Argentina's Government Clamps Down on Credit Card Use

By:  Charles Scaliger
09/05/2012
       
Argentina's Government Clamps Down on Credit Card Use

 Argentina's government is growing more desperate as her currency is once again caught in an inflationary maelstrom. Are draconian financial and currency controls in America's future?

 Argentina's government is growing more desperate as her currency is once again caught in an inflationary maelstrom. Are draconian financial and currency controls in America's future?

 

Pity poor Argentina. As her economic situation once again spirals downward from merely terrible to catastrophic, the government in Buenos Aires is pulling out all the stops to force the population into financial serfdom in order to maintain its grip on power. The very latest outrage from President Cristina Fernandez — who only months ago, in an act of naked theft reminiscent of the worst banana republics, nationalized Argentine holdings of the Spanish-controlled oil company YPF — has now announced heavy new taxes on the use of Argentine-issued credit cards overseas, and a law requiring disclosure to the government of every credit card transaction made on Argentine soil. The new 15-percent tax levied on foreign credit card transactions, sold by the Fernandez government as a strike only against a small percentage of wealthy Argentines traveling abroad, is in fact a blatant bid to tighten the financial noose around all Argentine citizens, denying them access to foreign currencies and overseas purchases to shield their eroding assets.

Argentina’s peso is once again in an inflationary tailspin. The last time things were this bad, a decade ago, the government shut down banks and confiscated savings accounts to stay afloat, an act Argentines have not forgotten. This time around, Argentines, wary of banks, are converting their fast-depreciating currency into U.S. dollars and other more stable currencies. But last November, the Argentine government passed measures virtually outlawing the conversion of pesos to dollars and other foreign currencies, in an attempt to keep the Argentine people imprisoned in a regime of depreciating pesos.

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