It’s not a subject I was planning on bringing up again at this humble corner of cyberspace, but this piece on the default that appears in the NYT’s Dealbook today is so stupid and accidentally hilarious that it must be pointed out to this esteemed audience. It’s basically a puff-piece about Domingo Cavallo, ex-FinMin in the Carlos Menem era, and the position he has that Argentina would be better off paying the holdouts. No surprises there of course, Mingo being of the straight neolib economics school, as well as strongly anti-Kirchnerist and vociferously so for years on end. But it’s the way in which the Dealbook note begins that caused one of those cornflakes-on-screen moments at IKN Nerve Centre™. We quote:
“Domingo Cavallo, the architect of Argentina’s first debt restructuring deal in 2001, has a solution for the country’s worsening debt drama: pay the holdouts.”
Yes indeed, the man whose policy decisions were the direct cause of the 2001/2002 default, the man who created the welter burden of Convertibility, the man who then came back in 2001 during the De La Rua government because he had a “plan” (and ask any Argentine about Cavallo and his “Tengo Un Plan!” statements of the time) which rather than save the country as was the “plan” caused the immediate sinking of the country, the default, the riots, the government’s fall and all the caboodle that came with the period: Yes Sir Yes Ma’am, Domingo Cavallo is now framed by The New York Times (!!) as the “Architect” who “restructured” Argentina’s debt. You cannot make this shit up, it takes a gringo to be this stupid about South America and today that stupid gringo is you, Landon Thomas Jr. There are more comic idiot savant moments later on in the note such as when Landon Thomas Jr (don’t forget the junior) tells us:
“In the arcane corners of global finance, Mr. Cavallo is a bit of a rock star…”
Indeed. And here’s how popular Mingo is in polite rock star Argentina society, as this was the scene when he last appeared in public in the country just a few days ago, on August 20th to be exact while giving a presentation at a university in Buenos Aires.
The popular and universally adored rock star diving for cover to avoid the rock star eggs being thrown at him. Just like Beyoncé, or something. Because Rock Star. So thank you NYT Dealbook for making my day.
h/t to the excellent twitterpal @mecasullo, as sharp as they come on Argentina politics and economics, plus a fine eye for football.