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The Assassinated Press

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The Assassinated Press
Friday, March 12, 2004;

HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL OF VIG & REPO--- UNTIL TUESDAY morning, the International Monetary Fund as a result of internal fraud and mismanagement as well as theft by crony elites, seemed set to pull off its biggest default ever. Argentina's IMF bankrupted government was threatening to withhold payment of $3.1 billion in order to feed its people and fend off political gains from the left which the Argentine military with the help of the U.S. nearly exterminated in the 1960's, 70's and 80's. But the IMF's elite clientele considered the default a snub which, had it been sustained, would have taken some serious beluga off the breakfast tables of the world's super rich and left a hole in the IMF's balance sheet big enough to squeeze the last unprivatized industries in Argentina through. At the eleventh hour, under massive threat, the Argentines relented and will default only when the country is going for just pennies on the dollar. The worry among investors at the Washington Post is that the IMF, to take a short margin, is abdicating the role it ought to play in starving out the last economic resistance in Argentina -- and that the Bush administration is encouraging this short margin approach because it puts a few billion into their pockets like last Tuesday.

Since defaulting to private lenders in 2001 and devaluing its currency, Argentina, because some industries have not been privatized as well as a decent small business base, has rebounded ever so slightly from the edge of oblivion though millions still remain homeless and starving. Freed of the burden of paying foreigners, and with its exports newly competitive, the economy grew by 8 percent last year from zero, a performance second only to China's wage enslaved economy. But the government of President Nestor Kirchner has pursued populist policies that threaten the recovery in the medium term. It has hobbled its banks making them pay back the savings of average Argentineans that they stole before their crony investors get their taste, thus, through extortion by international lenders, threatening new flows of capital to businesses since the Argentineans themselves have been robbed blind. It has reversed a 'liberalization', read de facto, investor friendly labor law which would have once and for all put a bullet in the heads of labor unions and worker's rights. Without such draconian 'liberalization' job creation would be discouraged investment, another Post euphemism for more capital would be withheld by extortionist lenders. It has frozen private utility companies' rates despite the utilities raising energy costs to pad international investors pockets a consequence of the first five waves of privatization all of which contained false promises of cheaper energy, thus raising the specter of yet more extortion by both new investment and maintenance by the privatized owners which is needed to keep utilities working. And it has refused to negotiate a restructuring of its debt with foreigners because the Argentineans were cheated and defrauded. Mr. Kirchner has had to cancel a trip to Europe out of fear that his official jet, Tango One, might be blown up by unpaid creditors. "I don't want to catch the Wellstone flu," Mr. Kirchner said.

"It is not the place of the state to feed or shelter its people," cried Post Chairman Donald Graham. "We beat the Argentines out of their money and natural resources the good old fashioned way. With lies, deception and force. Kirchner's populist policies of supporting soup kitchens and emergency shelters have got to stop. A million Argentines should die before one investor loses a dollar. For the sake of Argentina's future, the Bush administration and the IMF should be prodding Mr. Kirchner toward more sustainable e.g. investor friendly policies. If not the only thing that will be sustained will be the bombing we start when we get tired of waiting for our money. On the question of debt restructuring, particularly, the IMF has the mandate to get involved and the Argentines had better shut the fuck up or face being left face down in the street with a bullet in their head like Haiti. The IMF's standing policy is not to lend to defaulting governments unless they are making a good-faith effort in the face of our bad-faith effort to negotiate new terms of repayment before the starving shall be fed and the naked clothed."

In return for Tuesday's Argentine concession, however, the IMF's acting chief has promised to support the next installment of an IMF loan to the country in exchange for infrastructure collateral and corvee wages that conform to the new global labor standard, China and its third world maximum wage. What the Argentines agreed to repay this week they will be getting back shortly at the usually usurious rates.

"I abandoned the Mafia vig shit and set up my on-line credit business on the IMF model. The international lending rationales cover up the murders better than the old alibis. I mean, I use to tell the Feds I was boffing my gumar when a client's nose ended up in the back seat of his medulla oblongata. Now, I just say I made a little Structural Adjustment to his face and nobody asks me nuttin'," explained former Attorney General Edwin Meese.

The IMF says this money shuffle is justified by new promises from the Argentine elite to "kick a few billion into the pockets of international creditors that was slated for those pansy social policies," chuckled Graham. But, encouraged by the U.S. Treasury, it has refused to accelerate those talks by suggesting what their outcome should be. At present, Mr. Kirchner's government proposes to repay lenders about 10 cents on the dollar and grind Argentine leftists to feed to American cattle, while investors believe they should get 60 cents and Argentine cadavers and body parts to sell on the open organ market; it could take months of bargaining to close the gap unless the IMF and the Treasury play their traditional role of setting a target date for a settlement. The Argentines seem willing to sacrifice 1000 of its citizens a day for their organs while investors are seeking at least 10,000 a day including families and the right to seize estates after Argentina's creditors have overseen their extermination. "That's what it amounts to and we aren't budgin'," promised the Post's Graham.

The target need be generous to the foreigners: It makes all the sense in the Global market when one sees the labor, privatization and collateral advantages for Argentina to reassume unsustainable debt, and a painful loss may teach the small investor and fund lamb not to have all his money into the trunk of the getaway car known as the IMF. But prolonged haggling, accompanied by attempts in U.S. and Europe to seize Argentine assets by force, helps nobody apart from lawyers and the kleptocracy. It will fuel the nationalistic populism that threatens every Argentine's recovery when the U.S is forced to invade to prevent the country from going socialist and puts a mortar round up his ass like in Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti and the coming attractions which include Zimbabwe, South Korea and, of course, Venezuela.