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Comment: Re:think globally (Score 1) 203

by hjf (#48003515) Attached to: Kickstarter Lays Down New Rules For When a Project Fails

Error, I'm not blaming others for the problems of my country. I am 100% convinced that ALL of my country's problems are caused by CORRUPTION. But as I stated earlier, whenever we try to do something about it, it's questioned as if it was a totalitarian regime move. In the meanwhile, companies continue to be emptied.

As for the other countries: keep in mind that:
1. Brazil may be in the top 10 world economies but their social problems are way greater than Argentina's. Look at the distribution of income and you'll see only a few "extremely rich" people skewing the total percentage.
2. Chile has a lot of natural resources and their economy is simply based on exporting, basically, copper. Chile has more mines than Argentina (because of their geography) and only 1/3 of the population. Do the math.
3. Chile doesn't have a public university system. Thousands of their students come to Argentina to graduate here.
4. Bolivia and Paraguay don't have any serious public health system. Their citizens come to Argentina for treatment. For free.
5. Argentina has ENORMOUS shantytowns with populations that sometimes reach 40% foreigners.

It's very convenient to be a neighbor of Argentina, since we take care of your people for free. Due to "human rights" associations it's impossible to even put this issue up for discussion. You're called simply a RACIST if you talk about charging foreigners for healthcare or education. And only now someone's been talking about deporting criminals...

As for paying what we owe, well, I see this as a sacrifice. You see, you say the consequences of a default are worse. This isn't true. If Argentina pays now, we're forced to pay $200B more - money Argentina doesn't have, and can't borrow, and yes, it will be a REAL default with REAL consequences. The only thing we can do is wait in a "partial default" until january and negotiate then, after the RUFO clause expires. It's pretty obvious the government is doing all this loudmouthing now, but they will be paying in january. Let me explain again: Argentina, right now, CAN NOT pay. Our central bank reserves amount only to $28 billion.

The solution for argentina's short term economic probems is simple:

Wait until january and pay the debt.
Take a huge loan, to be used to develop the very needed:
- roads: there has been a project to do this for over 20 years - it even includes eliminating all toll roads
- railways: Argentina has over 35.000km of railroads of which only about 1700km are active
Eliminate "social aid" programs in a period of several years. Starting with men in working age. If they can't find a job, they should be assigned to building the roads or railways. Then continue with women - hundreds of thousands of "cleaning ladies" quit their job once they started getting government aid. There is now a shortage of this service.
Eliminate the shantytowns, deport all illegal immigrants (maybe with an amnesty for those who can prove they've been actively working in the past years and not just "living here"). Relocate all Argentinians to their original cities.
Forced labor for prisoners: in Argentina, prisoners actually get government aid for being in jail AND their wives too. This needs to be eliminated. Prisoners oughta work cleaning the sides of roads or whatever.
Instauration of the Death Penalty. Criminals have turned extremely violent in Argentina - high profile rape and murder cases are in the news every day. Lawyers say we can't do this because we are subscribed to the Costa Rica treaty - Interesting: Argentina is a sovereign state when it comes to not paying debts but apparenly we can't unsubscribe from a treaty.
Reinstauration of conscription. There are now MILLIONS of youths that left school and never had a supportive family (a consequence of indiscriminate social aid). This is a time bomb, and crime rates are expected to soar to incredible levels because of these people.
These are just a few points. I could go on for days about this. But sadly, for all things to happen, what Argentina needs right now is, unfortunately, violence. Argentina is in serious need of a violent, bloody revolution - with politicians lynched. This is an extreme situation caused by what i call the "naturalization of corruption". People don't become politicians to be politicians. They become politicians to be CORRUPT. That is their main target. And because of this, you have higher rank politicians that never go away and are senators for decades. The same also happens with unions. There are union leaders (like Barrionuevo) who have been doing this for over 30 years. These guys aren't going away - and the only way to remove them is by violence. The justice is not going to.

So in short: Argentina's problems are definitely NOT caused by the debt. And argentina's problems DON'T go away by paying off the debt. So it makes no economical or strategical sense to pay it right now, or to take any more loans to be wasted in more social aid.

Comment: Re:think globally (Score 1) 203

by hjf (#47983489) Attached to: Kickstarter Lays Down New Rules For When a Project Fails

Dude, in the end, you give money to a stranger. It can go right, or terribly wrong. And you're only lending a few bucks.

The point i'm trying to make is this: America is "the land of opportunity". Anyone there can start a business easily, make it grow, get rich. You can actually get some sort of loan (are you telling me you can't get a $5K loan from your bank?). There is a big advantage there.

In the rest of the world it's definitely not like that. Someone in the Philippines can't just start a business, and expect it to grow. You can't easily take a loan (and if you can, the sum is ridiculous and the interests are sky high). Third world countries run at a huge disadvantage.

The problem is pretty obvious here: you're serving people who don't really need the money. It's just a convenient place to do it (and I bet sooner or later banks will be suing Kickstarter for "providing financial services without a license"). What these kind of sites need to do is work outside Comfortable America and do something worth doing.

You know what disgusts me the most? A random idiot in the US can start a kickstarter project for "potato salad" in the US and get millons thrown at him, for fun. While some farmer in india has to go through all sorts of processes to get a "microcredit" (a $50 loan) from some agency, AND THEN he has to pay that $50 back + interests. Come on.

Comment: Re:think globally (Score 1) 203

by hjf (#47983407) Attached to: Kickstarter Lays Down New Rules For When a Project Fails

I didn't say we borrowed 80 million. NML bought the DEFAULTED bonds for 80 million. They bought worthless papers, from someone with terrible credit. And they sued, to collect 100% payment.

That's NOT how it works, man. On one hand, you have the "free market" buying and selling, and on the other hand, you have a judge ruling on the price of bonds. WTF? Let's put it another way: Why should Argentina pay a lot more interest than, say, Germany? Because there's a chance that Argentina won't pay? Obviously not. Since a judge can order you to pay in full.

As for Repsol, Argentina has paid for it already. The clown we have for minister of economy said, at one point, "Repsol won't receive a single cent". Then he, himself, negotiated something like a payment of 6 billion dollars for it in bonds (when the valuation was estimated in 5 billion). This was criticized because he overpaid. They did this to allow Repsol to sell the 6 billion in bonds for an estimated market value of 5 billion. (In my opinion, Argentina should have paid Repsol what repsol paid to the Argentinian government in the 90s for YPF: One Dollar. In fact, make it 10. Make it 100. Hell, let's make it 1 million dollars - man, that's a great return: pay 1 dollar, do nothing, then get paid 1 million 10 years later!)

The problem with Repsol is a lot deeper and it's only part of the problems with private investment in Argentina. Especially in the privatization business that happened in the early 90s. Argentina recently "found" an oil field, Vaca Muerta. I say "found" because it was known about for decades. In all these years, Repsol never bothered to exploit it. They simply used the existing wells and tapped the "easy" oil. Argentina's energy demands were higher than that so we import a lot of fuel.

Another case is electricity. In Buenos Aires, Edenor and Edesur exploited the already existing grid. They did not invest anything in over 20 years. Last summer there was a blackout that left a neighborhood without electricity for over a week. Edenor said it's because of Argentina's import restriction policies. The truth is, over 10 years ago, before any restrictions, a similar event happened. An entire neighborhood without power for over a week. So Edenor claims it's because the Argentine government has "frozen the cost of electricity". It's bullshit again, since Edenor/Edesur both receive several hundred million dollars a year in subsidies.

Then there's the telephone communications business. ENTel was split into two (Telecom+Telefonica) in 1990 or 91. For several years the situation didn't improve - at all. Until they started replacing the lines. Then it was great: service was excellent (in most cities), and it Just Worked. ENTel is remembered because of its terrible service (actually most of it was self-sabotage by their own employees who had been told if the company was privatized they'd get higher salaries - oops, most were fired).

Aerolineas Argentinas is the best example of this too. Aerolineas owned over 20 planes, 3 simulators, dozens of buildings across the world (in airports and outside), employeed thousands of people, and operated at a loss of about 1 million dollars a year. It was privatized. After 10 years of privatizations, Aerolineas leases all its planes, owns no simulators, liquidated most of their buildings, employs hundreds (not thousands) of people, and.. it operates at a loss of over 1 million dollars a year.

I could keep giving you examples here, but it's not needed. The pattern is pretty clear here: Own a privatized company, liquidate everything you can, and funnel ALL earnings outside the country. If the company needs some sort of investment, you only do it if it's critical (like Telecom, who could simply not operate because the lines were in terrible state), and all investments you do through a loan taken in Argentina and paid in Argentina (and then not pay it, take it to an extreme situation, and threaten to fire all employees. Then they go out to the street, protest, and the government takes care of the debt). You NEVER bring any money to Argentina.

And the best part: if the government tries to do anything about it, like jail executives or take over the company, you go to CNN, Financial Times, Bloomberg, etc. and whine that the "government of Argentina is trying to steal a private company".

The problem is a combination of both corruption from the Argentinian government that lets these characters do whatever they please with privatized companies, and the "free market" propaganda system, that makes you believe that Argentina is some sort of bully that wats to take over companies. And of course, it's only the propaganda system that says this sort of things. Or do you believe S&P or Fitch are so innocent they don't know how these companies (like Repsol and Marsans) operate in Argentina? Of course they know. But they shield themselves in the "technically what they're doing isn't illegal" argument.

Argentina is in serious need of investment right now. But what we need is real investors. People who want to start a business here AND make it grow - not some "get rich quick" type who wants to buy an already existing company to cash it out. The problem is no foreign investor ever wanted to do that. This is not new, it's not because of this government or the previous one. It's been like this since the early days, when England built a ton of infrastructure here (railroads mostly) to facilitate the transport of goods: Argentina supplied raw materials and England sold us manufactured stuff (England sold us BRICKS. Man, that's ridiculous). England was also clever (and shitty) enough to provide Brazil with a different rail gauge so there couldn't be trade between Brazil and Argentina.

So basically this country will never leave this situation. We have been like this for 200 years. This isn't going to change.

Comment: Re:think globally (Score 1) 203

by hjf (#47978863) Attached to: Kickstarter Lays Down New Rules For When a Project Fails

You're mixing everything up right now.

I DO NOT support my government. I didn't vote for this woman, and I suffer her retard policies every day (did you know we, Argentinians, can't freely buy foreign currency anymore? Did you know that we can't even RECEIVE MORE THAN TWO PACKAGES FROM ABROAD A YEAR?).

That said: I support what the government is saying. We're not in a "voluntary" default. The truth is that NML capital bought Argentina's debt for a mere 80 million dollars, and it's worth over 1 billion right now. The truth is that 92% of creditors accepted a restructuring: Argentina agreed to pay back 100% of capital AND 300% in interests. NONE of the people who entered the debt restructuring are losing money. So when you hear "Argentina is paying only 25%" that's twisted: we're paying 25% of the riduculously high rate we had to take money for, but we're paying back in full AND paying enough interest.

A 1000% return is too good to be true. And in this case it was.

NML capital sued. And the juge ruled we had to pay in full, right now. The problem is that if we do, there's another 20 billion more in debt we have to pay to the other holdouts. And also, if we pay any of them, the "pari passu" clause is triggered and argentina's debt restructuring is destroyed. We're back to square one, with a debt of over 200 billion dollars again.

You know why this is bullshit? Because this is NOT how it works anywhere else. If someone owes you and goes bankrupt, and if most other creditors agree with the restructuring, you're forced to accept it. In fact. the IMF wanted to make this true for all cases, but they were ignored. The UN passed a resolution about this (and guess who rejected it? Two countries, one of which was the US).

What also happened is that Argentina "was declared in default" even though we made the payments - except there was this slight problem: a US judge blocked the payments EVERYWHERE - even European citizens were affected by this. So we're in default because a US judge decided so. Not because we want to.

Want to make this more dirty? The "default insurance" was paid, and then it was decided that Argentina wasn't really truly "defaulted". So, thanks to this judge, a few people made a lot of money in a single day.

So yes, you don't really understand economics. Argentina's problems aren't caused by our unwilingness to pay. Griesa could have "delayed" his ruling by just 6 months and Argentina would have been able to negotiate with NML. As things stand, there's not much we can do. If we "negotiate" anything with NML, the whole restructuring thing goes to hell. Now, why did Griesa rule now? Why couldn't he wait? Why didn't Obama stand up for Argentina after he said he would? (because he's afraid of Paul Singer)

Yes, we get into dirty US Foreign policy right now. Argentina is doing something the US doesn't like, so the US uses their economic resources to tame us. Try and see the world with a more cynical eye and you'll see that everything isn't that fair, and that the US doesn't play nice.

I have no idea what you mean by "stealing foreign assets".

And as for kickstarter: they only work with 10 countries. Indiegogo works in over 200 countries. The whole point of my original comment was that KICKSTARTER doesn't want to work with US & buddies. You made it all about debt and all other irrelevant bullshit.

Comment: Re:I'll just let my sig do the talking (Score 1) 478

by hjf (#47978537) Attached to: US Strikes ISIL Targets In Syria

But at least on the federal level, defense is one of the few enumerated responsibilities of the Federal Govt.

There is nothing in there that says for them to deal with healthcare.

Sure, yes. Those words, man, are written in stone. No way to change those laws.

And if it's in the constitution.. ohh wow - that's untouchable. We need a constitutional reform to change the slightest comma in the constitution.

Oh - wait. I was thinking of my country's constitution! We're talking the US constitution! The one that can be modified without a reform, simply with an ammendment.