The López Obrador victory as reported by The Financial Times, with some thoughts on Macri’s failing Neo-Liberalism Lite & on Lenin Moreno. Old Socialist comments

This news story wasn’t the usual screeching Anti-Leftist  hysterics by Financial Times’ hireling Jude Webber, he had the help of ‘Luis Rubio of the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations, ‘Ryan Dimas, chief investment strategist at Chicago-based asset manager William Blair’ and ‘Michael Camuñez, a former US assistant secretary of commerce for market access.’ Mr. Webber did a workman like job of stitching this bricolage together: in fact this ‘news story’ almost writes itself. Or is this evidence of Mr. Webber’s expertise in constructing plausible propaganda?

“I don’t think there’s a plan,” said Luis Rubio, head of the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations. “He can deliver as long as he finds a way to advance his agenda that are compatible with reality. But he has this phrase ‘I’m always the same, but I act according to the circumstances’. He is absolutely pragmatic.”

“In practice, establishing a better fiscal and governance foundation entails significant deceleration in economic activity: investment slows while both private sector and government officials adjust to changing rules and practices,” said Ryan Dimas, chief investment strategist at Chicago-based asset manager William Blair.

“Keeping electoral promises is likely to entail a looser fiscal stance, which may not be rewarded by the markets. It is worth remembering that 60 per cent of Mexico’s government bonds are owned by foreigners,” he added.

“I don’t think there will be an immediate impact on bilateral relations,” said Michael Camuñez, a former US assistant secretary of commerce for market access. “He has made clear he is committed to the Nafta relationship.”

“He comes into office very, very empowered. Trump does seem to respect strong men,” Mr Camuñez said.

While Macri’s Neo-Liberalism Lite, whose Social/Political Engineering seems to be what?

Headline: Argentine peso sinks to record low

This report of June 29, 2018 in The Financial Times by Pan Kwan Yuk reports on that failing attempt to rescue Argentina from the benighted de Kirchner era. Even after Macri’s agreement with the IMF, in the less than 18 months of his election.

Sentiment for Latin America’s third-largest economy has soured substantially over the past two months. Soaring inflation and a free-falling currency prompted the central bank to unexpectedly raise rates to 40 per cent last month. An agreement with the International Monetary Fund for a $50bn bailout and the country’s recovery of its emerging markets status provided a brief respite from the sell-off.

More telling quotes from this essay:

“Further strikes could force President Macri into wage concessions, slowing progress in bringing down inflation and the budget deficit,” noted analysts at Capital Economics.

Siobhan Morden, head of LatAm fixed income strategy at Nomura said President Macri has “no other alternative” other than to push ahead with his reform agenda.

“It’ll be important that the economic team delivers on a successful adjustment over the next few months to reinforce a higher conviction from the overweight real money investors and discourage against risk reduction,” she said.

It’s not just the Argentine peso that has been feeling the heat. The 100-year bond issued by the country just a year ago is now trading at a new low of 77 cents on the dollar. The Merval stock market is down 45 per cent year-to-date while the peso now holds the infamous status as the world’s worst-performing emerging markets currency after shedding about 56 per cent this year.

And what can the reader of these two FT news stories make of these two ‘news items’ ? When she is confronted with this essay about Ecuador’s 2017 election of  Lenin Moreno:

Headline: Lenin Moreno Steers Ecuador Rightward and Betrays the Revolution that Elected Him

Rafael Correa’s government achieved massive poverty reduction, a huge drop in crime, and greatly improved public infrastructure. The key to this success was a firm rejection of the neoliberal policy menu. It’s hardly surprising that Moreno and others would attach themselves to a popular political project and pledge their support, but the achievements required courageous leadership. It meant confronting the fierce opposition of Ecuador’s traditional elite and its private media.

Very soon after the votes were counted in April, Moreno turned on Correa completely and began trying to give Ecuador’s traditional elites everything they were unable to get during Correa’s ten years in office. A big part of what they want is an all-out assault on the achievements of Correa’s government.  They want those years sullied and discredited as years of excessive public spending that resulted in debt and corruption. That’s a crucial first step for returning Ecuador to neoliberalism. Moreno has tried to deliver for the people he ran against with breathtaking speed and cynicism. Recently it was revealed that Moreno even held a secret meeting in early-May with Trump envoy Paul Manafort.

The very source of this essay will, of course ,  grate against to political sensibilities/beliefs of the FT reader. Yet the dawning realization that American Power, its NGO’s and indigenous political allies, in the various autonomous states of ‘Latin America’,will make and remake their history: no matter the economic/political might of the American Empire, and its status as a hegemon under siege, on a multiplicity of fronts, all of its own making.

Old Socialist




About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.'
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