By Nick Cunningham, OilPrice.com: Hidden in the budget deal hammered out by Congressman Paul Ryan and Senator Patty Murray are provisions that will have a big impact on North American energy security.
Entries in Latin America (35)
By Adrian Bono, The Bubble, Argentina: In the last 24 hours, the province of Córdoba spiraled out of control, the very fabric of society torn apart. A sudden absence of law and order sent people into a looting frenzy. Residents and store owners boarded up windows, grabbed shotguns, and climbed to their roofs, waiting for the encounter with the enemy.
By Bianca Fernet, Argentina, The Bubble: In 2012, Argentina introduced a 15% tax on credit card purchases made in foreign currency. Which turned into 20%. And now, after promising not to raise it again, the government raised it to 35% and closed the last legal window to acquire dollars at the official rate.
By Bianca Fernet, Argentina, The Bubble: President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner returned to her post this week, shuffling her cabinet and shaking up financial markets. Balding men marked the occasion by holding their heads in their hands in front of computer screens.
By Rory Johnston, OilPrice.com: While American and Canadian crude production has jumped over 30% in the last decade, Mexican production has fallen by over a quarter. Now the Mexican government might finally act.
By Bianca Fernet, Argentina, The Bubble: In many circles, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is pinned up as the cause of Argentina’s cyclical and seemingly inescapable economic demise. But she is nothing more than the current face of Peronism, a political and economic model that limits her alternatives.
By Dave Forest, of Oil & Energy Insider: Sometimes geography works. To the north: America, natural gas superpower with a glut that killed prices. To the south: Mexico, where oil production is down, and politicians are desperate to move away from oil-fired electricity generation. Solution to both problems: gas pipelines south. But it’s not that easy.
By Bianca Fernet, Argentina, The Bubble: The black/blue/unofficial ARS/USD rate hit 10/1 again. The Federal Police, the Prefecture, the Border Patrol, and representatives of the Central Bank are stomping around downtown, shutting down currency exchanges and being as obvious as possible. And now a gag order on the exchange rate!
By Bianca Fernet, Argentina, The Bubble: I bring up Venezuela because I am frequently asked what I think is going to happen in Argentina. Venezuela provides a very sobering cautionary tale, because their economic policies look like Argentina’s on steroids.
By Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com. Documents revealed by Edward Snowden describe how the Canadian spy agency has been involved in surveillance and hacking operations in the Brazilian Energy and Mines Ministry. Now new documents show that it participated in secret meetings with energy corporations to share the information it had gathered.
By Bianca Fernet, Argentina, for The Bubble: Ahh. Nothing gets me going quite like the smell of defaults in the morning. Argentina’s path to economic ruin feels like a drunk snail making its way through molasses.
By Don Quijones: Hyper-connected Goldman Sachs has managed to manipulate and profit from every financial bubble since the Roaring Twenties. And now they’re doing it all over again with the creation of a carbon trading bubble. But Goldman is not the only one with skin in the game.
By Chriss Street: Mexico began the process to amend its constitution to end the state-owned monopoly for exploration, development, and distribution, known as Pemex. Over the last 10 years, Mexican production fell 30%. US production leaped 50% due to capital investment and new technology. Now Mexico wants to modernize its oil industry.
By Don Quijones: Uruguay rarely draws international attention. Sandwiched between its much larger, much rowdier neighbors, it is, and has been for decades, a relative oasis of calm. But that is about to change: Uruguay is on the verge of becoming the first ever Latin American country to decriminalize the consumption of marijuana.
Fed Chairman Bernanke and his ilk refuse to see the connection. They’re too busy ogling inflation in the US that is suspiciously low. But China has its eyes riveted on the revolt in Brazil. Like all revolts, it’s about deep-seated issues and inequalities, but the spark that lit it – after inflation had made life too expensive – was an increase in bus fares.
The issue of inflation is complex everywhere. Official rates are disputed. People can’t reconcile them with what they see at the store. There are different formulas, resulting in different rates, and everyone picks and chooses what suits their needs. But nowhere is the issue as “complex,” infested with lies, and shrouded in obscurity as in Argentina. But 34.9%?
Contributed by Don Quijones: “We make or break human life every day of every year as probably no other force on earth has ever done in the past or will ever do again” — Davison Budhoo, former IMF economist who in 1988 broke ranks and published a scathing 150-page resignation letter. In it he accused the IMF of corruption, self-interest, and deceit.
Contributed by Don Quijones: In 1994, decades of economic mismanagement, political ineptitude, corruption, and financial fraud in Latin America – overseen by the IMF, now a protagonist in Europe’s Troika – reached their nadir in the Mexican Tequila Crisis. It should have served – but patently didn’t – as a portent of the financial storms now buffeting Europe.
Contributed by Don Quijones: A cardinal rule that visitors should observe at all times in Mexico City is to avoid catching random taxis on the streets. Pick the wrong one and, at best, you will be abusively overcharged. Or you may be whisked away to some neighbourhood where the taxi driver’s partner(s)-in-crime will be waiting. But this taxi ride was different.
Contributed by Marin Katusa, Casey Research: Hugo Chávez was a highly controversial figure, calling George W. Bush a drunkard and a "psychologically sick man" and Tony Blair an "imperialist pawn,” and worse. But with Chávez no longer in the picture, things will change, and cheap Venezuelan oil will be able to flow into the markets, right? Wrong!