We lead off this weekend with news that the Argentines are still pissed off about Spain winning the World Cup last year, and by golly, finally doing something about it. . Last week the Argentine government moved to nationalise the country’s biggest oil company, YPF, by seizing the majority ownership (now formerly) held by Spain’s own national oil company, Repsol. The Spaniards won’t take this lying down though. This from the BBC:
Spain has threatened retaliation against Argentina over the forced nationalisation of oil firm YPF, raising the prospects of a trade war between the nations.
YPF’s controlling stake, owned by Spain’s Repsol, was seized by President Cristina Fernandez’s government.
Spain’s Industry Minister Jose Manuel Soria said it was considering unspecified action on diplomacy, trade, industry and energy.
The article continues, or might have continued in similar fashiuon if I had written the copy:
The specter of a retaliatory tapas embargo looms large over relations between the two economically incompetent countries.
Spaniards rioted in the streets over this latest display of Argentine gall, vowing to boycott all future Boca Junior-River Plate
garbage-throwingfutbol matches. The threat seems serious. Interviewed during the riot, 20-year old Pepe Ignacio exclaimed with passion that “Argentine futbol is total crap, and besides, you can’t even see the game on the field with all the smoke. We have their best players, and maybe we’ll just nationalize them. Barcelona striker Lionel Messi could not be reached for comment.
I’m being just a little flippant because it seems there’s precious little that Spain can do about this. The days of the Armada are long gone.
Meantime, Argentina is making noises about British companies exploring for oil off the Falklands.
The Falklands, remember them? A few windswept islands good for raising sheep and little else. Argentines call the the Malvinas, and damned if they still don’t want them back.
Peaceful terms for now (“Argentina Will Sue Over Falkslands Oil Exploration”), maybe escalating into more intense penalty shootouts later on. Argentines would be best advised to tread lightly. The Brits still do have an Armada, and they may just ship a couple battalions of battle-hardened soccer hooligans down there to crack a few heards and show them what’s what (not that aforementioned exploration is delivering quite stellar returns for explorers).
Governments nationalizing vital resources for their own political ends. A familiar story in South America (and around the world really… General Motors?)
Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez has gone a similar path with PDVSA, driving those evil gringos and their capital out of the country, and in parallel’s nosediving the country’s oil production from a high of some 3.2 million barrels per day to a present estimated 2.2 million b/d. Around half of this production is sold at a steep discount to Chavez’ pals around the Caribbean, buying influence and support. The rest is sold to those evil gringos in the U.S. at market prices.
And in the meantime, the people can’t get in a day’s decent food shopping:
CARACAS, Venezuela — By 6:30 a.m., a full hour and a half before the store would open, about two dozen people were already in line. They waited patiently, not for the latest iPhone, but for something far more basic: groceries.
“Whatever I can get,” said Katherine Huga, 23, a mother of two, describing her shopping list. She gave a shrug of resignation. “You buy what they have.”
Well done, Senor El Presidente Chavez. Senora Presidente
Eva Peron Cristina Fernandez, please take heed.
For more on Government idiocy at little closer to home, Darwin’s Money, takes a hard look at the US Senate’s deliberations on income taxes, with Senate Rejects Buffett Rule – Fighting Stupidity with Logic
The writing team at DQYDJ.net takes on the expected returns of Mega-Millions with a nifty calculator tools. Readers thinking of betting Junior’s college money, take heed.
Investor Junkie, with Most Personal Finance Blogs Suck!
Hope to Prosper,with Is Gasoline Busting your Budget?
More on gas prices from Balance Junkie, with Do gasoline prices go up before long weekends?
Squirrelers has this post filed under Financial Philosophy, and with good reason: Persistency Can Lead to Wealth
BBC News: UK Inflation Rate Rises to 3.5% in March
This from the Mail: Make Mine a Double: How an Alcolholic Drink or Two Can Sharpen Your Mind This totally objective, sober-minded research was in no way sponsored or endorsed by the likes of Diageo, Molson or Bud.
Those gas and oil liquids have got to go somewhere, might as well be the West Coast: Kinder Morgan Increases Planned Trans-Mountain Expansion
Gardening and More Gardening…
Spring is in the air, and what better way to observe Earth day than to do a little digging?
To forget how to dig the earth and tend the soil is to forget ourselves. ~Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948)
Corey from 20′s Finances is starting a garden, and doing it the hardcore way, by starting seedlings inside My Vegetable Garden: Transplanting,
Jefferson and Michelle over at See Debt Run are also starting out strong, with Garden of Seedin’
This from Grist.com, 15 Ways to Celebrate Agriculture on Earth Day. I don’t agree with all the sentiments put forward (no one has a “right to food” anymore than the have a “right” to air conditioning), but it’s a nice crunchy read.
Mike from Mike and Molly’s House makes a dirt sifter. Useful for sifting compost, too.
Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field. — Dwight D. Eisenhower
Enough with blogging. Off to the garden… planting green beans (Provider) and more zucchini (Dark Star) today.