“Don’t Cry For Argentina” They Refuse To Pay $1.3 Billion


Oh, Argentina is back at it again. Assigning blame to anyone but themselves. When the citizens of Argentina don’t like something, they strike. Not without irony these strikes, in my experience when I lived in Buenos Aires, invariably came on sunny days following a week or two of foul weather. There was no reason behind the majority of strikes outside of a sunburst.

"Don't Cry For Argentina" They Refuse To Pay $1.3 Billion

Stubborn Culture

When Argentina and Buenos Aires specifically found themselves with nearly no monedas (coins) then current president Kristina Kirchner came on television and blamed Chinese immigrants who owned small grocery stores and their hoarding practices that would allow them to give their customers proper change.

This is, for many Portenos (residents of Buenos Aires) is the mentality. Blame someone else, then take a siesta the length of which would make Italians blush. My blood pressure is too high, ask Kirchner to pass a law that doesn’t allow restaurants to put salt on the table. It’s not my fault I eat too much red meat with far too much salt, it’s the restaurant’s fault for making it so readily available.

Argentina Not Lying Down For $1.3 Billion Judgment

True to form, Kirchner has chosen to continue this brazen “Blame Game” by petitioning the United States Supreme Court to look at a lower court’s ruling on bond issues.

The appeals court ruling at issue would force Argentina to pay certain creditors $1.3 billion in a drawn-out fight over the country’s 2001 default on sovereign debt.

Much of this debt is held by Elliott Management. Last October, Elliott and other creditors were able to convince a court in Ghana to seize an Argentine military vessel at port in an attempt to recover some of the money they said they were owed. The ship, called Libertad, was ultimately released, and last week Ghana’s supreme court ruled that the lower body should never have detained it.

Blame Elliott, Blame Ghana. Or better yet, blame the very nature of bonds and the legal process.

“It’s hard to conceive of an issue that’s more irritating to a foreign state and the international community than an order from the court of one country to another country regarding matters that go to the heart of the definition of sovereignty,” the ministry told Argentina’s government-owned news service.

I’m not sure the turning corpse of The Iron Lady would agree. I think Ms. Thatcher found it quite “irritating” when Argentina decided to claim the Falkland Islands. Granted, she did use that as an opportunity to galvanize a nation and flex Britain’s naval might.

I’m guessing that a number of Argentinians also blamed the range of the British guns compared to theirs. In Argentina’s defense I’m sure a number of British people blamed the French when an Exocet missile ripped a hole through the HMS Sheffield  ultimately killing 20 crew members and severely injuring 24 others.

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About the Author

Brendan Byrne
While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala. To contact Brendan or give him an exclusive, please contact him at [email protected]

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