Sep 06

argentina

- Argentina Goes Full-Venezuela – Plans To Regulate Prices, Profits, & Production (ZeroHedge, Sep 5, 2014):

Just weeks after defaulting (yet again) on its debt (whether technically or not), and shortly after raising the minimum wage by 31% (to $523 a month) amid runaway inflation, it appears Argentina has gone full-Venezuela. As WSJ reports, the great minds that ‘run’ Argentina have decided to pass legislation (dubbed “the supply law”) letting the government regulate private-sector prices, profit margins and production levels. The opposition is up in arms, “this is absolutely ridiculous. It’s part of a very primitive ideology that says government officials should decide what people should make, how much they should make and how much they should charge,” adding that “we already know exactly what it is like to suffer from these kind of interventionist economic policies,” in Venezuela.

As The Wall Street Journal reports, Continue reading »

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Aug 22

- Argentina Peso Collapses At Fastest Pace In 8 Months, Hits Record Low (ZeroHedge, Aug 21, 2014):

Since President Kirchner unleashed her ‘cramdown’ plan for Argentinian debt, the Peso has collapsed at the fastest pace since January’s devaluation. The ‘official’ Peso prices has collapsed 1.3% in the last 2 day to 8.39 per USD – and Argentina’s debt yields have surged (prices tumbled) but the black-market Blue-Dolar price has exploded to an all-time low at 13.8 per USD, implying massive devaluation is coming.

The official Peso rate just hit record lows and is accelerating rapidly…

 

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Aug 22

- Argentina Stuns Bondholders With Scorched-Earth “Cramdown” Plan (ZeroHedge, Aug 20, 2014):

With the impasse over the latest Argentina default going nowhere fast, late last night president Kirchner stunned its creditors when she announced what amounts to a cramdown plan for holdouts, in which all bonds would be stripped of their existing indentures and converted to local law bonds. Or, as some would call it, a “scorched earth” transaction that burns all bridges, and goodwill, with the international creditor community and likely leaves Argentina unable to access global capital markets for the foreseeable future.

As part of its transaction Argentina would bypass the order issued by Judge Griesa halting payments to all creditors, not just the holdouts, and resume normalcy for the 90%+ of restructured bondholders while leaving Elliott, Aurelius and the like with little to no recourse aside from holding on to claims which would be two swaps behind, and with essentially no legal standing as it would completely bypass the Bank of New York (whom it would remove as trustee) custodian payment process and allow Argentina to make payments directly to those creditors it sees fit. Continue reading »

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Aug 14

- Cry for Argentina: Fiscal Mismanagement, Odious Debt or Pillage? (Washington’s Blog, Aug 13, 2014):

Argentina has now taken the US to The Hague for blocking the country’s 2005 settlement with the bulk of its creditors. The issue underscores the need for an international mechanism for nations to go bankrupt. Better yet would be a sustainable global monetary scheme that avoids the need for sovereign bankruptcy.

Argentina was the richest country in Latin America before decades of neoliberal and IMF-imposed economic policies drowned it in debt. A severe crisis in 2001 plunged it into the largest sovereign debt default in history. In 2005, it renegotiated its debt with most of its creditors at a 70% “haircut.” But the opportunist “vulture funds,” which had bought Argentine debt at distressed prices, held out for 100 cents on the dollar. Continue reading »

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Aug 10

- US refuses to recognize UN court jurisdiction on Argentina’s debt (RT, Aug 9, 2014):

Washington has refused to allow the UN International Court of Justice (IJC) to hear Argentina’s claims that US court decisions on the country’s debt have violated Argentina’s sovereignty.

“We do not view the ICJ as an appropriate venue for addressing Argentina’s debt issues, and we continue to urge Argentina to engage with its creditors to resolve remaining issues with bondholders,” the US State Department told Reuters in an email.

The State Department sent an email with the same content to one of Argentina’s leading newspapers, the Clarin. Continue reading »

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Aug 05

- Argentina – the Economic Backdrop to the Default (Acting Man, Aug 4, 2014):

The Default is a Minor Problem – Argentina’s Real Problem is Something Else Entirely

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Jul 31

Related info:

- Clintonians Join Vulture Flock Over Argentina

- Argentina: 1 Week Left Until ‘D’efault-Day (ZeroHedge, July 22, 2014)


- Argentina Defaults (ZeroHedge, July 30, 2014):

It’s all over but the crying: having explained Argentina’s position (i.e. not giving to so-called vulture funds), Economy Minister Kicilloff explains:

  • *KICILLOF SAYS HEDGE FUNDS NOT WILLING TO GIVE DELAY ON RULING
  • *KICILLOF SAYS HARD TO BELIEVE ARGENTINA IN DEFAULT IF HAS FUNDS
  • *KICILLOF SAYS ARGENTINA CAN’T COMPLY WITH COURT RULING
  • *HOLDOUTS DIDN’T ACCEPT ARGENTINE OFFER: KICILLOF

As Bloomberg notes, by defaulting today, Argentina may trigger bondholder claims of as much as $29 billion — equal to all its foreign-currency reserves. Just remember that the last 2 days have seen ‘smart money’ buy Argentine bonds and stocks to all-time record highs. Continue reading »

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Jul 27

Vulture

- Clintonians Join Vulture Flock Over Argentina (Truthdig, July 24, 2014):

It is no surprise that right-wing Republican and hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer should be trying to wring hundreds of millions of dollars out of Argentina for a debt that Buenos Aires doesn’t really owe him. He screwed tens of millions of dollars out of poverty-stricken Peru and the Republic of Congo using the same financial sleight of hand. What may surprise people, however, is that key leaders in the administration of former President Bill Clinton are helping him do it.

Singer, who owns Elliot Management, a $17 billion hedge fund, is the leading “vulture investor”—a financial speculator who buys up the bonds of debt strapped nations for pennies on the dollar and then demands payment in full. When Argentina defaulted on its foreign debt in 2001, Singer moved in and bought up $48 million in bonds. He is now demanding that those bonds be paid at full-face value—$1.5 billion—plus interest and fees. It is a move that could derail Argentina’s long climb back into solvency, as well as undermine debt settlements worldwide. Continue reading »

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Jul 23

With 1 Week Left Until Argentina’s ‘D’efault-Day, Judge Blasts “Judgments Are Judgments” (ZeroHedge, July 22, 2014):

Day after day, headlines from Argentina implore Judge Griesa to do the “fair, responsible” thing and lift his judgment that holdouts get paid before current bondholders receive their payments… and day after day Argentina’s demands are met with silence or denials. Today, though, with 1 week left until Argentina must put up or shut up, Judge Griesa has come out swinging…

  • *U.S. JUDGE SAYS OF ARGENTINA RULINGS: ‘JUDGMENTS ARE JUDGMENTS
  • *ARGENTINA’S ‘INCENDIARY` RHETORIC `UNFORTUNATE,’ JUDGE SAYS
  • *U.S. JUDGE URGES ‘SENSIBLE STEPS’ TO AVOID ARGENTINA DEFAULT

While CDS spreads have surged once again, bonds trade with default probabilities around only 50% which, according to Jefferies “are expensive on underestimating the risk of default.” Continue reading »

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Jul 02

- 18 Signs That The Global Economic Crisis Is Accelerating As We Enter The Last Half Of 2014 (Economic Collapse, June 30, 2014):

A lot of people that I talk to these days want to know “when things are going to start happening”.  Well, there are certainly some perilous times on the horizon, but all you have to do is open up your eyes and look to see the global economic crisis unfolding.  As you will see below, even central bankers are issuing frightening warnings about “dangerous new asset bubbles” and even the World Bank is declaring that “now is the time to prepare” for the next crisis.  Most Americans tend to only care about what is happening in the United States, but the truth is that serious economic trouble is erupting in South America, all across Europe and in Asian powerhouses such as China and Japan.  And the endless conflicts in the Middle East could erupt into a major regional war at just about any time.  We live in a world that is becoming increasingly unstable, and people need to understand that the period of relative stability that we are enjoying right now is extremely vulnerable and will not last long.

The following are 18 signs that the global economic crisis is accelerating as we enter the last half of 2014… Continue reading »

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Jun 30

- Argentina Must Pay $539 Million Today – Default Imminent (ZeroHedge, June 30, 2014):

Today is the day that Paul Singer and his Elliot Capital Management team have been waiting for. Thanks to SCOTUS’ decision, as Bloomberg reports, Argentina is poised to miss a bond payment today, putting the country on the brink of its second default in 13 years, after a U.S. court blocked the cash from being distributed until the government settles with creditors from the previous debt debacle. The decade-long battle between Argentina and holdout creditors from the country’s $95 billion default in 2001 is coming to a head as the judge’s decision “closes Argentina’s options to finally force it to negotiate,” and “should now stop using these delay tactics and get serious.” Argentina sees it a different way, the ruling “is merely a sophisticated way of of trying to bring us down to our knees before global usurpers,” according to the economy minister Axel Kicillof.

Amid all this, Argentina’ MERVAL remains near all-time record highs… (as equity hopes of devaluation trump bond fears of default)

20140630_MERVAL

As Bloomberg notes, if non-payment were to occur today, default would not be officially triggered yet (forcing Argentina’s hand to negotiate)… Continue reading »

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Jun 25

GOT FOOD?


polar-bear

- “Megablizzard” forecast for eastern Australia (Ice Age Now, June 23, 2014):

“Best snowfalls in a decade.” Maybe the “storm of the century.”

- Aleutian volcanoes waking up (Ice Age Now, June 23, 2014):

Five volcanoes now simultaneously active, the most activity in 26 years.

- Record snowfall in Norway (Ice Age Now, June 23, 2014):

First time since records began that snow has been recorded in June.

- Surprise Snowstorm Clobbers Rockies (Ice Age Now, June 23, 2014):

June 20, 2014 – “A bizarre June snowstorm hit Glacier National Park in Montana and parts of Utah and Idaho this week,

- Confirmed – Earth’s protective magnetic shield is weakening (Ice Age Now, June 22, 2014):

The most dramatic declines are occurring over the Western Hemisphere, says European Space Agency. Continue reading »

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Apr 08

- Overwhelmed by crime, Argentina declares emergency in Buenos Aires (The Malay Mail, April 7, 2014):

BUENOS AIRES, April 7 — The governor of Buenos Aires, Argentina’s largest, richest and most populated province, has declared a 12-month state of emergency following an outbreak of lynching by furious citizens who feel defenceless and ‘overwhelmed’ by crime.

The situation has become a major political issue with magistrates and the Church calling for restrain.

“This is a fight to defend the most sacred, life” governor of Buenos Aires province Daniel Scioli said and called on “all political forces” to coordinate efforts in the battle against crime.

Continue reading »

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Feb 17

- Peak Stupidity: Argentina Fines Walmart For Violating “Fair Price” Pact, Urges Citizens To Denounce “Evil” Retailers (ZeroHedge, Feb 16, 2014):

We take certain liberties with this title: we realize that since one is dealing with human individuals, particularly human individuals stuck in an insolvent, soon to re-default nation, stupidity can never peak per se, as the next day will without doubt bring some peak-er instance of even more profound idiocy. However, at this particular moment, this may be it.

Continue reading »

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Feb 09

Flashback:

- Argentina’s Economic Collapse (Full Documentary)


- Here’s What It Looks Like When Your Country’s Economy Collapses (ZeroHedge, Feb 9, 2014):

Argentina is a country re-entering crisis territory it knows too well. The country has defaulted on its sovereign debt three times in the past 32 years and looks poised to do so again soon.

Its currency, the peso, devalued by more than 20% in January alone. Inflation is currently running at 25%. Argentina’s budget deficit is exploding, and, based on credit default swap rates, the market is placing an 85% chance of a sovereign default within the next five years.

Want to know what it’s like living through a currency collapse? Argentina is providing us with a real-time window.

Continue reading »

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Feb 06

- Argentine Banking System Archives Destroyed By Deadly Fire (ZeroHedge, Feb 5, 2014):

While we are sure it is a very sad coincidence, on the day when Argentina decrees limits on the FX positions banks can hold and the Argentine Central Bank’s reserves accounting is questioned publically, a massive fire – killing 9 people – has destroyed a warehouse archiving banking system documents. As The Washington Post reports, the fire at the Iron Mountain warehouse (which purportedly had multiple protections against fire, including advanced systems that can detect and quench flames without damaging important documents) took hours to control and the sprawling building appeared to be ruined. The cause of the fire wasn’t immediately clear – though we suggest smelling Fernandez’ hands…

Argentine Banking System Archives Destroyed By Deadly Fire

We noted yesterday that there are major questions over Argentina’s reserve honesty

Continue reading »

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Feb 02

- Argentina Scrambles To Raise $10 Billion, Avoid Reserve Collapse; BONARs Bidless (ZeroHedge, Feb 1, 2014):

A few days ago, in the aftermath of Argentina’s shocking devaluation announcement, we showed the one most important chart for the future of that country’s economy: the correlation between the value of the Arg Peso and the amount of Central Bank foreign reserves, both crashing. And as we predicted when we, before anyone else, started our countdown of Argentina’s reserves, once the number hits zero it’s game over for the Latin American country. Or rather, game over again, considering the number of times in the past Argentina has defaulted. Unfortunately over the past week, things for the Central Bank have gone from bad to worse and were capped overnight with the following headline:

  • ARGENTINE CENTRAL BANK SAYS RESERVES FELL $170M TO 28.1B TODAY

To summarize: Argentina has now burned through $2 billion in less than two weeks, the fastest outflow since 2006, and a trend which if sustained (and we see no reason why it would change), means it has just over half a year left of reserves projecting a linear decline. However, since the lower the amount of reserves, the faster the withdrawals will come, it is safe to predict that the endgame for Argentina will come far sooner, just as its suddenly crashing bonds seem to have realized. Continue reading »

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Jan 27

- Argentine Prices Soar Following Peso Devaluation Which Only Benefits 20% Of Population (ZeroHedge, Jan 27, 2014)

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Jan 25

- Argentina’s 64K Peso Question: What Hits The Bottom Of This Chart First (ZeroHedge, jan 24, 2014):

With Argentina’s black-market peso (blue dolar rate) trading over 12, it would appear that the market is rapidly realizing the Central Bank’s ammunition in its currency defense is likely to run out sooner rather than later. Perhaps it is time to get out that Soros’ British Pound playbook?

Argentina-Peso-Collapse

Charts: Bloomberg

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Jan 25

- Argentina to Ease Currency Controls After Devaluation (Bloomberg, Jan 24, 2015):

Argentina scrapped some of its currency controls a day after devaluing the peso as policy makers sought to stem a financial crisis and restore investor confidence by reversing measures that drove foreign reserves to a seven-year low.

Bonds fell and the cost to insure the South American nation’s debt against default soared to a three-month high as traders bet the move could backfire and lead to further dollar outflows. The peso dropped 1.5 percent to 8.0014 per dollar at 3:34 p.m. in Buenos Aires, extending its plunge this week to 15 percent, the worst selloff since a devaluation that followed the country’s record sovereign default in 2001.

Continue reading »

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Jan 16

- Israel’s False Flags over Argentina (Adrian Salbuchi, Jan 15, 2014):

The two worst terror attacks in Argentine history occurred in 1992 and 1994: the bombings of first Israel’s Embassy and then the AMIA Jewish Mutual building.

Two decades on, no one knows who was responsible forthese horrendous attacks that killed almost 200.  Now, a former Israeli Ambassador’s explosive declarations shed new light on what were probably two Zionist-sponsored False Flag attacks.

Israel’s former ambassador to Argentina from 1993 to 2000, Itzhak Aviran revealed on 2nd January that Israeli agents had already sent most of the terrorists responsible for the 1994 attack against the AMIA building “to the other world”.  The AMIA Mutual building also housed the powerful DAIA – Delegation of Israeli Associations in Argentina – pro-Israel lobby.  In his own words:“those who perpetrated the terror attack against the AMIA building have been dispatched to the other world.  We (Israel) did that!”.

Continue reading »

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Jan 11

- Argentina Celebrates as Construction of GM Seed Plant is Blocked (Sustainable Pulse, Jan 9, 2014)

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Jan 03

- Four key lessons from 2013 (Sovereign Man, Jan 2, 2014):

1) Politicians believe there are no consequences for destroying our liberty…

Stimulus and response. That’s the easiest way of summing this up. When politicians steal, and there are no consequences, they’re going to keep stealing.

Cyprus proved this point handily. The government froze bank accounts for everyone in the country (of course, the big bosses got their money out in time). And yet, there was no violent revolution in the streets. People just accepted it.

Poland nationalized pensions. Argentina imposed severe capital controls. The French are taxing everything under the sun. The US government was caught red-handed spying on… everyone.

Continue reading »

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Oct 26

Related info:

- Harvard Research: ‘Where Firearms Are Most Dense Violent Crime Rates Are Lowest, And Where Guns Are Least Dense Violent Crime Rates Are Highest’

- Britain: ‘Gun Ban Caused 40% Jump In Gun Crime’ (Video)

- Here Is What Happened When Guns Were Taken From Australians (Video)

- Why Switzerland Has The Lowest Crime Rate In The World (Video)


- Thursday at U.N.: Panel on voluntary surrender of firearms (Examiner, Oct 22, 2013):

One month after Secretary of State John Kerry signed the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty and just a few days after 50 U.S. senators said they will not ratify the agreement, a curious “high level panel” on Argentina’s national program for the voluntary surrender of firearms is scheduled this Thursday in a U.N. conference room in New York, Examiner learned today.

Apparently hosted by Ambassador Maria Cristina Perceval, permanent representative of Argentina to the U.N., according to the invitation obtained by this column, the gathering was described as a “side event” scheduled during the daily lunch break, from 1:15 to 2:30 p.m.

Last year, according to the U.N. Office of Drugs and Crime, Argentina authorities destroyed nearly 11,000 firearms that had been voluntarily turned in. Argentine President Cristina Fernandez Kirchner, now recovering from serious surgery, spoke last month at the U.N.

Continue reading »

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Oct 21

Meet SIBIOS: Argentina’s Massive, Orwellian Biometric Database (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Oct 21, 2013):

Two years ago, the UK dismantled their national ID scheme and shredded their National Identity Registry in response to great public outcry over the privacy-invasive program. Unfortunately privacy protections have been less rosy elsewhere. In Argentina, the national ID fight was lost some time ago. A law enacted during the military dictatorship forced all individuals to obtain a government-mandated ID. Now, they are in the process of enhancing its mandatory National Registry of Persons (RENAPER) with biometric data such as fingerprints and digitized faces. The government plans to repurpose this database in order to facilitate “easyaccess” to law enforcement by merging this data into a new, security-focused integrated system. This raises the specter of mass surveillance, as Argentinean law enforcement will have access to mass repositories of citizen information and be able to leverage existing facial recognition and fingerprint matching technologies in order to identify any citizen anywhere.

- From the EFF’s must read article: Biometrics in Argentina: Mass Surveillance as a State Policy

The above passage was written in early 2012, but I had never taken the time to look into Argentina’s burgeoning and extremely creepy biometric database until now. It takes on increased importance to Americans now that Apple has rolled out its iPhone 5NsA.

Don’t worry though, Apple is a private company and they’d never work with the NSA or anything…

The video below is the promotional video of the Biometric ID Database in Argentina, and is an epic example of state propaganda.

Because the Argentine government has such a storied history of doing the right thing…In Liberty,
Mike

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Oct 15

- When countries go broke (Sovereign Man, Oct 14, 2013):

It’s become almost cliche these days to point out how many governments are broke beyond belief.

In Japan, where the country’s debt level already exceeds 200% of GDP, the government has to finance 46% of its budget by issuing more debt.

Continue reading »

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Oct 13

“They have taken the bridge and the second hall. We have barred the gates but cannot hold them for long. The ground shakes, drums… drums in the deep. We cannot get out. A shadow lurks in the dark. We can not get out… they are coming.”
- Gandalf (reading)

- They’re Coming For Your Savings (Dollar Collapse, Oct 12, 2013):

Another of history’s many lessons is that governments under pressure become thieves. And today’s governments are under a lot of pressure.

Before we look at the coming wave of asset confiscations, let’s stroll through some notable episodes of the past, just to make the point that government theft of private wealth is actually pretty common. Continue reading »

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Sep 15

In the face of an intense wave of consumerism, some people in Argentina are beginning to discover the advantages of sharing goods and services, instead of buying them.


Nothing is for sale at this street market in Plaza Italia, in the Palermo district of Buenos Aires. Credit: Juan Moseinco/IPS

- “Bring What You Want, Take What You Want” (IPS, Sep 8, 2013):

BUENOS AIRES, Sep 8 2013 (IPS) – Disillusioned with an economy that promotes individualism and ruthless consumption, thousands of people in Argentina are giving things away in street markets, organising car pools with strangers or offering free accommodation to travellers from abroad.

These are early trends in this South American country, but they are expanding, based on Web 2.0 platforms. Users share a concern for the environment and a rejection of consumerism. But they also have a desire to strengthen a sense of community and trust.

“We need much less than we consume. The basis of our street markets is detachment, the need to free ourselves from the concept of private ownership,” said Ariel Rodríguez, the creator of La Gratiferia (The Free Market) which operates under the slogan: “Bring what you want (or nothing), take what you want (or nothing).”

Continue reading »

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Sep 14

- Dare To Question Argentina’s Inflation Data, Prepare To Go To Jail (ZeroHedge, Sep 14, 2013):

Back in April, we saw that merely asking the local economy minister what Argentina’s rate of inflation is, was enough to prematurely terminate any interview and result in a mocking, viral twitter meme. Since then, things for Argentina haven’t exactly worked out too well: a recent Appeals court ruling found in favor of Elliott and the holdout bondholders, resulting in a downgrade of the country to CCC+, and leaving it with the possibility of having to fund billions in deferred obligations. “The lawsuit could result in the interruption of payments on bonds currently under New York jurisdiction, or it could prompt Argentina to undertake a debt exchange that we could view as distressed,” S&P said in the statement. “There is at least a one-in-three chance of either occurring within the coming 12 months.”

Of course, to many the fact that Argentina has still not redefaulted is even more surprising. The reason for that is that despite president Fernandez ongoing rose-colored glasses PR campaign, the domestic economy has been deteriorating at an accelerating pace with runaway inflation destroying local purchasing power for years. As a result of the ongoing authoritarian crackdown on not only individual liberties, but economic data, it has gotten to the point that the government is criminally prosecuting anyone who dares to publish independent inflation data.

Continue reading »

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Jul 16

- US hacked top Bolivian officials’ emails: President Morales (PressTV, July 14, 2013):

Bolivian President Evo Morales says US intelligence has hacked into the email accounts of senior Bolivian officials amid growing concerns about Washington’s secret surveillance programs.

“Those US intelligence agents have accessed the emails of our most senior authorities in Bolivia,” Morales said in a Saturday speech.

“It was recommended to me that I not use email, and I’ve followed suit and shut it down,” the Bolivian president added.

Continue reading »

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