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An inflationary thing I learned from the Spanish Film Festival

The going rate to hide out with your son in a Buenos Aires love hotel is 500 pesos a night.

(From the Argentine movie Refugee)


Argentina’s inflation rate could make this one out of date, though it’s hard to say what that rate actually is.

In December 2013 it was said to be 11 per cent, according to the official government figures, but in reality, it was more like 28 per cent.

When I was in Argentina that year, it became the first nation that the International Monetary Fund censured, for not sharing accurate information on inflation and economic growth. The nation’s President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner was not amused.

cristina - foto from 2011
Cristina in a photo exhibition of the Kirchner family outside the Casa Rosada.

I was surprised it took so long. On one of my earlier trips, in 2007, the Buenos Aires Herald newspaper reported: “Inflation ‘double’ official stats”. The government said it was 8.6 per cent, but a private poll of Argentine business leaders had the figure as an average of 16.5 per cent. Private investors had the rate as high as 20. It said that two-fifths of the country’s debt was inflation-indexed.

In other words, the lower the inflation rate, the less Argentina would have to pay its creditors.

In 2015, Reuters discussed the situation in an article, beginning with the words: ‘Don’t Lie to Me Argentina’.

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Michael from Perth

A unique view of the strange and spectacular world through the eyes of Michael from Perth