Wednesday, January 06, 2010
The President Should Resign!
I never thought I would have high praise for bankers. But today, at least at mid-afternoo Wednesday, January 7, I would like to honor two who just stood up to the incredibly inept and unpopular President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in her unconstitutional attempt to raid the Central Bank.
The nefarious manipulations of Cristina Kirchner are being covered as I blog... if interested, just go directly to a major Argentine newspaper, e.g., Clarin or La Nacion, whose freedom she tried to curtail recently and thus are likely to print all the dirty details.
Here is the bare minimum: Ten days ago Cristina sent an order to the Central Bank requesting US$ 6,000,000,000 to repay international debts. (And you thought YOU had debts!!) Of course I think paying that back is honorable--and she should use the funds already appropriated by the Congress instead of raiding federal reserves. Can you imagine a US President at WHIM taking money out of the Federal Reserve instead of following the budget AUTHORIZED by Congresss? That is what is happening here. This would enable Cristina to use the originally authorized funds HOWEVER SHE PLEASES, including pork barrel projects to buy legislative votes.
Martin Redrado, President of the Central Bank refused to release the funds, rightly claiming the independence of the Central Bank and reminding all of its purpose, which is to maintain sufficient reserves to guarantee the stability of the Argentine peso.
This morning Cristina demanded his resignation for defying her order. HE REFUSED TO RESIGN, noting his mandate runs through September and that she has not right to ask him to resign.
The news continues to emerge from Capital Federal as I write.
Cristina's right-hand hatchet man, Anibal Fernandez, announced this morning that Redrado had indeed resigned, as he had allegedly told the President some time ago that he served at her pleasure, and as she is no longer pleased, he is out.
Redrado says he never offered such a resignation nor would the President have any right to request it as the Central Bank is not under her control.(The President has the right to nominate, the Senate to approve nominations according to the Constitution, which is not much read by Peronists.)
At noon, the Minister of Economy called a press conference to say that the President had appointed a new Central Bank President, without naming him. And things really got crazy!!
Almost immediately, the proposed replacement, Mario Blejer, who is skiing in the French Alps, was contacted and he emphatically rejected the offer. He said he must refuse the offer first because he agrees with Redrado, that the Bank is independent, and second, he consideres Redrado is still Central Bank President, and thus the position is not vacant. [Will Cristina offer the post to her husband Nestor, the recent ex-President?] So another medal please, this time for the skiier!
Meanwhile LaNacion just published a survey showing 95% of those polled side with Redrado. [People are sick of how the K's and kronies have multiplied their riches exponentially while trashing constitutional niceties.]
Cristina shows a real aptitude for shooting herself in the foot, for digging in over unpopular and suspect causes time after time as she runs this country into the ground. What a pity the Executive Branch did not close for January vacations as do the Legislative and Judicial branches.
When her husband was President of Republica Argentina, the federal motto was "Argentina, un pais en serio" ["Argentina, a serious country."] A bit laughable, I thought, for a country that shuts down in January and takes years to process simple documents. Now it has become a mockery with a band of fools at the top (and I'll soon blog about a really nutty letter that compares it to Obamacare and Democratic rule).
This is second time a woman has led Argentina, and I really was rooting for her to bring dialogue and transparency to this beleaguered nation. . . and now she is an embarrassment to her party, to the nation, and to her sex. What can I say?
So any of you in the US think that politics are dirty or that the President is doing a bad job, just remember us. . . and go ahead and cry for Argentina. Or laugh. Given the absurdity, I do both.