Monday, October 26, 2009

The Argentines And You II

clipped from
The story of how Argentina got here is important to recall. The economy was flat on its back after the 2001-2002 collapse of "convertibility," the monetary arrangement that pegged the peso to the dollar. A demoralized nation was looking for a savior

It thought it found one in NĂ©stor Kirchner. He became president in 2003 and set about to restore the state-run economic model of Juan Peron; the market, he maintained, had failed. Mr. Kirchner took control of the central bank. He demonized the private-sector and investors. Using price controls, subsidies and regulation he made himself a Robin Hood to the masses. The legislature granted him extraordinary powers.

The economy bounced back as one would expect after a harsh contraction, and in 2007 his wife was elected president with 45% of the vote.

Now the illusionists are losing their touch. Not only is the economy going sour, but according to polls, the nation is growing intolerant of what many consider to be the first couple's abuse of power