Argentina "Special Master" Has Patience Of A Saint

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Whatever else you may say of him—and Argentina has said a lot: for instance, that he’s incompetent and hopelessly biased against it—you must admire Daniel Pollack’s persistence. Ever since being handed the thankless and hopeless job of trying to sort out in a few weeks what 13 years of litigation just made worse, the court-appointed mediator has suffered the slings and arrows, listened to what one imagines are endlessly repetitive speeches by Argentine politicians and issued many press releases pretending that there is the remotest chance of a settlement. And, God bless him, even after Argentina basically said it wasn’t interested in negotiating anymore, he’s still at.

Alas, the results are the same.

Lawyers representing Argentina and the country's holdout creditors met with a court-appointed mediator on Thursday to resume settlement talks, but no resolution was reached, the mediator said in a statement Friday.

Daniel Pollack, who was appointed by U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa to oversee negotiations between Argentina and its holdout creditors, said in the statement that "the issues that divide the parties remain unresolved."

Also unresolved are an Argentine economy spiraling out of control and foreign currency reserves evaporating like a smashed bottle of Malbec on a hot Pampas day. So Argentina is doing what it has done for decades in such times: Screwing over the poor.

Argentine taxpayers seeking to legally buy up to $2,000 a month are now required to have a monthly salary of at least 8,800 pesos ($1,046). The increase from the previous floor of 7,200 pesos comes amid growing concerns about the central bank's declining foreign-currency reserves….

Argentines have few reasons to hold pesos. Benchmark deposit rates are at 21%, while inflation is widely believed to be nearly 40%. A black-market exchange rate of around 14 pesos to the dollar makes the official exchange rate of 8.41 pesos look overvalued and hurts confidence in the currency.

Lawyer for Argentina, Holdout Creditors Meet With Mediator [WSJ]
Argentina Moves to Limit Dollar Purchases [WSJ]

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