And tonight’s riddle-me-ree brain teaser is: what have Greece, Syria, Iran, Argentina,Venezuela, the IMF and Wall Street all got in common?
Now read on…..
This afternoon, Argentina called in the IMF, after a run on the peso forced the central bank to raise its benchmark interest rate to 40%…after already spending $5billion of reserves in an effort to prop up the currency. In the light of how Zirp has ripped me off over the last eight years, I devoted a few hours on reading the news to applying for Argentinian residency.
What put me off in the end was hearing that President Mauricio Macri had been on television to explain that he had “turned to the IMF to avoid the type of economic crises that have beset Argentina in the past”.
There are two reasons why I decided against becoming an adopted gaucho corned beef exporter.
First, I quickly began to doubt whether Senor Macri was up to speed on the sky-clouds-arse-elbow thing. Did he, I pondered, ever read any news beyond the South American variety? Was he aware that the IMF is led by Fifi LaGarde, she of the thirteen straight Greek economic forecasts that were about as reassuring as a No-Hurricane-so-relax forecast from Michael Fish? Would he be surprised when LaGarde breezed in to suggest that the Argentine fiscal year should now have five quarters to make it look better for the debt markets?
Second, I was concerned about Macri’s ability to join up the dots. Did he make the connection between the vultures who have “invested” in his debt, and the nature of the IMF? Paul Singer, the American founder of Elliott Management, paid himself 400 million bucks last year. He ran a 15-year battle with the government of Argentina about his debt holding, and sued it through the American Courts. He wound up getting Elliott $2.4 billion……almost four times its initial investment.
Another fund, Bracebridge Capital from Boston, scooped a billion dollar return on its original principal amount of $120 million…a whopping 800% return on capital.
All up, Argentina paid American Hedge Funds nearly $6billion to get rid of the debt.
The IMF is – and always has been – an American funded instrument of American business and neocon State Department foreign policy.
If there are any Greek Sloggers reading tonight, I’m sure they will recognise this modus operandum immediately. But by now I’d sort of hope all nationalities tuning in will have spotted that the debt was bought by Americans, paid off at an obscene profit to Americans, and is now being reconstructed by a front for American money. The IMF being that same one led by an Amerophile French gal whose record of consistency is not that great, and who herself was “let off” a major-league corruption charge two years ago by a senior French Court because, well…because Wall Street would’ve taken a dim view of events if it hadn’t.
It’s a very odd world, is it not, where a supposedly independent nation’s élite gets itself into debt, is in receipt of the fury of US Hedge Funds, and then the “help” of an incompetent lender who picks up the business thanks to the ruthless profiteering of creditors who knew from Day 1 that huge profits would accrue solely from this nation’s inability to pay it back…..and whose penury is a direct result of those profits.
But as I suggested earlier, Athenians with both brains and balls will recognise the scam only too well.
Still, Argentina seems to think that 98.7% of Falkland Islanders voting to remain British is more than ample reason to continue pressing for the UN to recognise its right to trample all over self-determination. And far be it from me to bring this to the notice of the neutrals, but the Falkland Islands are sitting on an undersea oil gusher of humungous proportions.
Meanwhile, Paul Singer of Elliott Management has now moved on to his next target, Venezuela: another country run into the ground by a barmy élite, where another set of innocent ordinary citizens will suffer as a result. And a country, I feel duty bound to record, with one of the highest rare-earth mineral resources on the planet.
Globalist financialised business, eh….doncha love it?
PS What price another US Fed rate rise in the light of Dollar denominated BRIC debt?