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Author Topic: Argentina, on the verge of a new currency collapse  (Read 7121 times)
muyuu
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April 02, 2012, 02:36:00 PM
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I have a number of Argentinian friends and they all agree that the warnings are clear: it's increasingly hard to exchange Arg.Pesos back to euros, dollars or pounds. Import/export regulation is also getting out of hand again.


Looks like we are about to have a second "corralito" or, failing that, hyperinflation. A chance for Bitcoin, maybe?

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April 02, 2012, 07:55:20 PM
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I'm Argentinian. I don't know if we're going into a new collapse, but I'm embracing BTC from a long time now. But I hope for a quiet and easy transition where everything goes well for everybody...
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April 02, 2012, 10:45:33 PM
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I see that Argentina is one of the countries where you can buy Bitcoins using SMS:
 - https://blockchain.info/wallet/sms-phone-deposits

Does this P2P exchange function?
 - http://wiki.eudemocracia.org/en/bitcoin
 - http://wiki.eudemocracia.org/?do=search&id=bitcoin

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April 02, 2012, 11:17:54 PM
 #4

I see that Argentina is one of the countries where you can buy Bitcoins using SMS:
 - https://blockchain.info/wallet/sms-phone-deposits

I didn't knew this one... Anyway this answer in the FAQ makes me don't even bother in trying:

Quote
Why is it more expensive than an exchange?

Unfortunately mobile phone operators charge a high fee to process phone payments, it is not us being greedy. Often paying by phone is cheaper than SMS and larger packages also tend to have better payouts.

Also, most cell phones companies here are nothing but ugly parasites. I don't want to feed them even more...

Edit: I did bothered in trying (yes, I'm helplessly curios), and it's way, way worse than I thought! I can only buy a small package on these terms:

You Pay: 5,01 ARS

You Receive: 0.03609625 BTC

That's more than 138ARS per BTC, when taking current rate of 5 USD per BTC and 4.38 ARS per USD, a BTC should be around 22ARS...



Important: Due lack of funds we are not currently exchanging bitcoins. Thus, if you are interested in associating with us and dividing benefits, please contact us. We are receiving at least one exchange request per week.

This has been there for a long time... I been thinking in getting in touch with them when I have everything more organized to help them start with that.
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April 02, 2012, 11:49:30 PM
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I'm Argentinian. I don't know if we're going into a new collapse, but I'm embracing BTC from a long time now. But I hope for a quiet and easy transition where everything goes well for everybody...

I also hope for a quiet and easy transition but there are definite warning signs... my mates from Argentina are increasingly being denied exchange from pesos into dollars/euros/pounds in the same Argentinian banks where they bought them, even in the airport (Banca Nacional, for example). There's absurd measures like the prohibition to import books (did they backtrack on that one?), now they are trying to nationalise Repsol-YPF and trying their best to make it hard for foreign companies taking measures that seem desperate. Foreign investment must be fleeing as we speak as Cristina Fernandez and her measures become increasingly radical.

How big a % of their wealth do people keep in foreign currencies or precious metals? I bet they don't catch them again with all their money in pesos. Since they let the peso float there is no need for corralito this time, they will just print away...

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April 03, 2012, 01:15:05 AM
 #6

I also hope for a quiet and easy transition but there are definite warning signs... my mates from Argentina are increasingly being denied exchange from pesos into dollars/euros/pounds in the same Argentinian banks where they bought them, even in the airport (Banca Nacional, for example).

Yes, the government started controlling capitals late last year. We can't even use most services for sending money. And in order to buy foreign currencies, people has to be registered with the government, and even when you do, they're limits on how much you can buy...

There's absurd measures like the prohibition to import books (did they backtrack on that one?),

Yes, they seem very concerned about some unfavorable changes on their balance of trade and they are desperately (and mostly ridiculously) trying to keep things on track.

now they are trying to nationalise Repsol-YPF

This one can take a long analysis. YPF remained national until the nineties, when it was given away almost for free to private and foreign companies by a horrible government who was working for those modern financial and international pirates, and against the interest of all Argentine people. And with YPF also went everything else somewhat valuable that remained public until then.

I don't think that undoing such an injustice could be unjust in itself... Also Bolivia renationalised their natural resources, and they are doing well until now.

and trying their best to make it hard for foreign companies taking measures that seem desperate. Foreign investment must be fleeing as we speak as Cristina Fernandez and her measures become increasingly radical.

I don't think they're trying to make it hard for every single foreign company, but I understand that most foreign companies will feel that way. The problem with Argentina is that we have been robbed so much, so many times that most Argentines are hypersensitive, even some governors. Funny thing is that they're making everything hard for everybody, and maybe they're not going to even achieve their goals...

How big a % of their wealth do people keep in foreign currencies or precious metals? I bet they don't catch them again with all their money in pesos. Since they let the peso float there is no need for corralito this time, they will just print away...

Difficult to say. I guess you can found every possibility, from nothing at all to everything and a little more...

And yes, probably the government is going to print more if they need it, but mostly they're trying to handle things by rising the interest rates. Anyway, everybody here is very concerned about dollar price, and slowly it keeps going up...
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April 03, 2012, 02:05:06 AM
 #7

Thanks for the heads up.

Just a note on this part:
now they are trying to nationalise Repsol-YPF

This one can take a long analysis. YPF remained national until the nineties, when it was given away almost for free to private and foreign companies by a horrible government who was working for those modern financial and international pirates, and against the interest of all Argentine people. And with YPF also went everything else somewhat valuable that remained public until then.

I don't think that undoing such an injustice could be unjust in itself... Also Bolivia renationalised their natural resources, and they are doing well until now.

I wouldn't recommend following the Bolivian example. Bolivia surely is reaping the short-term rewards of having all these foreign explorations basically for free, but now they've become a high-risk investment and nobody will do business with them without a massive risk premium.

Governments have to own up for previous governments or nobody will invest long term in your country. Obviously there are abusive contracts and clear cases of corruption pandering, but then you bring the issue to the WTO, the European Parliament (Repsol-YPF is controlled by European capital mainly), the UN, or whatever other international organisation or tribunal you can get involved.

But just doing a Chavez/Correa/Morales-style grab without even trying any of the aforementioned measures will damage Argentina's reputation for trade. Well, to be honest this is happening already so they might as well go ahead and do it. But I think a timely U-turn on these policies would be less damaging long term. Although thinking long-term doesn't seem to be Latin countries' forte. Brazil, most surprisingly and even with Lula, decided to draw a line there and they are definitely getting rewarded for that (it was a natural move after having Petrobras massively shafted in Bolivia, so they know how does that work first hand).

The alternative is basically doing business with China alone, and then knowing they don't have to compete they will be ruthless like they are in Africa.

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April 03, 2012, 04:43:10 AM
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Time to invade the Falklands again to distract the populace!

Coming from a US citizen I know....   Pot. Kettle.  Black. 

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April 03, 2012, 01:51:35 PM
 #9

Thanks for the heads up.

Just a note on this part:
now they are trying to nationalise Repsol-YPF

This one can take a long analysis. YPF remained national until the nineties, when it was given away almost for free to private and foreign companies by a horrible government who was working for those modern financial and international pirates, and against the interest of all Argentine people. And with YPF also went everything else somewhat valuable that remained public until then.

I don't think that undoing such an injustice could be unjust in itself... Also Bolivia renationalised their natural resources, and they are doing well until now.

I wouldn't recommend following the Bolivian example. Bolivia surely is reaping the short-term rewards of having all these foreign explorations basically for free, but now they've become a high-risk investment and nobody will do business with them without a massive risk premium.

Governments have to own up for previous governments or nobody will invest long term in your country. Obviously there are abusive contracts and clear cases of corruption pandering, but then you bring the issue to the WTO, the European Parliament (Repsol-YPF is controlled by European capital mainly), the UN, or whatever other international organisation or tribunal you can get involved.

But just doing a Chavez/Correa/Morales-style grab without even trying any of the aforementioned measures will damage Argentina's reputation for trade. Well, to be honest this is happening already so they might as well go ahead and do it. But I think a timely U-turn on these policies would be less damaging long term. Although thinking long-term doesn't seem to be Latin countries' forte. Brazil, most surprisingly and even with Lula, decided to draw a line there and they are definitely getting rewarded for that (it was a natural move after having Petrobras massively shafted in Bolivia, so they know how does that work first hand).

The alternative is basically doing business with China alone, and then knowing they don't have to compete they will be ruthless like they are in Africa.

Hopefully bitcoin could be a tool which can help on turning all this concerns obsolete. I'm longing and working for that. The profound and unfair distribution of wealth and power which we (as in all humanity) are trailing since almost forever is the big problem here. Imperial governments imposing terms on smaller governments. Small governments imposing terms on even smaller governments, and so on until we found ridiculously minuscule governments (of which fatherhood patriarchy may be the smaller unit) imposing terms on people, turning everybody into semiconscious slaves serving foreign interests for ever...

Hopefully bitcoin and all the free movements would be able to bypass those mad structures to become whole new institutions centered mainly on freedom and well being for everybody...

Time to invade the Falklands again to distract the populace!

Coming from a US citizen I know....   Pot. Kettle.  Black. 

Yes, as almost every other government out there, our history has being full of crazy and stupid people... Maybe central governments in themselves are craziness in itself...
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April 03, 2012, 02:42:43 PM
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I still think I don't understand Argentina but after talking to a passionate Peronismo I think I start to finally understand.

Basically the idea here is that you can protect against outside market forces with protectionism. By putting a tax on outside imports you can also build a local industry to protect against the outside world. If the UK was dependant on Argentina for food like Tibets allies for China it wouldn't be able to have the Malvinas.

People still don't have a massive amount in their bank accounts... it still seems like a cash society.

I expect there will be a crash again... but I don't think it will be for a while.

Education has all the faults in the system from Europe and America were copied but in addition haven't been updated in the same way. My girlfriend wasn't taught about electronics for example and has no clue regarding how much energy a laptop uses if plugged in, there's no financials taught and so on. Everybody here is into electronics but it's much rarer to meet someone who know's much about computers than it is in the USA. Electronics are much more of a status symbol but there's less addiction/reliance to technology (which is great).

 Things are changing extremely fast though and it seems like only a few years and there could be an explosion. You can get Android tablets for less than $150 even here with import controls and flicking through a flyer for mobile phones nearly all are assembled here locally so Android phones are also coming down in price.

Many things are very expensive here and I have not much idea of where people get the money to buy it all from.

Certainly Bitcoin is useful here now for all things digital. For example, paying for webhosting. But if you want to buy anything from abroad you're always wondering will it get across the border.

Probably a good idea to write "Que es Bitcoin" on a few bank notes

Explaination of Gox mess up here. They are running custom wallets and a bug allowed double payments: http://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/1x93tf/some_irc_chatter_about_what_is_going_on_at_mtgox/cf99yac
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April 03, 2012, 09:54:18 PM
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I still think I don't understand Argentina but after talking to a passionate Peronismo I think I start to finally understand.

Yes, every foreigner seem to find difficult to understand Argentina. Maybe we are a little incomprehensible...

Basically the idea here is that you can protect against outside market forces with protectionism. By putting a tax on outside imports you can also build a local industry to protect against the outside world. If the UK was dependant on Argentina for food like Tibets allies for China it wouldn't be able to have the Malvinas.

We have political movements sustaining something like that, indeed. But you also have others sustaining quite the opposite. Our major problem may be that we don't have a lot in the middle. Here everything seems to be an extreme or the other. You can be black or white, peronista or antiperonista, River or Boca, religious or antireligios and so it goes...

Also protectionism is not such a crazy idea nor are we the only ones trying to protect ourselves. EEUU itself has been historically subsiding their farmers at the same time they was preaching and enforcing their free market religion on every other country out there...

And latests collective protectionism measures seem to have been working somewhat fine for Mercosur allies, at least we can say that latest world crisis (Greece default now, and the EEUU housing bubble before) hasn't been terrible here, if they has been felt at all...

People still don't have a massive amount in their bank accounts... it still seems like a cash society.

Yes, I already said that people has been robbed so much, so many times, and most of the times by the banks themselves, that somewhat this fear becomes almost understandable...

I expect there will be a crash again... but I don't think it will be for a while.

Everything can happen. But I hope this time we're doing a little better...

Education has all the faults in the system from Europe and America were copied but in addition haven't been updated in the same way. My girlfriend wasn't taught about electronics for example and has no clue regarding how much energy a laptop uses if plugged in, there's no financials taught and so on. Everybody here is into electronics but it's much rarer to meet someone who know's much about computers than it is in the USA. Electronics are much more of a status symbol but there's less addiction/reliance to technology (which is great).

I can see what you mean, but I believe the effect is more pronounced on girls, because of a strongly patriarchal system. Almost all Argentinian girlfriends fits almost perfectly on your description, but I don't think this is so true for all men...

Things are changing extremely fast though and it seems like only a few years and there could be an explosion. You can get Android tablets for less than $150 even here with import controls and flicking through a flyer for mobile phones nearly all are assembled here locally so Android phones are also coming down in price.

That's what the government are trying to enforce with some of the protectionism. They want foreign companies to come here to build their stuff, so they can catch some of the added value... In some cases it goes well, but not always...

Many things are very expensive here and I have not much idea of where people get the money to buy it all from.

Inequity is the answer. Terribly pyramidal distribution of wealth. In all latinoamerica you'll find a few people unimaginable rich, and a lot of people unspeakable poor. It also happens in the "first world", but we don't see it a lot on tv... But sometimes a Katrina can bring it to the surface...

Certainly Bitcoin is useful here now for all things digital. For example, paying for webhosting. But if you want to buy anything from abroad you're always wondering will it get across the border.

That's true. Theoretically anything below 999U$D sent through postal services should pass just fine. But you can't never know for sure.
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April 03, 2012, 11:41:46 PM
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Argentina is very interesting for all those places for whom are expecting a crash.

What I can't understand is that if one goes to Banco Piano and buys gold and then sells it in just 3 weeks you've likely made a small profit,
 I would have though that would be popular but I don't see ques of people there after pay day. Perhaps there's a tax on it.

Land is popular but when you come to sell it the inflation makes it look like it's gone up in value when in fact it hasn't.

 I wonder if people not exactly refuse to take part in the money machine but try to ignore it as best as possible and enjoy life as best as possible.

 People just get on with life with some tenacity, I just don't fully know how. There's a lot people can learn from here. In Europe people complain at 7% inflation but here it's been 25% for years and somehow life goes on. I don't know many economies that could go on and yet this one does.
 How can an economy survive at 25% for so long?

 What I find frightening though is that even after being shafted for so long and so many times there are still people here who have resumed life similar to before the crash, without taking precautions;
using banks, accepting a fixed wage rather than establishing a business etc


 Protectionism vs free market is such a cyclic political thing we just can't seem to escape for hundreds of years.

Explaination of Gox mess up here. They are running custom wallets and a bug allowed double payments: http://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/1x93tf/some_irc_chatter_about_what_is_going_on_at_mtgox/cf99yac
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April 04, 2012, 08:20:46 AM
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Basically the idea here is that you can protect against outside market forces with protectionism. By putting a tax on outside imports you can also build a local industry to protect against the outside world. If the UK was dependant on Argentina for food like Tibets allies for China it wouldn't be able to have the Malvinas.

On protectionism.  What its proponents never seem to get is that a trade deficit is balanced by a current account surplus.  In other words, the more you import, the more foreign investment you get.  That's before even considering that other countries will introduce retaliatory measures.

Adam Smith covered this about 200 years ago; and yet most countries still don't get it.  (The USA is particularly prone to listening to protectionist rhetoric).

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April 04, 2012, 02:42:13 PM
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An Economy the Size of Argentina simply doesn't collapes.

They restructure.

Of course there will be a few winners (speculators) and a whole bunch of loosers (rest of the population)

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April 04, 2012, 03:46:58 PM
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An Economy the Size of Argentina simply doesn't collapes.

They restructure.

Of course there will be a few winners (speculators) and a whole bunch of loosers (rest of the population)

Potato. Potato.  (doesn't work as well in a text-only medium, that one)

I'm fairly sure that the "whole bunch of losers" will confidently label that "restructuring" a "collapse".

What do you think a "collapse" means other than there being huge number of losers?

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April 04, 2012, 05:12:53 PM
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An Economy the Size of Argentina simply doesn't collapes.

They restructure.

Of course there will be a few winners (speculators) and a whole bunch of loosers (rest of the population)

Potato. Potato.  (doesn't work as well in a text-only medium, that one)

I'm fairly sure that the "whole bunch of losers" will confidently label that "restructuring" a "collapse".

What do you think a "collapse" means other than there being huge number of losers?


LOL!!  Best laugh I've had all day.

Restructuring is a term used by those that aren't decimated by large scale instability.  Vite would make a great politician.

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April 07, 2012, 02:49:14 PM
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Argentina is very interesting for all those places for whom are expecting a crash.

What I can't understand is that if one goes to Banco Piano and buys gold and then sells it in just 3 weeks you've likely made a small profit,
 I would have though that would be popular but I don't see ques of people there after pay day. Perhaps there's a tax on it.

Land is popular but when you come to sell it the inflation makes it look like it's gone up in value when in fact it hasn't.

I wonder if people not exactly refuse to take part in the money machine but try to ignore it as best as possible and enjoy life as best as possible.

I think that most people here is just not accustomed to measure value in anything else than local currencies, us dollars, and maybe land and housing.

People just get on with life with some tenacity, I just don't fully know how. There's a lot people can learn from here. In Europe people complain at 7% inflation but here it's been 25% for years and somehow life goes on. I don't know many economies that could go on and yet this one does.
 How can an economy survive at 25% for so long?

 What I find frightening though is that even after being shafted for so long and so many times there are still people here who have resumed life similar to before the crash, without taking precautions;
using banks, accepting a fixed wage rather than establishing a business etc

Inflation, as any other economic variable, is something you get accustomed to live with after a while. People just design their strategies for survival and goes on with their lives. Even most of them do it intuitively, without having a real clue that their are doing it... For most of them everything It's just the way it is...

Protectionism vs free market is such a cyclic political thing we just can't seem to escape for hundreds of years.

Basically the idea here is that you can protect against outside market forces with protectionism. By putting a tax on outside imports you can also build a local industry to protect against the outside world. If the UK was dependant on Argentina for food like Tibets allies for China it wouldn't be able to have the Malvinas.

On protectionism.  What its proponents never seem to get is that a trade deficit is balanced by a current account surplus.  In other words, the more you import, the more foreign investment you get.  That's before even considering that other countries will introduce retaliatory measures.

Adam Smith covered this about 200 years ago; and yet most countries still don't get it.  (The USA is particularly prone to listening to protectionist rhetoric).


One of the problems with free market evangelists is that they want everybody else to wide open their economies, but they always keep protecting themselves.

And concerning the foreign investment that should balance the current account when you open your economy, the problem with it is that most of those investments are only after big and fast profits, and they usually give a damn about the long term welfare of the target economy. If they can take a quick and big profit by destroying the economy, they will do so, and they has historically done it. All colonialism has being (and still is) nothing but examples of this point... And we, colonized countries, live with it everyday.
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April 09, 2012, 02:27:54 AM
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And concerning the foreign investment that should balance the current account when you open your economy, the problem with it is that most of those investments are only after big and fast profits, and they usually give a damn about the long term welfare of the target economy. If they can take a quick and big profit by destroying the economy, they will do so, and they has historically done it. All colonialism has being (and still is) nothing but examples of this point... And we, colonized countries, live with it everyday.

This is why Argentina is such a disaster. Most of the people think (like you) that investment equals invasion, and that government intervention (violence) is a legitimate way to solve problems.

The state can not solve problems; the state IS the problem (no one taught you this at school precisely because it is true).

As for the situation here, the worst part of the cycle is just beginning. I think it will take a lot of blood before things start to improve, but this is perfectly predictable: collapse -> privatization -> stability, growth -> state expansion -> collapse. Like everywhere else, but with greater intensity and frequency.

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April 09, 2012, 07:00:49 PM
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And concerning the foreign investment that should balance the current account when you open your economy, the problem with it is that most of those investments are only after big and fast profits, and they usually give a damn about the long term welfare of the target economy. If they can take a quick and big profit by destroying the economy, they will do so, and they has historically done it. All colonialism has being (and still is) nothing but examples of this point... And we, colonized countries, live with it everyday.

This is why Argentina is such a disaster. Most of the people think (like you) that investment equals invasion, and that government intervention (violence) is a legitimate way to solve problems.

The state can not solve problems; the state IS the problem (no one taught you this at school precisely because it is true).

As for the situation here, the worst part of the cycle is just beginning. I think it will take a lot of blood before things start to improve, but this is perfectly predictable: collapse -> privatization -> stability, growth -> state expansion -> collapse. Like everywhere else, but with greater intensity and frequency.

Please, don't put words in my mouth. If you read the whole thread you'll see what I think about government:

The profound and unfair distribution of wealth and power which we (as in all humanity) are trailing since almost forever is the big problem here. Imperial governments imposing terms on smaller governments. Small governments imposing terms on even smaller governments, and so on until we found ridiculously minuscule governments (of which fatherhood patriarchy may be the smaller unit) imposing terms on people, turning everybody into semiconscious slaves serving foreign interests for ever...

Time to invade the Falklands again to distract the populace!

Coming from a US citizen I know....   Pot. Kettle.  Black. 

Yes, as almost every other government out there, our history has being full of crazy and stupid people... Maybe central governments in themselves are craziness in itself...

And if you had mining companies all around your country, blowing up every mountain, enslaving people, throwing away tons of clean water, and contaminating everything with cyanide you may give a second thought about some investments. Governments are shit, but greedy companies are just a private form of government, even shittier than public governments. And sadly both (government and private companies) are on the same side of the coin. We, most people, are on the other side. All alone.

Edit:

@majamalu:

Are you Argentine?

Do you think that ANY investment would be ok?
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April 09, 2012, 08:10:42 PM
 #20

And if you had mining companies all around your country, blowing

Speaking of mining companies in Argentina: It may be a good idea to mine bitcoins.
How much do you pay for electric power? 

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