Monday, September 24, 2007

News Roundup

Beware of Venezuelans Bearing Gifts -
But thanks to investigative reporting by the Argentine daily La Nación, we now know that there was good reason for Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson to think he could just walk off that plane with a bag of money. As it turns out, the Argentine government of President Nestór Kirchner has a policy of allowing Venezuelans tied to the government in Caracas to come and go freely at Buenos Aires' Aeroparque airport, with no scrutiny of their baggage whatsoever.

Argentina's Kirchner says rates must come down | Bonds News |
BUENOS AIRES, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Argentine President Nestor Kirchner said on Saturday that the government would do everything it could to bring down interest rates, after interbank lending rates shot up in the last two months .

"Interest rates must come down. They will come down. We are going to take all the necessary measures," Kirchner said in comments to Mitre Radio.

"Banks must understand that the country has to work for everyone. There are some people in the financial sector who still don't seem to understand that," he said.

Interbank rates, or call money, shot up in August to higher than 20 percent when the global credit crunch ignited a flight in Argentina to safe-haven dollars.

But rates came back down lower than 8 percent this past week after a series of measures by the Central Bank, including buying back its own notes, auctioning and selling repurchase agreements, and temporarily relaxing the minimum average deposit rule for banks.

I suspect that by necessary he intends to invoke the full power of the government.

Argentina-Iran Row Over Terrorist Bombings -- 09/24/2007
The foreign ministry over the weekend criticized Mohsen Baharvand, whose official rank is business attache, for his statements about Kirchner, saying they were "unacceptable" and unbecoming the envoy of a foreign country.

Baharvand caused a stir when he told the Clarin newspaper that if Kirchner during his speech accuses Iran of involvement in two bombings in Argentina in the early 1990s, "many countries will interpret this [as a sign] that Argentina supports the war [against Iran]."
I would bet that Argentina and the rest of South America will not end up on Ahmadinejad's side. Anyone disagree?

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