Biased reporting on Argentina

Dean Baker provides a neat summary:

The NYT Can’t Find Anyone to Say Anything Good About Argentina | Beat the Press?

“It really should not have been hard to find someone who has positive things to say about President Kirchner. It appears that the NYT is relying on a narrow range of sources who are more in tune with Argentina’s creditors than the majority of the Argentine population.”

The Washington Post has been more balanced:

Argentina’s unorthodox vice president-elect had key role in country’s recent economic growth – The Washington Post

“President Cristina Fernandez chose Amado Boudou as her running mate not just because of his youthful appeal, a key factor now that she’s a 58-year-old widow limited to a second term in office. Boudou also was a key player in several unorthodox decisions, such as nationalizing the pensions and using foreign reserves to pay down debt, that enabled her to spread the country’s wealth among the poor and working classes.

And this, in turn, helps explain how Fernandez came to be re-elected Sunday with perhaps the widest victory margin in Argentine history, and 54 percent of the vote.

It was Boudou who suggested to the Kirchners before becoming economy minister that they should renationalize the pension funds that had been privatized in the 1990s, a decade when the World Bank and International Monetary Fund had encouraged Argentina to take on impossible debts, leading to its world-record 2001 default. The private funds were forcing Argentine taxpayers to foot 60 percent of miserly minimal pensions, even as the funds took profits out of the country.

Boudou has insisted to the Club of Paris, a group of lender nations including the U.S. to whom Argentina still owes more than $6.5 billion, that the government would accept no conditions in exchange for a new payment plan, even as the same lenders force austerity measures on Greece and other suffering economies.”

Note how Argentina negotiated with multinational banks versus the European/American/Japanese protection of these same reckless banks.


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