Like Greece, Puerto Rico is a chronically uncompetitive place locked in a currency union with a richer, more productive neighbour. The island’s economy is also dominated by a vast, inefficient near-Athenian public sector. And, as with Greece, there are fears that a chaotic default could precipitate a far bigger crisis by driving away investors, and pushing up borrowing costs in America’s near-$4-trillion market for state and local bonds.
I have yet to find any moves by the Puerto Rican government towards structural reforms that would stimulate economic growth, reduce bureaucracy (and the accompanying red tape), and foster a business-friendly environment. Instead, the governor tells bondholders to “share the sacrifices.”
Missing all the strength consumers need, with the softness they want* (emphasis added):
For many consumers, waiting for the crash has become something of a national pastime, with tissue consumers perhaps even being forced back to the bidet, the now little-used convenience still found in the corner of most Argentinian bathrooms. While it is typically rare for consumers to trade out of tissue, the situation in Argentina appears so precarious that for many this is becoming a very real prospect.
In the absence of a sensible combination of comfort, absorbency and value**, Argentinians console themselves by repeating the mantra,
ON THE BRIGHT SIDE – ‘WE ARE NOT VENEZUELA’
While things are bad, consumers have by all accounts tended to remain quite sanguine as the situation is far worse in Venezuela
Wednesday’s 300-131 vote repealing the country-of-origin labels for meat follows a series of rulings by the World Trade Organization finding the labeling discriminates against animals imported from Canada and Mexico.
Canada and Mexico won a final WTO ruling in May, and are now seeking retaliatory actions valued at a combined $3.7 billion a year. Canada has threatened trade restrictions on a range of U.S. products, including meat, wine, chocolate, jewelry and furniture.
I can understand why tracking Canadian and Mexican imported animals slaughtered in the U.S. is expensive and inefficient; however, I have qualms when it comes to chicken from China.
Miren is owned by Tomas Peribonio, Ecuador’s former Minister of Commerce and Industry. According to a U.S. public relations consultant with whom he has worked, Peribonio served as an adviser to the attorney general, Diego Garcia, while being paid for PR services in the United States.
The attorney general’s expenditure reports say the payments were for “for media services, public relations, and imaging of [the Attorney General] and the Republic of Ecuador in major U.S. cities.”
. . .
A Justice Department spokesman confirmed that neither Miren nor Peribonio is or ever has been registered as an agent of a foreign government.
En realidad, el billete verde sigue siendo una protección contra la inflación, un mal endémico para muchas economías latinoamericanas. Cada mes, a un ritmo del 7% u 8%, el avance de los precios se come el poder adquisitivo en pesos de los uruguayos.
My translation, emphasis added:
In practice, the greenback continues to be a safeguard against inflation, an endemic ailment of many Latin American economies. Every month, at a rate of 7% or 8%, the rise in prices eats away the Uruguayans’ peso purchasing power.
Martinez’s article quotes an economist who says that back in the bad old days inflation was 100%. I don’t know if he meant 100% per month, but if he can’t figure out that a monthly inflation rate of 7% to 8% compounds to an annual rate well exceeding 100%, maybe he ought to go back to school.
Steve Hanke has pointed out that dollarization allowed Ecuadorians
to import a vital element of the rule of law — one that protects them from the grabbing hand of the State.
Dollarization brought great benefits to the Ecuadorian people, as Steve Hanke (who 14 years ago was the chief intellectual architect of Ecuador’s switch to the dollar) points out,
Ecuadorians know that dollarization has allowed them to import a vital element of the rule of law — one that protects them from the grabbing hand of the State. That’s why recent polling results show that dollarization is embraced by 85% of the population.
Ecuador’s e-money initiative, which kicked off earlier this year after the country outlawed bitcoin, is about to see wider institutional involvement following a government directive.
The country’s banks were ordered late last month to adopt the payment system within the next year, according to a report by Pan-Am Post’s Belén Marty. The pace at which the banks are required to add support for the initiative, which is a digital representation of the US dollar – Ecuador’s official currency – depends on their size.
The nation’s central bank has given them 360 days to get on board, with a mandate inResolution 064-2015-M, released on May 25 in the official register.
. . .
The resolution gives a sweeping and vague definition of “macroagents” for adoption: “companies, organizations, and public or private institutions; financial institutions of the popular and cooperative system; that maintain a network of establishments available for clients and are capable of acquiring mobile money, distributing it, or converting it into varieties of money.”
Additionally, the Central Bank of Ecuador (BCE)’s crypto-currency transactions carry no privacy.
The dollar is taken out of the picture, and protection from “the grabbing hand of the State” is erased. Hasta la vista, baby!