Saturday, December 25, 2010

Argentina Nine Years After 2001

Argentina nine years after 2001; is it WTSHTF or TEOTWAWKI for Argentineans?

A friend on a web site I frequent recently posted the following as part of a longer post:

The problem with Argentina is that their government has had a complete financial (and political) breakdown, including government bond default, about a decade ago and they still have not gotten their act together.

I was trying to augment his report with a link to FerFAL's site (regular readers here have seen that link here several times. FerFAL's site is worth a look several times a month or whenever you find yourself thinking "it" couldn't happen here.) when I stumbled across this link to a report by FerFAL himself. (There's a link at the bottom so you can read the whole thing.)

Here's a report on Argentina Nine Years After 2001:

(a few short quotes, FerFAL writes:)
This week has been interesting and as I now sit here to write and put things together, it hits me how surreal it all is. You get used to all this, its parts of your daily routine to see this things, avoid roadblocks, avoid the conflict and places where protests and looting are taking place. It does wear you out though, imagine wanting to go home after a hard day’s work only to find this in your train station, closed until further notice.

Looting and Rioting
This happened in Constitucion train station yesterday after the service was canceled because of another group of protesters blocking the railroad, and therefore forcing the service to be canceled. I used to take this train to work and this happened more often than you’d think. Man, I don’t miss that train.
(video link)

We’ve also been experiencing a squatters boom. All over the country squatters are taking over land for themselves, hurrying in building brick and mortar structures to consolidate their position. The news only reported the most notorious ones that took place in the capital district, but this situation is wide spread and much worse in the suburbs and country.

How does it look when they take over land and start dividing the land among them? It looks like this.
(video link)

No, not pretty at all. Imagine waking up one day and seeing this in the public park in front of your house. Those orange brick buildings that can be seen in the background, some 3 levels high, they build those in a matter of HOURS. In no time you have a favela or shanty town built in your neighborhood. The price of your nice house plumbs and the neighborhood itself become no man’s land a few days later.

What happens when neighbors are fed up with squatters and take matters into their own hands because the liberal government simply wont stop them from squatting in public and private property? It looks like this:
(another video link)

This last week has been pretty hot as well. The smog and general tropical humidity aren’t helping either.

Blackouts have become widespread all over Buenos Aires.

Empty ATMs and Sudden Bank Holiday
Because of inflation we are experiencing a particular problem as well. There’s just not enough cash to go around. The government doesn’t want to print much needed 500 peso bills because they said it would be admitting an inflation “That doesn’t exist!!” . Add to the rampant inflation the fact that people don’t trust banks much and prefer to use cash instead, this only makes matters worse.

What would you do if they don’t accept plastic any more because of blackouts or some other reason? What would you do if ATMs run empty and banks close? These things happen, its just that people prefer not to think about these things.

[As a regular reader here you should know that Cash is King in any emergency!]

In terms of crime, my wife told me about a new crime she heard while in the beauty salon that I just couldn’t believe.
Because hair extensions have become popular, there’s a prime price for nice long human hair! These scum bags are cutting off women’s hair, specially if its nice and already arranged in an easy to cut pony tail. A long pony tail sells for 300 pesos.

You can read the whole thing and view the videos HERE

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