Argentina has had a bad run lately, as the corrupt policies of Kirchnersim seem to have finally run the economy into the ground. A decade of mis-management, nationalistic policies and plain old-fashioned lying about statistics have recently re-plunged the nation into one of its periodic (and all-too predictable to Argentines) economic crises.

APTOPIX Argentina Economy.JPEG-059cc

Spain’s El Pais posted a glossary of the key terms in this latest crisis. So for the benefit if my non-Spanish readers, here are the highlights.

Blue Dollars: This is the (semi) official term for black-market dollars. When the blue-green dollar rate reached 10, a blue dollar was also known as a Messi; that term is now out of favor since the rate has reached as high as 13.

Caves: These are locations, typically small storefronts, where one can buy blues. Typically, a customer calls ahead to verify the exchange rate (posted on several web sites) and then makes the exchange in person at a small shop window. Often the transaction is made in silence via a small piece of paper, with no words  spoken so nearby patrons stay ignorant of any amount involved.

Reserves: When the Kirchner government started the stock in the fall of 2011, it has almost $48B in central bank reserves. Today that number is down to $29B and decreasing.

Inflation: This is the word that must not be spoken. According to official Argentine government economists, inflation is running at a little over 10%, but the average Argentine believes it is closer to 25% per year and getting worse.

Little Trees: These are individual money exchangers who line Buenos Aires’ Avenida Florida and its side streets to provide a much-needed service under the watchful eye of Argentine officials.

Stock: This is a reference not to equities but to the the torture device favorited in the 19th centuria and refers to the dollar-purchase controls imposed by the government in October of 2011.

Argentina is a nation which I have visited many times, and, as always, my condolences go out to a wonderful people who consistently elect into power some of the worst politicians ever invented (and I use that term precisely).

Read more: http://economia.elpais.com/economia/2014/01/25/actualidad/1390681572_292656.html

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Posted by Carlos Alvarenga

Carlos A. Alvarenga is the Executive Director of World 50 Labs and Adjunct Professor in the Logistics, Business and Public Policy Department at the University of Maryland’s Robert E. Smith School of Business.

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