to destroy a nation’s wealth but a decade of kirchnerism o—government by President Néstor Kirchner and now his widow, Cristina —seems to be doing the job.
In recent weeks things have gotten worse. The way out also looks more difficult. Three big developments in December raised the specter of descent into full-blown chaos. The first occurred when the police in the provincial capital of Cordoba suddenly walked off the job to protest low salaries. Hooligans took the work stoppage by law enforcement as an invitation to sack the city. More than 1,000 stores were looted and two people killed.
The national government could have helped Gov. José Manuel de la Sota, who is not an ally of Mrs. Kirchner. But it was unresponsive, instead suggesting that the violence was part of a plot to destabilize the president. His back against the wall, the governor gave the police a 33% salary hike. They returned to work. But police in 20 other provinces learned a lesson. Strikes across the country followed and so did looting and violence. Look for more pressure on public-sector wages.
Behind the difficulty in paying provincial employees a decent wage is the same old problem that brought Argentina to its knees in 1989: inflation. According to the Foundation for Latin American Economic Research (FIEL), based in Buenos Aires, inflation for December was 3%, driving the total for 2013 to 26.4%. Food and beverage prices were up 28.9%, FIEL says, despite “repeated freezes” mandated by the government.
The government claims annual inflation is 10.5%. But there is widespread distrust of official figures. In 2011 one of Mrs. Kirchner’s henchmen fired the head of the institute charged with measuring the price level because he didn’t like its inflation findings. Even the International Monetary Fund took note. In February 2013 it censured Argentina for its failure to divulge accurate inflation data to the public.
 Money-printing by the central bank has Argentines selling pesos whenever they can. Capital controls in effect since 2011 make that harder than it used to be but not impossible. They have accelerated capital flight. More sellers than buyers drives down the price of the peso where it trades freely. While the official exchange rate is now 6.6 pesos to the dollar, it now takes almost 11 pesos to buy a dollar in the black market.

 


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