Monday, July 27, 2009

Obama and Honduras

It has become almost a political game to determine who is influencing Barack Obama with regard to Honduras. It can be tough to keep track.

  • He was duped by Bush administration officials while in Russia to oppose Zelaya.


Anonymous,  10:27 AM  

I notice from your links that Weisbrot is even worse as a political/legal analyst than as an economist, and that's saying a lot. I thought his writing on Argentina last year was his analytical low point but I guess I underestimated him.

leftside 12:35 PM  

Anon, it would help if you would tell us what exactly you disagree with Weisbrot about, rather than just slander.

And his analysis on Argentina last year (i'm assuming you mean "The Crisis That Isn't") was pretty much spot on. It critiqued all the speculation going on at that time in the financial press that Argentina was in serious economic crisis mode. However, time has showed this theory to be rubbish and the Argentine Peso has been the hottest currency of late. So I would think his analysis was more correct than the naysayers. But then again, we have no idea what your problem with the piece was...

leftside 12:40 PM  

And of course it is Mrs O'Grady that takes the cake for shoddy "analysis."

She writes that Zelaya "appeared disappointed" there was no violence at the border (despite him constantly repeating his non-violent mantra). She says Zelaya was moving to "destroy the country's democratic institutions" (by trying to find out what the people wanted in a poll). She says Obama "practically high-fived" Chavez in Port of Spain... despite the public lecturing witnessed on camera and subsequent critical words...

It is not even worth going on. I can't believe this woman has a job to write this nonsense about Latin America. The WSJ ought to be embarrassed.

Slave Revolt,  1:18 PM  

Another option: Obama and Clinton are passing back and forth the crack-pipe, unable to decide whether to embrace the facists fully, or ok the use of deathsquads against the arrogant Honduran people who would dare question the coup government.

For the facist, deathsquads are the oil that makes 'democracy' run smoothly. The trains run on crime and on time--and the bright light at the end of the tunnel is just a freight train come'n your way.

Justin Delacour 1:23 PM  

I can't believe this woman has a job to write this nonsense about Latin America.

It is rather weird. I've never seen such a level of psycho-babble from a person with that kind of platform.

Anonymous,  1:57 PM  

O'Grady writes for the editorial page of the WSJ, it's clear what her objective is. I don't know of any important Latin analyst that takes her seriously.

Weisbrot pretends to be different. He has a view but he also pretends to be a serious analyst. So he writes about the chances of Argentina defaulting and somehow manages to reach the conclusion that although 40% of Argentina's debt is indexed to inflation, and the government lies about inflation, that tells us nothing about default likelihood! Lucky for him he writes for people that know less than he does. An investor would have laughed him out of the room.

leftside 2:30 PM  

Anon, you must have missed this announcement a week ago, putting your concern effectively to rest. So it looks like investors should have been listening to (not laughing at) Weisbrot all along, and not their trusty financial rags.

BUENOS AIRES (Dow Jones)--Argentina will start to retire its inflation-linked debt and soon announce changes at the distrusted national statistics agency, Indec, the country's incoming economy minister, Amado Boudou, said at a press conference Monday.

The minister said he plans to stop using debt which is adjusted by the Reference Stabilization Coefficient, or CER by its Spanish acronym, which is an index used to calculate inflation for interest payments on debt.

Retiring the inflation-linked debt would also help reduce some of the pressures on the local statistics institute, or Indec.

leftside 2:36 PM  

To be fair Greg, I think the Administration bears some responsibility for the soothsaying. Their message has gotten considerably more muddled, if not changed direction entirely. Again, I point out that the Adminsitration has not had one negative word to say about the de facto regime's intransigence at the negotiating table. Yet the Secretary of State found time to criticize Zelaya as reckless for taking an alternate path (that appears to have spurred some progress) and trying to meet up with his family. Clinton ought to be eating her words right about now. She should have at least waited for Zelaya to do something "reckless" before painting him as such. The encouragement these words gave to the golpistas can not be understated. If something serious would have gone wrong, the military would have been able to quote Clinton as putting the blame on Zelaya - not their own bullets.

Anonymous,  3:09 PM  

I didn't miss it and, sorry to say, you clearly don't understand this topic. Even if they retire the debt the gvernment has already stolen billions from investors by underreporting inflation. Which is a crucial point when trying to address the likelihood of yet another default.

Weisbrot is an idiot.

leftside 5:29 PM  

Anon, even if we accept the charge that the Argentine government "stole billions" from investors by intentionally doctoring inflation statistics, you are going to have to explain how this somehow means Weisbrot was wrong in concluding the chance of default was being overplayed last year. After all, these "stolen billions" can be used to pay the debt and Argentina has never had such large reserves. They are running a small (.6%) deficit for the first time this year (after Weisbrot's piece). Now they are trying to get back into the credit markets, which would end all this talk. Sure, every country in the world is at increased risk of default right now, but this focus on Argentina is political nonsense pure and simple, ie. the revenge of the capitalists. This is all Weisbrot had the nerve to say.

And if you are going to be condescending with me, I will be honest with you. You don't like Weisbrot because you don't like someone with brains knocking down the capitalist's favorite myths.

Justin Delacour 6:50 PM  

He [Weisbrot] has a view but he also pretends to be a serious analyst.

Is this supposed to pass as a serious critique, Gabriel? What analyst in the world doesn't have "a view"?

O'Grady writes for the editorial page of the WSJ, it's clear what her objective is.

Regardless, the Wall Street Journal has the second-highest circulation of all newspapers in the United States. The fact that such a wack-job is given that kind of platform is very strange.

Anonymous,  10:21 PM  

How was Weisbrot wrong?

Do you understand the point of his paper? It was to claim that there was no reason for investors to worry about Argentina paying its debt. Get it?

Nell 12:02 AM  

If it's a political game, then let's not ignore Al Giordano's multi-part entry: Obama has no influence over Sec. Clinton, who is not supporting Zelaya all on her own.

leftside 1:13 AM  

Do you understand the point of his paper

Yeah, I get it. What I guess you don't get is that Weisbrot's analysis about the non-likelihood of default is holding up - at least according to your currency speculating heroes. The capitalists have been predicting doom in Argentina since they stopped taking the IMFs advice. And interestingly enough, that period corresponded with an Argentine golden age (60% GDP growth in a few years, large reductions in poverty, big expansions of reserves, etc).

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