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Donald, Ronald and crime in our time

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A new year has now begun (happy 2017, everybody) but nothing especially new about the main themes in its first week — the economy and crime.

Nor are they topical due to anything special happening in the last week. The dominance of economic issues (never far from the foreground in Argentina) is the natural consequence of the buzz surrounding the new ministers Nicolás Dujovne (Treasury) and Luis Caputo (Finance) replacing Alfonso Prat-Gay (bounced on December 19) — much of that buzz created by the loquacious Dujovne who gave something like half a dozen major interviews in his first half-week. And the return of crime (again, never far from the public mind) to the front-burner stems from another event that same December 19 — the storming of a Flores police precinct by irate citizens infuriated by the slaying of a local teen by a juvenile motorcycle thief with the same name (Brian) and almost the same age.

Normally the week between Christmas and New Year is the deadest of the year in news terms with everybody absorbed by the festivities but it was all too eventful this time around — not only the aforementioned December 19 news items but ex-president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner suddenly facing trial on a couple of a fronts (no more about that in this column because it is already the subject of an editorial on page 16 and because nothing further will happen this month owing to the court holiday). Even the one debate to originate this week — over the extra 25 billion pesos for Buenos Aires province Governor María Eugenia Vidal — did not arise from anything actually happening but from anticipation of a decree which had yet to be issued when this column was written. This week is indisputably the slowest of 2017 because it is the only one so far but it also stands a pretty good chance of remaining so at the other end of the year.


One slick way of describing Dujovne’s plan would be to say that he is trying to head off problems with Donald via the economics of Ronald — i.e. faced with the prospect of higher international interest rates from Donald Trump’s determination to keep jobs and hence capital in the United States, the new minister proposes to make Argentina more competitive via the tax cuts made famous by Reaganomics (known within the profession as supply-side theory). The cornerstone........

© Buenos Aires Herald