Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×
The Almighty Buck Technology

The Solution To Argentina's Banking Problems Is To Go Cashless 294

dkatana writes: There is no way back for Argentinian people to trust their own currency. Several governments have used the "Peso/Dollar" exchange to dig into people's savings, reward their friends and limit the freedom of citizens to use other currencies.

Short of Dollarizing the economy again, the only solution for the country is going cashless. People are desperate, and they're looking for alternatives such as mobile payments, Amazon gift cards and Bitcoin to store their savings away from government control. A digital currency could help curb black market exchanges, fight corruption and restore the country's image.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

The Solution To Argentina's Banking Problems Is To Go Cashless

Comments Filter:
  • by jodido ( 1052890 ) on Friday May 15, 2015 @04:07PM (#49700337)
    Cashless is a convenience. You need a currency. And once there is one, you're in the dollar world again.
    • by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Friday May 15, 2015 @04:25PM (#49700515) Homepage Journal

      It's not meaningless if your goal is to steal and that's what that 'article' proposes - theft.

      1. Government steals by forcing people to declare all of their cash savings and to justify them to transfer them into the electronic form.

      2. Government steals by creating inflation electronically, so it's cheaper and faster for the government to create vast amounts of virtual money and dilute existing savings, thus stealing (creating inflation).

      3. Government can steal everything at any time by simply emptying your bank account and leaving you with nothing.

      4. Government will steal by setting stupid exchange rates that are absolutely fake, like pegging the exchange say 1USD to 10Pesos while on the 'black market' you would get many times more pesos, for example 100 for 1.

      5. Government can control you if you do not have access to your own money, and it can prevent you from doing anything they don't like and punish you for doing anything they don't approve of.

      It's a gigantic con, don't fall for it, it doesn't matter what the name of the currency is if you are not even able to have it in your own hands.

      Basically if you cannot hold your own money in your own hands but government holds it for you (directly or through proxy banks) you are fucked, you have nothing.

      If you try to switch to gold and other currencies of your choice, you will be labeled a 'speculator' and 'enemy of the working class' etc., and you can be dealt with criminally.

      • by rwa2 ( 4391 ) *

        There are loopholes around that. Several towns (even in the US) have a barter economy based on hours of labor, so you could go volunteer time doing something for someone (like mowing lawns) in exchange for other services (like bicycle repair). Bonus for avoiding regulations and taxes.

        e.g. http://ithacahours.info/ [ithacahours.info]

        I wouldn't be surprised if some of what Argentina is doing is similar to that. And probably also similar to what Russians would do during the lean years.

        • In the USA barter hours are taxable
          http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/t... [irs.gov]

          • Great! Where do I mail the chicken?

            • You don't. You sell it on the market, buy US Dollars, and send those with your tax return. Otherwise the IRS will not credit your account. They'll probably east the chicken, tho.

              One thing Bitcoiners and gold bugs alike really have trouble understanding is that the reason the USD has value is that the US Economy is one of the best in the world, to participate you have to pay taxes, and the taxes can ONLY be paid in United States Dollars. Many people who do not participate in our economy (such as ex-pats whos

      • by gox ( 1595435 )

        5. Government can control you if you do not have access to your own money, and it can prevent you from doing anything they don't like and punish you for doing anything they don't approve of.

        They already can do that, so I think it's important to clarify the distinction. Governments do not handle your money directly, but they restrict you to licensed entities, like banks, payment processors, etc. These entities are subject to broadly defined rules which make them responsible about not only identified crimes, but potential future crimes. On top of that, in many countries these entities are aligned to particular political groups, and in the case of multinational entities, foreign powers or interna

        • by ChrisMaple ( 607946 ) on Friday May 15, 2015 @07:23PM (#49701963)
          With a government controlled electronic currency the government could handle your money, and you only have to piss off one bureaucrat to have anything in your name electronically made worthless. There are already people who think all Republicans should be killed, and others who think all "global warming deniers" should be killed. Do you want someone like that with the power to turn off your money?
          • by gox ( 1595435 )

            Certainly possible. Ecuador had plans to do that, but I don't know how it went.

            However, I think states around the world will prefer having an extra layer of protection in the form of licensed private entities, and this system is pretty much already established, particularly in favor of the western world.

            Citizens are required to use one of these, they can still be made worthless but the bureaucrat(s) in your example will be shielded from any potential backlash.

            You don't need to pass laws to change the world

      • by ultranova ( 717540 ) on Saturday May 16, 2015 @05:08AM (#49704371)

        Basically if you cannot hold your own money in your own hands but government holds it for you (directly or through proxy banks) you are fucked, you have nothing.

        If you can't trust the local government, either because it's corrupt or because it doesn't exist, you're fucked anyway. Not only is your cash not safe from theft (or forgery - let's not forget that), but you also can't trade efficiently since there's no way to enforce deals.

        If you can't trust the local government to enforce your claims of ownership, they're utterly meaningless.

    • Indeed. I fail to see what the difference between $1 electronically stored in a bank account or being transferred between two banks is measurably any better than a one dollar bill.

      A unit of currency, whether digital or physical, is issued by a country's central bank and backed by the country's government. If Argentina burned all its physical currency tomorrow, everything would still be denominated in Argentinian pesos, whose value, by and large, would still be determined by the same mechanisms. I suppose ce

      • I fail to see what the difference between $1 electronically stored in a bank account or being transferred between two banks is measurably any better than a one dollar bill.

        Clearly you are not Argentine. The difference is that the government can seize bank accounts. Or forcibly convert them to another currency. The US dollar stuffed under your mattress is safer.

        • by xvan ( 2935999 )
          The math is not so easy, you need to consider the risk of being robbed vs the chance of being seized by the government.
          And the main reason people don't have their money in banks is not because they're afraid of the government ( people tend to forget about the pain ), but because tax evasion and informal economy.
    • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Friday May 15, 2015 @04:51PM (#49700739)

      You need a currency.

      "1000 Quatloos for the newcomers!"

      It will be interesting to see how Greece gets out of their mess, when they run out of Euros. Pundits are guessing that Greece will issue "scrips", which are a kind of government IOU, and pay government salaries and pensions with them.

      The only problem with that is . . . who will want these scrips? Certainly not even the Greeks themselves. They want Euros. And they will try to get rid of their scrips as soon as they can, in exchange for something of value.

      Car sales are up now in Greece by something like 40%, as people worry about if their bank accounts will get raided by the government. An automobile is considered as something "valuable". The cruel irony here, is that Greeks prefer to buy German cars . . . exactly the folks who Greeks blame for all their problems. So the Germans are actually benefiting the most from this.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        exactly the folks who Greeks blame for all their problems.

        So, the Greeks are blaming the Germans because the Greek government couldn't pay its bills? Interesting....

        • No, it's because the Germans wouldn't bail them out. The fact that the Greek govt needed bailing out is a sideline.
          • Hmm, by that logic, *I* can demand that the Greeks give me a metric buttload of money, and then insist in public that they're evil if they don't, right?

            I bet that'll work well....

          • by rahvin112 ( 446269 ) on Friday May 15, 2015 @07:02PM (#49701809)

            It's not a sideline, it's entirely the point. The German citizenry isn't willing to see their taxes go up again to pay Greek debt that was incurred buying votes. The again in that sentence is the important bit. Germany has already raised the taxes on their people to pay the original Greek bailout. They will NOT allow their government to do it again. And it infuriates them to no end that this happened because the Greek government lied about their spending and borrowing and used much of the proceeds to "buy votes" by raising minimum wages, increases pension plans and other electorate appeasing measures that require cash.

            For example, the current Greek government refuses to lower the minimum wage. Most people don't even realize that the minimum wage in Greece is almost 50% higher than in Germany! This goes for almost all the items of the bailout under attack. The most galling thing to most Europeans is that the troika didn't even require the Greeks to cut their higher wage rates, higher pension payments and such to match their European neighbors, they only required that they reduce them partially and this is how the Greeks react?

            Coming down to reality is hard, they built up a system with purchased votes that wasn't sustainable and it's a big impact to lower down to reasonable values. I personally don't agree with the austerity push, I think it's catastrophic policy with no historical backing and heavy counter demonstrations that it doesn't even work. But, I do agree with the rest of the Europeans that the EU and IMF have been extremely lenient with Greece and to have it thrown back in their face as asking too much is frankly stupid.

            But that's the problem with Greece's current government. They should have attacked austerity, not the measures they are expected to undertake to re-balance their economy with the rest of Europe. Many of the Torika's requirements were real improvements that would have been long term very positive for the Greeks economy and some of those are the ones the Greeks are attacking the hardest, rather than attacking the real problem, which is this Austerity idea that you can succeed by cutting spending during a recession. The Greek economy was heavily damaged by the Austerity drive where the measures should have been more targeted towards competition and divestiture of state assets because it was those very state assets and the salaries they included that bankrupted the Greek government to begin with. And this dragging of the feet on everything and inexperience has just created an environment where everyone in the economy is running for cover. The cuts to the pensions and minimum wage levels should have been done with a permanent freeze to increases until inflation balanced them with the rest of Europe because of the direct and immediate damage a large cut would do. The biggest problem the greeks face is a general disrespect for tax collection, that's what government should be spending their time fixing.

          • The funny thing is that the Germans have already substantially bailed out Greece's existing debt, and everyone expects that they'll take massive debt write-offs. But the real problem is that the bailout was finite, so suddenly Greece needed to run a balanced budget -- instead of a 10% deficit. Greek politicians have sold their public on the idea that these cuts are the fault of the Germans being really mean and obnoxious and demanding onerous repayment schedules. This is part of an impressively effective pr
        • by suutar ( 1860506 )

          If I understand it right, Greece is an example of a country which gave up its own currency (and with it the power to play certain tricks to nudge the economy) without having the productivity to make it work without those tricks. So they ran into trouble, and asked the controllers of the currency for help, which was refused except on terms that minimized the helpfulness (austerity measures make sense for balancing a budget but do very little to increase the flow of currency in the economy - and "flow of curr

          • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Friday May 15, 2015 @06:39PM (#49701635)

            A slight correction. Greece has already received two bailouts worth billions in the last five years . . . with the condition that they will implement necessary structural reforms in their economy. For example, pensions in Greece are way to high for what the people paid in. And their are way too many civil servants.

            Greece essentially "cooked the books" and hid state debt. This only works for a while. When this was discovered five years ago, Greece was shutout from the international capital markets: No one would lend to them anymore. However, a lot of private banks had too much exposure to Greece, which forced the Troika, the EU, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund, to arrange a bailout, to avoid financial contagion. The private banks received a "haircut", which means that they would only receive a smaller percentage of the money owed to them. Most of the debt now rests on EU taxpayers.

            Greece dragged their feet on implementing reforms. So a second bailout was necessary. Things were getting better, as they now had GDP growth. Well, then the Greeks went off at the beginning of this year, and elected a new coalition of Radical Left Marxists, and Right Wingers. And since then, things have taken a major turn for the worse. The new government promised to:

            Raise pensions
            Hire more civil servants (to reduce unemployment)
            Erase bailout debts

            Sounds like a nice plan . . . but where do you get the money to finance this? Well, the EU should just give more Euros to Greece! Which is politically untenable for the rest of Europe. The only way this could work, is if Greece had their own currency to devalue. So, in the long run, Greece needs to leave the Euro. Except, a majority of Greeks want to stay in the Euro. Thus, the current Greek government wants to get kicked out, so they can blame the EU for it. But the EU does not want to take the blame, so they won't kick out Greece. What we have now, is a slow speed train wreck.

            • So, in the long run, Greece needs to leave the Euro. Except, a majority of Greeks want to stay in the Euro. Thus, the current Greek government wants to get kicked out, so they can blame the EU for it. But the EU does not want to take the blame, so they won't kick out Greece. What we have now, is a slow speed train wreck.

              The part of the story I find interesting, that nobody is talking about, is that there are no written procedures for either kicking Greece out of the Euro Zone, or for Greece to voluntarily leave the Euro. One side or the other would have to unilaterally declare their action, and then dare the other side to deal with it. There will be 8000 lawsuits in 30 different courts asking judges to essentially create the rules as they go. Those cases could drag on for years. The financial markets would hate that ki

              • So, in the long run, Greece needs to leave the Euro. Except, a majority of Greeks want to stay in the Euro. Thus, the current Greek government wants to get kicked out, so they can blame the EU for it. But the EU does not want to take the blame, so they won't kick out Greece. What we have now, is a slow speed train wreck.

                The part of the story I find interesting, that nobody is talking about, is that there are no written procedures for either kicking Greece out of the Euro Zone, or for Greece to voluntarily leave the Euro. One side or the other would have to unilaterally declare their action, and then dare the other side to deal with it. There will be 8000 lawsuits in 30 different courts asking judges to essentially create the rules as they go. Those cases could drag on for years. The financial markets would hate that kind of uncertainty.

                Nah, the problem is more that leaving the Euro is effectively impossible unless your economy is stronger than the Eurozone average, whether they want to or not. Currently everybody in Greece have their income and accounts in Euros, and those with a choice would continue to keep it that way, as any new currency would only be introduced to be devaluated, so no one would WANT the new currency, and only the poorest could be forced to use it. If most of the economy would continue to operate in Euros because no o

          • Greece is an example of a country which gave up its own currency (and with it the power to play certain tricks to nudge the economy) without having the productivity to make it work without those tricks

            There are no "tricks" you can play to actually make people wealthier. All governments can do is redistribute money to gain some political advantage for themselves. Even that runs into natural limits as people simply pack up and leave sooner or later.

        • No. It's the Greeks are blaming the Germans for pressing the Greek Goverment to bailout Greek PRIVATE Banks which owed money to German Banks.

      • You need a currency.

        "1000 Quatloos for the newcomers!"

        It will be interesting to see how Greece gets out of their mess, when they run out of Euros. Pundits are guessing that Greece will issue "scrips", which are a kind of government IOU, and pay government salaries and pensions with them.

        The only problem with that is . . . who will want these scrips? Certainly not even the Greeks themselves. They want Euros. And they will try to get rid of their scrips as soon as they can, in exchange for something of value.

        Car sales are up now in Greece by something like 40%, as people worry about if their bank accounts will get raided by the government. An automobile is considered as something "valuable". The cruel irony here, is that Greeks prefer to buy German cars . . . exactly the folks who Greeks blame for all their problems. So the Germans are actually benefiting the most from this.

        It's a non-problem. If a country cannot control the money supply they are left with few options to control their economy. Using interest rates and money supply a central bank can very strictly control all aspects of their economy (spiraling debt, runaway inflation, etc). Greece does not control their own money supply.

        There will always be a weakest state in the EU; almost just by definition alone that weakest state will face trade deficits with the rest of the EU. With no way to control their own currency th

        • If you owe your bank $100,000 and cannot settle it then you have a problem. If you owe your bank $100 million and cannot pay, then it's your bank that has a problem.

          Actually, I have heard that quote was made by none other than John Maynard Keynes!

    • by fche ( 36607 )

      ... a convenience, especially to a government that wishes to dip into people's savings and tax every transaction.

    • A digital currency could help curb black market exchanges, fight corruption and restore the country's image.

      On one hand, the poster wants to create a black market of digital currency outside the reach of its government and outside the reach of its laws.

      But on the other hand, he wants to curb black market exchanges and fight corruption. I'm having trouble seeing the difference. A government official will be just as happy stealing bitcoins and amazon gift cards as stealing cash.

  • by turkeydance ( 1266624 ) on Friday May 15, 2015 @04:07PM (#49700343)
    "People are desperate...", maybe posting on SlashDot will help. or not.
    • by Tailhook ( 98486 ) on Friday May 15, 2015 @04:24PM (#49700511)

      It's all lies. Argentina has no reason to seek alternatives; they have a fair, equitable socialist government that would never manipulate its fiat currency to raid savings.

      We must outlaw these robber baron digital schemes right away. These digital currencies are a threat to The Good and the Great's ability to provide the fair and just governance the people of the world deserve.

    • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Friday May 15, 2015 @04:24PM (#49700513)
      Given that we just had this discussion within the last few weeks and most of the armchair solutions completely ignored Argentina's history with its currency, hyperinflation, being artificially pegged to the US Dollar, and then the problems that had to be addressed when they chose to top artificially pairing with the Dollar, I don't think it'll help at all.

      Currencies only work when everyone trusts them. People trust them when their governments and banks engage in responsible monetary policy. If monetary policy gets so out-of-whack that the people don't trust the currency then the government itself is in jeopardy the state-issued fiat currency is how it conducts business.

      I expect that most Argentines don't want violent or protracted revolution, they want the system to be repaired. Most solutions that were offered last time were based on circumventing the government, which would bring about the downfall of anything resembling the status quo, rather than correcting minor to moderate problems.

      This isn't Greece or Venezuela or Somalia, there's the ability to fix it if people are willing to commit themselves to it and to not syphon-off all of the gains for themselves.
      • by xvan ( 2935999 )
        Wow, you portrait this in an amazingly clear way for somebody that doesn't look Argentinian on a first glance.
    • by gwolf ( 26339 ) <{gwolf} {at} {gwolf.org}> on Friday May 15, 2015 @05:17PM (#49700967) Homepage

      My wife is Argentinan, as well as all of her family, and a great deal of our friends. We live in Mexico, and travel to Argentina at least once a year.

      The Argentinian exchange rate has dropped in the last year, although not as much as it happened 15 years ago — nor, by far, how it happened 30 years ago. And the local economy is far, far from hopeless— The standards of living in Argentina are quite high, most middle-class people travel outside the country regularly. As a Mexican travelling regularly to Argentina for the last five years, I have seen their life costs go from slightly cheaper to slightly more expensive — and today again slightly cheaper than ours.

      My family has their savings partly in pesos, in local banks, and partly in US dollars, in the safe deposits in the bank — AFAICT, they don't have a dollarised bank account. And they have a very decent level of life. My in-laws, as an example, travelled last year one month in Europe, and came to visit for a month in Mexico, without compromising their finances.

      This is the second post badmouthing Argentina in Slashdot in the past few weeks. I know I am answering with some (few) personal data points, but that's in the end how reality is: A huge collection of individual stories. And they are far from as dire as you portrait them.

      • by hax4bux ( 209237 )

        Mod up

  • once one country gets rid of cash, if it works, it'll avalanche. Goodbye to seignorage.
    • by digsbo ( 1292334 )
      I don't understand how cashlessness prohibits the benefits of seignorage. It would seem to me the beneficiaries of seignorage in the US economy are already doing well with that mechanism without cash. Can you please elaborate?
      • by TheGavster ( 774657 ) on Friday May 15, 2015 @05:03PM (#49700857) Homepage

        Seigniorage is the difference between the cost to produce currency and the face value of the currency. Hypothetically, a cashless system would eliminate this inefficiency. There will inevitably, though, be "service fees" or somesuch taken from each transaction for administering the system.

        At the end of the day, though, seigniorage is chump change compared to the power to deficit spend. What the Argentinian government really wants is to have its population to use a currency that they can make more of. If citizens are only accepting a foreign currency, or some private credits, the state has to directly collect taxes, which can be problematic politically. Forcing citizens to accept the Banana Dollar or whatever is simply the formalization of the state consuming goods and services from the population without having to answer to a set revenue policy.

        • by digsbo ( 1292334 )
          I assumed he was talking about monetary seignorage, which is the benefit the first entities which are granted newly created monies gain by using that money before the general price level increases. I didn't think anybody really cared about the cost of currency creation these days. So...I'd like clarification from spiritplumber.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      once one country gets rid of cash, if it works, it'll avalanche. Goodbye to seignorage.

      All of the alternatives involve seignorage or equivalent. Mobile payments and Amazon gift cards imply giving the telecom or Amazon an interest-free loan between the date the credit is paid for and the date it is redeemed - which is pretty much exactly the same as seignorage, which gives the government an interest free "float" to fill the gap between cumulative tax collections and cumulative government spending. Bitcoin involves continuous transaction fees (whether explicit or implicit in the mining rewards)

      • by TWX ( 665546 )
        To me it comes down to someone or some entity has to maintain the container that is the financial system unless we want to go to an entirely barter-at-transaction in-person economy. Most places use the government that issues the currency and its theoretical management of a central banking system to do that, for both cash-based and electronic transactions. Switch to the use of third parties for management and you still have a container, in the form of the gift card, or those who control access to Bitcoin,
        • by khallow ( 566160 )

          I think it makes the most sense to use a central bank and government. It has its downsides, I will not deny that, but the downsides for all of the private methods are worse.

          Except when they aren't, of course. Argentina sets a low bar.

      • All of the alternatives involve seignorage or equivalent. Mobile payments and Amazon gift cards imply giving the telecom or Amazon an interest-free loan between the date the credit is paid for and the date it is redeemed - which is pretty much exactly the same as seignorage, which gives the government an interest free "float" to fill the gap between cumulative tax collections and cumulative government spending.

        You have the concept of seigniorage slightly wrong. It has nothing to do with government tax collection and spending. Just as every Amazon gift card is a interest free loan to Amazon, every physical dollar is a interest free loan to the federal government. This is seigniorage.

        That being said, I don't think we should spend much time with seigniorage. While it might be worth billions to the federal government, compared to the trillions that the government spends and borrows each year it is small change and ha

        • by digsbo ( 1292334 )
          Seignorage is used with multiple definitions. Several have been bandied about here without any being exactly wrong.
  • by ciaran2014 ( 3815793 ) on Friday May 15, 2015 @04:10PM (#49700359) Homepage

    We've made very little progress in anonymising cashless transactions (and this proposal might rely on transactions never being anonymous).

    This not only reduces people's privacy but also gives government officials a way to remotely block you from making any payments. That's severe.

  • by jklovanc ( 1603149 ) on Friday May 15, 2015 @04:11PM (#49700375)

    Argentina is a democracy. Vote the idiots out of power.

    • Just like we do in America every four years -- and look how well it has worked for us.
      • The US has yet to have a huge problem like making the currency unusable. I bet if that happened elections in the US would be very different. By the way there are midterm elections as well so there are elections every 2 years.

    • by gwolf ( 26339 )

      Remember this is the third voted Argentinian government that implements this line of policies. Last election (2011) was won by an overwhelming 58% (which, in a real multi-party country, is a landmark to achieve — Kirchner's government won with slightly over 20%. There is a presidental election for this year, and everything points at a fourth mandate.

      So, do you really think they are bad economically or desperate?

  • You know it's bad when Bitcoin looks like a better alternative! O_O

  • if people will just keep spending money they will have more money to spend.

  • So no money can change hands without lots of technology and probably an internet connection.

    How do you deal with small purchases from small vendors? An example would be a child's allowance.

    • by PRMan ( 959735 )
      You send the allowance to your child's phone or just get them some Pesos. Using Coinbase in the US, you can just send bitcoins to their e-mail address.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    You have no idea how creative the Argentine people are. Especially with inflation running about 30% per year. The official exchange rate is down to a little over eight pesos to the dollar while the "blue rate" is about 14 pesos to the dollar.

    After a month in a Hotel in Mar del Plata, Argentina I paid not with cash or a credit card but with two cruise ship tickets that I bought online with my US credit card. The proprietor wanted to take the cruise after doing business in South Florida. He was heading to

  • by ericlondaits ( 32714 ) on Friday May 15, 2015 @04:38PM (#49700625) Homepage

    1 - We're nowhere near desperate. We've been desperate-ish in the past... not lately.

    2 - We have a high but predictable inflation... it's impossible to save in Pesos, so it stimulates spending and the economy survives.

    3 - Purchase of dollars is restricted but there's a "healthy" black market that sells at a higher but well know rate (it's published in the newspapers and there are websites that inform the black market rate as well). The government counts on the existance of this black market to keep peace.

    4 - Going cashless solves nothing..!!! Your cashless bank account still lists an amount of pesos and if you want to convert them to dollars the normal restrictions apply. People taking advantage of bitcoin and other schemes are simply operating in the black market... it could be bitcoin, it could be bonds or stock.

    • I have an issue with your item #2: inflation stimulates spending and that is how economy survives. This is a Keynesian theory, which, however, inaccurately switches cause and the outcome.

      Lets assume, for the sake of the argument, that there is no inflation, there is a predictable interest rate and the people can save it.

      If people can save it, there will be a market for deposits countered for the market to borrow the capital. People could expect predictable interest rate, and those who wanted to borrow could

      • In #2 I state things as I see them... I am not saying it's good or desirable... just the way it's being going.

        We've had a yearly 25-30% inflation for some years now. Prices rise steadily, so do salaries, and as long as they're in sync people get by. Business incorporate this percentage in their calculations... in contrast to hyperinflation scenarios where inflation is unpredictable and everything freezes for a while. Buying in installments (with "zero interest") is a big thing in Argentina and for the last

    • by gwolf ( 26339 )

      This. Mod parent up. Few people commenting this thread have the slightest idea on how Argentina is.It's living among its best moments in decades.

  • Argentina has other problems, currency is just an symptom.

    1) There is no dollar outrun, there is a government that artificially keeps the dollar cheap for political / economic esoteric reasons. So it needs to prevent massive access to that cheap dollar market.
    2) Most the population hardly reaches the end of month, so the "lack of dollars" issue directly affects less than 30% of it, because the rest don't even have pesos to exchange for dollars.
    3) The real problem of the people is that we've no credit... No 20 years mortgages for buying a house, 6 years is the best you can get, and only in specially stable situations. So the little guy can't "invest" his little money in anything bigger than a car. That has the secondary effect that the little money you save, you need to spend it quick before the government eats it. That's good for the economy, good for the government, bad for the little guy.

    All in all, this is a government that has "kept" unemployment rates low, sacrificing other economic variables. Yes, it's socialism, but that's better than what we had from previous governments. And yes, this is a corrupt government, but that doesn't really make our country a special enough to be news for nerds.
    • by gwolf ( 26339 )

      Yes, you have a point — And specially in point #3. I live in Mexico, where few people can afford to buy a house as well. And there's a big difference favoring Argentina: The rental contracts. Legal rental contracts are always for two years or more, and with prices fixed in pesos (this means, you know how much you will pay for your rental two years from now). Although this won't allow you to buy a house, it does allow you to mid-term plan your finances better than in most of our continent.

  • The government that abused the hell out of Argentina's currency doesn't want to fix it. They are the ones that intentionally abused it in the first place.

    Any government that was willing to not abuse the currency could simply STOP ABUSING the currency. They would not need to go cashless.

    Going cashless would at best be a meaningless symbol.

  • If you do not trust your own country's currency that's your own problem. I do trust my Argentinian currency. What I don't trust is you and everyone else who are always trying to bring our economy down to a crisis, so you benefit with the foreign money you have been accumulating over the years. Just stop trying to convince the hole world that we all want what only you, and very few others want. I, as an Argentinian, am NOT desperate in the way you claim. I, as an Argentinian, do NOT agree with you. Please,
    • Apparently a helluva lot of Argentinians DO NOT agree with you, and just as importantly, or perhaps moreso, international markets do not agree with you.

      Your economy and government are being horribly managed, and you're suffering for it. Quit blaming the rest of the world for your domestic problems.

      • by xvan ( 2935999 )
        Yes there is a helluva of Argentinians that don't agree, that's because Argentina is a big country.
        But the voices of people that reach other countries are from the upper classes. They should at least speak english, have internet access/be able to travel outside of the country, and give some shit on the international view of Argentina's economy.
        This people are the same subset affected by the dollar restriction, so you get biased sample pool...


        To give you an scale, this news looks to me like someone sayi
      • by gwolf ( 26339 )

        The current Argentinian government has among the highest approval rates historically in their country. And everything points towards the same project winning this years' elections.

        Argentinian economy fares way better and is way stabler than everything they had in most of our lifetimes. Until the early 1980s, the corrupt, inept, USA-backed military broke one of the strongest economies in the post-world-war era; in the 1980s, Alfonsín had to resign after having >1000% yearly deflation. During the 1990

    • I, as an Argentinian, am NOT desperate in the way you claim. I, as an Argentinian, do NOT agree with you.

      I, as an Argentinian, DO agree with him.

  • Even my signature is on-topic!

  • Bitcoin? Nonsense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cachimaster ( 127194 ) on Friday May 15, 2015 @05:06PM (#49700877)

    Hi from Buenos Aires.

    No, the solution is not going cashless. We don't have a banking problem. We have a currency problem, because the government steals from us in the form of inflation. Going cashless is giving the government more power to screw us.

    Also we know very well how to play this game. If you can save, you buy other currencies like dollars. Or houses, if you are rich.
    If you need the money, you convert and spend as fast as possible. Inefficient and somewhat expensive, but possible.

    Bitcoin is easier to transfer, but too volatile. You might as well save in pesos.

  • Is to kick out that crazy government and put in one that is good at running the country.

    • put in one that is good at running the country.

      Yeah, uhm, that's very difficult to accomplish, to say the least.

  • Seriously.

    She honestly doesn't give a shit about her people.
    She just wants her percentage of whatever can be bilked out of the populace and world in general.
    And her solution to every problem is to ignore its very existence. Entirely.

    Basically Argentina needs a bloody revolution and then a general election.

    Likely that'll never happen though.

  • If both are backed by the same entity, specifically the faith of government X, why the hell should their e-currency be any more valuable than their paper currency? If I was lying to you what difference would it make if I wrote it down on paper or sent it via text message?
  • Argentina isn't desperate and is actually holding on their own, their biggest issue is inflation which is about 25%. So i am surprised to see this story being about Argentina and not Venezuela

    Now we venezuelans are indeed in much trouble. The inflation is so high the government doesn't publish it anymore, but is expected to be near 200% per year. Every item you can think of it's scarse since most of them are being imported and the government ran out of dollars since oil price has gone down (and corruption g

If computers take over (which seems to be their natural tendency), it will serve us right. -- Alistair Cooke

Working...