Cablegate: Media Reaction; Argentina-Venezuela; Us Economy; Susan
DE RUEHBU #1582/01 2261250
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 141250Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8901
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001582
STATE FOR INR/R/MR, I/GWHA, WHA, WHA/PDA, WHA/BSC,
CDR USSOCOM FOR J-2 IAD/LAMA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OPRC KMDR PREL
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION; ARGENTINA-VENEZUELA; US ECONOMY; SUSAN
SEGAL COMMENTS ON CRISTINA; 08/10/07
1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
Key international stories today are related to the
Argentine-Venezuelan relationship following the scandal of the
800,000-dollar suitcase found at Jorge Newbery Airport; the current
status of the US economy; and comments from Susan Segal, head of the
Council of the Americas, about First Lady and Senator Cristina
Kirchner's bid for Argentine presidency.
2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS
- "An abnormal and dangerous relationship"
Daily-of-record "La Nacisn" front-pages an opinion piece by
political columnist Joaqun Morales Sol, who opines (08/10) "...
The (Argentine Government's) official version that everything was
delayed in handling the scandal (of the 800,000-dollar suitcase
belonging to a Venezuelan passenger disembarking at Jorge Newbery
airport from an aircraft chartered by Enarsa state energy holding)
not to bother Chvez, who was in Buenos Aires by then, indicates
that things with him always work in a weird way.
"Did not seven people on board know who the eighth one was, which
was precisely the very one carrying almost 800,000 dollars? Chvez
and Kirchner always brag about the extreme control they exercise in
their respective countries except when things become difficult or
suspicious. It must be easy money.
"... Amid all this one finds (Kirchner's) clumsy relationship with
Chvez. The fact that a country depends on another to pay off its
debts or to obtain the indispensable energy it needs is too serious
itself. Even more serious is the fact that mysterious transfers of
seemingly illegal money are made between two state and oil
- "Doubts will disappear when the bubble is deflated"
Business-financial "El Cronista" carries an opinion piece by Gabriel
Snchez, President IERAL (Institute for the Study of the Latin
American Reality)-Fundacisn Mediterrnea, who writes (08/10) "The
volatility of international financial markets seems to be endless.
The bottom line of this volatility is uncertainty about the future
of US real estate and loan markets and its impact on US consumption,
activity rate and value market.
"... While economic indicators reveal that the US economy is
distancing itself from the risk zone, the Federal Reserve has
maintained short-term interest rates under the argument that the
threat posed by inflation has not been dismissed yet...
"... One of the Federal Reserve's main fears has long been the
destabilizing and inflationary impact of the real estate bubble...
This is why it has refrained from performing an immediate 'bail out'
through lowering interest rates, which could help to maintain the
"... All this happens now that the world economy is in very good
health. Other than the US, Europe and East Asia show a seemingly
strong and steady growth. Emerging countries are even more dynamic,
boosted as they are by high international commodity prices, although
the other side of the coin in this case is that they have been
punished by the so-called 'flight to quality'...
"Argentina still has good indicators that could make it attractive
again, but in order to reach this goal it should first correct the
deviations in its policy created by elections. This is crucial
because while the Government can afford to make debt payments
without resorting to international markets, next year Argentine
companies' funds will no longer be enough for the needed investment
and it will be imperative to access foreign credit markets while
avoiding high increases in the cost of capital."
- "The US looks to Cristina's bid for (Argentine) presidency"
Marcelo Bonelli, economic columnist of leading "Clarn," comments
(08/10) "Susan Segal, the influential head of the Council of the
Americas, paid attention in silence to all critical statements from
"In the confidential meeting, businessmen and bankers focused their
criticism on the (Argentine) Government's anti-business attitude and
they expressed their doubts about the future of the country's fiscal
accounts and the economic plan.
"Segal understood their complaints, although he made a surprising
statement 'You must know that Argentina's current political scenario
does not offer expectations other than those of Cristina.' 'For now,
governance in Argentina can only be guaranteed with Cristina's
"In this way, Segal expressed the prevailing opinion among the
members of Manhattan's financial and economic elite, in spite of the
reservations that Nestor Kirchner still prompts and the doubts about
Cristina Kirchner's will to make real adjustments."
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