Last week, Argentina’s president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner faced a general strike from some of the largest unions of the country. Most businesses and services throughout the country were closed including transportation, hospitals, schools, and restaurants.1 With many taxi and bus drivers on strike, those who did not participate could not go to work for the day. Picketers blocked off roads, preventing travel throughout the capital. In other cities throughout the country, such as Córdoba, smaller scale strikes had similar effects.
For one million Americans living with Parkinson’s’ Disease (PD), social life isn’t necessarily part of a routine plan. After all, this disease takes a toll, not only on the individuals who suffer from it, but also on their families and friends. PD is a neurodegenerative disease with increasing motor disabilities – where dealing with tremors, imbalance, and stiffness, seem to make (social) life less appealing.
Argentina was struck with two blows of overwhelmingly bad news on Monday when the US Supreme Court refused to hear Republic of Argentina v. NML Capital, Ltd., then ruled against the South American country, allowing US hedge funds to subpoena Argentinean banks for the locations of public assets worldwide. In 2012, a lower federal court presided over by US Judge Thomas Griesa decided Argentina must pay back its debts in full to several “holdout” hedge funds by the bond service deadline on June 30th.
As the deadline of June 30th came and went, Argentina attempted to make $832USD million in payments to restructured hedge funds, but was forced to take the money back by Judge Thomas Griesa who ordered the original debt ruling back in June.1 The New York Courts demanded BNY Mellon give back the $539 million it received from Argentina, deeming the payment in violation of the equal payment clause. Griesa decided that Argentina must make payments to both the restructured hedge funds and the holdouts or service neither.
After two days of intense talks leading up to the extended deadline of July 30th, Argentina was declared in default, its second in 13 years. Although various plans were proposed to avoid this result, such as coupon repayment and Argentine banks buying up the debt, Elliott Management refused any and all proposals to restructure, acting against the other 92% of creditors that accepted reduced repayments in 2005 and 2010.1 If Elliott Management would accept an offer, it would make over 150 times its initial investment.
Ever since the economic collapse in 2001, Argentina and the capital city of Buenos Aires have been experiencing a resurgence in poverty that hasn’t been seen since the first wave of migrant urban workers in the 1930’s. In the southern region of Buenos Aires shanty towns are expanding and engulfing private and unused land. These shanty towns are known as “villas miserias,” which directly translates into villages of misery, and share characteristics of slums all around the world.
Nací en Tucumán hace veintiocho años. Mientras cursaba mis estudios universitarios en Buenos Aires, casi diez años atrás, la conocí y me enamoré: la villa 21, en el porteño barrio de Barracas. Llegué de la mano de un cura amigo, quien al comentarle algunas inquietudes me presentó al Padre Pepe Di Paola. Él me abrió las puertas de la Parroquia Virgen de los Milagros de Caacupé de par en par, y desde ese momento, la comunidad se convirtió en mi segunda familia.
En un recinto semivacío, salpicado por el escándalo que marcó la retirada en masa de la oposición, nació en la Cámara de Diputados argentina una de las leyes de mayor trascendencia del país, el nuevo Código Civil y Comercial, que entrará en vigor el primer día de 2016. La visión general del proyecto arroja un resultado positivo, pero lamentablemente hay puntos cuestionables.
Lo mejor de un banco central independiente es que maximiza las chances de que la política monetaria logre estabilidad, no sólo en la inflación, sino también en el crecimiento. Es un rol a primera vista poco sexy, pero uno de los más genuinamente progresistas al que puede aspirar la política pública.