On Wednesday Argentine Economy Minister Axel Kicillof was in New York City, telling the world that his country had gone into default for the second time in a little over a decade.
On Thursday he was back home, explaining to the Argentine people what it was like dealing with Daniel Pollack, the man appointed by the U.S. Court to mediate between Kicillof’s delegation, and the hedge fund creditors — known collectively as NML Capital — to which Argentina owes over $US1.3 billion.
“Statements by Pollack seem like a manual on how to harm Argentina,” said Kicillof. “He’s tougher than S&P.”
Perhaps Kicillof is right, Standard and Poors called Argentina’s failure to pay a “selective default,” Pollack called it a “technical default.”
We’re learning that there is a difference.
We’re also learning that Argentine Twitter has an incredible sense of humour about this whole disaster.
There’s one Kicillof quote especially that the Argentine Twittersphere embraced.
“Being generous with other people’s money is terrible,” he said.
Argentine Twitter responded by repeating the quote and adding a reminder that it was coming from a man who “month after month spends more money on government social programs.”
“Ser generoso con la plata de los demás es pésimo” dice Kicillof, que mes a mes reparte más planes sociales.
— Cocu (@Coculo) July 31, 2014
Kicillof is a Marxist professor who drives a 2008 Renault an years ago, as a junior minister, master minded the government takeover of the Argentine subsidiary of Spanish oil and gas company, Repsol.
His political ideology has never been a secret. It’s just that now that the country is in its current precarious situation, Argentines have even more reason to unleash their since of humour on Kicillof and his policies.
A few more things to note about Kicillof’s speech:
- He reiterated that the country could not negotiate without the Court granting a stay on payment, effectively taking the risk of default off until 2015 when The Republic could pay without violating the RUFO clause — a clause that would entitle more bondholders to the same 100 cent on the dollar payout as NML.
- He said he was open to more talks, but would not be in New York City for the meeting Judge Thomas Griesa called for Friday. Cleary Gottlieb, Argentina’s lawyers, would be present.
Kicillof also suggestively said that he found out that Pollack had been a colleague of NML’s lawyers.
“They all know each other, there’s an affinity there,” he said.
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