Sunday, May 27, 2007


Former Argentine President Carlos Menem gave an interview, looking very snazzy in a checked suit. Remember, Menem bowed out of the presidential race in 2003 against Kirchner instead of going through a runoff, which he would’ve lost. Some highlights:

  • Kirchner will end up “in jail or in the psycho ward”
  • His advice to Kirchner is to “be a man of principles, of ideas, and of convictions” (given it is Menem saying this, I won’t even bother with a sarcastic response)
  • Hillary Clinton is “one of the ten best lawyers in the United States
  • And, in the TMI category, when asked if he takes Viagra: “Everyone takes Viagra now…I function very well”


Anonymous,  11:24 PM  

I was in Argentina last week meeting with various developers and investor groups, and I only heard positive comments about Menem. The entire business community feels that Kirchner has the country headed for yet another train wreck. People seem to think it is only a matter of time before there is another crash.

Anonymous,  11:25 PM  

Of course, I am not sure who those developers and investors want to blame for the 2001 crisis.

Greg Weeks 8:26 AM  

I'm sure they could find other people to blame (or the effects of economic crises in other countries) but in general Menem is not very popular these days.

Experimentador 6:56 PM  

Mike, sorry but I disagree. Most of the local business community (meaning big argentinean companies) are extremely happy with Kirchner. He´s become somewhat of a desarrollista, and he is clearly aligned with big business, which is doing better now than ever (probably). Even when it looked like K was staring to pull apart from Techint (biggest company in Arg) during the Skanska scandal, they finally didn´t and now they are as good friends as ever.

Is this close linkage between K and big local business good? Mmm, tricky question... It has some good aspects and some dangerous ones. Too long and difficult to say right now...

Then, how did Mike hear what he heard? Well, my hypothesis is that he heard it from US investors or local companies that are very close to foreign investors. Now, these guys miss Menem like most argentineans miss Maradona in 86´. Foreign developers and investors were Menem´s main international constituency, and every single thing he did during his government was directed towards pleasing this constituency. Is this good? Depends for whom, right? I think it´s terrible... Mike´s developers and investors looooove their little Menem.

In short, business isn´t as homogeneous as we may think it is.

Just to clarify my personal opinion:
I absolutely HATE Menem and I think his presidency/ies was/were a disaster for Argentina, with very little to rescue from them.
I don´t particularly like Kirchner and his ways of constructing power and achieving consent. However, I think his presidency presents a mixed record, with many positive aspects, and quite a few negative ones. A big problem is that many of the good aspects of his presidency (economic performance, growth) are based on a favorable international context and a clear rebound effect after the 2001/2002 crisis. But even considering this, I´m sad to say that I pick his presidency over any other since 1989 (I exclude Alfonsin´s presidency because it is simply to difficult to judge the first democratic period after the military regime. Yes, there was hyperinflation, but it was also the first democratic government that was able to hand the presidency to another democratic government in ages...).

Anonymous,  6:59 PM  

SOS UN PELOTUDO APARTE DE CIEGO. Menem esta a años luz de este salame del pinguino. Fuimos un pais q pesaba en el escenario mundial. Ahora no somos nada.

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP