Arriving at George Newberry International Airport, the nearest airport to Buenos Aires, in March, it soon becomes clear that anything and everything is justified in the pursuit of dollars.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
A taxi driver attempts to charge the ‘official exchange rate’, which he puts at 200 pesos; The other, putting me in his car, told me that the black exchange rate – known as the blue dollar – was 300 pesos (the real rate was 400). A man at the taxi counter inside the airport says that no one in the city will accept bills of less than $100. The last driver talks about a large sum of 700 pesos against the dollar but says he has no money. Finally, realizing that I am not easy prey, a man who appears to be the boss orders one of his subordinates to take me to my hotel for $20.
This open war for the dollar is being repeated throughout Argentina and has become one of the central battles of the presidential elections. It appears likely that it will sweep Xavier Miley, a far-right eccentric anarcho-capitalist, into power – possibly even in a first-round run-off on Sunday. His election will shatter the political chessboard with unpredictable consequences.
Miley, who defines himself as a liberal economist, has made the dollarization of Argentina’s economy one of the horses of his disruptive electoral campaign. He entered an Argentine political sphere dominated by the legacies of decades of Peronism and characterized by a statist and inefficient government, a large public sector, a subsidized civil society, and highly organized and powerful trade unions that controlled vital productive sectors. .
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Argentina has had widespread economic problems for decades, occasionally getting some relief from rising prices of commodities exported to half the world like corn, soy, oil and wheat, but always on the brink of bankruptcy. Repeated sovereign debt crises and the impossibility of meeting payments on IMF loans led it to announce painful defaults in 2001, 2014 and 2020, leading to debt restructuring and renegotiations with the IMF for repayment of billions of dollars of loans. Who was forced to negotiate, now unable even to do so. Meet.
With deep structural problems and skyrocketing inflation, which remained below 100 points last year but has since risen to 138% (JP Morgan estimates it will reach 210% by the end of the year), the current ruling class has It has long demonstrated its complete inability to operate the economy effectively.
Against this background, the emergence of Miley, an ex-footballer, ex-hard rock singer and TV talk show host, who delivers allegedly didactic speeches that include some technical talk to emphasize her expert profile, is a Landed on the water line like a missile. Argentine political class.
With a narrative inspired by other populist leaders of the far right such as Donald Trump, Jair Bolsonaro and most recently José Antonio Katz in Chile, Miley claims that the problem is ‘race’ that has run (and ruined) the country for decades. Only an outsider can uproot it.
Miley presents simple and straightforward solutions that make sense to voters. He says he will throw out the establishment and put in place rational people who know how to do business, who will save this rich country from ruin and communism.