Thursday, 19 February 2009

Jacqueline Fowks, en su 'Notas Desde Lenovo´ Coloca el Tema de la Impunidad en El Conflicto Sobre La Mesa

Clique aquí para accesar al blog Notas Desde Lenovo, de la periodista peruana Jacqueline Fowks. Ella, quien hace unos años escribió un libro sobre política y medios en el Perú (''Suma y resta de la realidad: Medios de comunicación y elecciones generales 2000 en el Perú´´) y ha trabajado en ONGs, sabe claramente de lo que está hablando aqui en este artículo sobre hipocresías y temores nacionales, sobre la impunidad.

Clique aquí para leer el muy interesante posting escrito por Fowks. Una cineasta peruana gana un premio en un festival. Aplausos, regocijo nacional, orgullo, baten todos la bandera, el presidente la felicita por la radio. La cineasta ganó tal premio por un filme acerca de la violencia que azotó a Perú (y a la mayoría de nuestros países, sea dicho) por décadas. El filme explora ''una parte secreta de la historia de su país, en la que, entre 1980 y 2000, grupos terroristas cometieron hasta 70 mil asesinatos, además de secuestros y violaciones sistemáticas a mujeres,´´ de acuerdo a un clip de prensa que Jacqueline reseñó en su posting.

La cuestión fundamental que Fowks plantea es la siguiente: ''Quizá en los próximos días algún funcionario o el mismo presidente declaren a favor de la promoción del cine nacional, pero difícilmente se referirán a la deuda del Estado con quienes no protegió (o peor, atacó) durante los años del conflicto armado interno (1980-2000).´´ Siento que esta no es sólo una historia del Perú, sino de Colombia, de la Argentina, de Chile ... es una sombra que arrastramos con nosotros. La contribución de Jacqueline aquí es importante, porque nos hace pensar que aquella tragedia local de la se intenta hablar poco, era regional y lago peor que un secreto a voces en algún punto. Que no pertenece al pasado. Que no se ha olvidado. Y que no se ve disposición ni por parte de los estamentos oficiales ni de la sociedad civil a reconocer a sus muertos, a mirarlos a la cara y a darles una digna sepultura. No hay intención nuestra de dar un sincero saludo de condolencias a las familias de esas víctimas, muchas de ellas anónimas, esos N.N., como se les llama en mi país. No hay intención de compensarlas.

En Colombia, ese problema es crónico. Mientras persista entre nosotros una simpatía tácita a la labor de los paramilitares, mientras continuemos negando que las desapariciones y la violencia contra las minorías es un problema tan grave como la existencia de la guerrilla o la mala redistribución del ingreso, mientras nos rehusemos a poner en la agenda nacional una política de reparo a nuestras víctimas, mientras que rehusemos perdonar, mientras la ley siga siendo condescendiente con los asesinos, mientras nuestros gobernantes sigan inflamándonos con más odio, seguirán nuestros muertos sin descansar en paz. Y Colombia seguirá siendo un cementerio.

IADB Extends $600 Million Contingent Credit Facility to Latin, Caribbean Countries to Cope with Natural Disasters


The Inter-American Development Bank pledged $600 million in contingent credit facilities to help Latin America and Caribbean countries cope with hurricanes, floods and the same natural disasters that every year afflict millions of people. The IADB said the drawdown of funds would be contingent upon the occurrence of a natural disaster of a type and intensity determined by the facility guidelines, with borrowing terms similar to those regularly applied to the bank's credit operations. Facility loans will be up to $100 million or the equivalent of 1 percent of the nation's gross domestic product, ''whichever is less.´´

Something very positive must be highlighted here. The IADB is requiring countries to have an adequate integrated disaster risk-management programme. This is excellent news -- because countries like Haiti or Cuba or Jamaica will have to train their own people and invest in risk analysis technology, crisis prevention, mitigation, emergency preparedness and disaster response. Under the new conditions, ''provisions for adequate and sustainable financing of the remaining risks´´ will be required, said the IADB, ''executable in a period of no more than five years.´´


I guess this also comes as good news for the region in general amid funding shortages. Many countries facing a delicate financial position and potential balance of payments crisis -- such as the Dominican Republic and Jamaica, -- must be sighing with relief.

Recommended: Bloomberg Story on Stanford Bank and Its Latin Investors


La crisis de confianza está tornandose peor cada día

Read this good story by Bloomberg Caracas bureau chief Matt Walter (click here.) He makes a very good point here -- the very unstable macro economic environment of the past decades forced million of Latins to seek off-shore investments as a safe haven for their savings. Even though such instability has eased, people still remained quite confident of the safety of their off-shore investments. ''Your money isn't safe anywhere,´´ says one of the people interviewed for this story. A sign of these times. People will go back-to-basics, demand less riskier investments, in some way putting the brakes on the development of more sophisticated, deeper financial markets.

We always try to recall some historical event of statistical data to back some of the assertions made here. High inflation, currency devaluations, excess spending have for years cast doubts over the seriousness of economic policies carried out in the region and the commitment of the domestic financial sectors to design products safe and attractive enough to protect savings or channel those savings into new credit and investment. Venezuelans moved $8 billion out of the country on average every year between 1999 and 2006 (the Hugo Chávez years,) up from $2 billion a year over the previous five decades, according to a study by Emilio Medina Smith, a former economics professor at Carabobo University. More than $1.2 billion were reportedly raised by the illegal pyramids schemes in Colombia since 2003 (the Alvaro Uribe years) because of weak oversight. Families affected by the loss of their lifetime savings told TV news programmes in interviews that they agreed to pour their money into these pyramids because deposit rates paid by banks for their money were just too low. Obviously, the poor isn't immune to greed. But you can't blame them either -- the financial system in Colombia has failed to offer interesting investment alternatives for low-income families; opening a bank account in Colombia requires the presentation of a large list of documents. It's a real pain. Bancarisation indexes in Mexico (18 percent) and Colombia (27 percent) show the potential of new businesses for the local financial system -- banks must change their attitude towards depositors, and start treating them as investors.

This new scandal, coupled with Bernard Madoff's pyramid, plus the Colombian pyramids scheme, plus the Brazilian and Mexican derivatives scandals that triggered a tumble in stocks, is helping erode the confidence in financial markets built up for years, and giving another excuse to populist presidents and politicians (most them opportunistic idiots) for launching attacks on banks and free markets and corporate independence.

Argentina Reopens GL Swap, to Issue Five-Year Debt in Pesos

Argentina reopened the swap for about $3 billion of so-called guaranteed loans (préstamos garantizados.) The move should help Cristina Fernández's government to reduce the very heavy debt refiancing schedule for this year -- estimated at about $18 billion. Terms include a 2 percent haircut on the value of the loans held by investors and the issuance of a new five-year bullet note linked to the Badlar rate, in pesos obviously. Net savings are estimated at $2 billion, with $1.6 billion coming this year and the rest for 2010, according to a Barclays Capital report.

Fitch Says Global Crisis to Hamper Infrastructure Plans, Project Finance Sector. Future Rating Actions May Be Under Study

Fitch Ratings said in a report yesterday that the outlook for global infrastructure and project finance sectors and regions is turning grimmer as the global recession ''now appears to be globally synchronised and severe.´´ According to the ratings company, economic uncertainty in the short run now ''points to material longer-term declines in both asset values and credit quality than was predicted in Fitch's first global infrastructure and project finance outlook in March 2008.´´

Fitch's main concern is the reduced availability of credit leading to heightened refinancing risk. One sector we believe will be taken a closer outlook at is large infrastructure programmes in underdeveloped economies -- in the region the plans that stand out as the most ambitious and aggressive are Brazil's and Colombia's. ''Deteriorating operational performance of assets and the volatility of commodity prices have also now moved to the fore of the agency's concerns,´´ said Fitch in its report.

The relative stability of project and infrastructure fundamentals in most countries will weather the impact of the global downturn, which will continue beyond this year. The long-term contractual nature of project finance debt may also provide a cushion, Fitch said.

''Sectors exposed to consumption or discretionary spending will likely be the most vulnerable with regional differences less pronounced due to the global nature of the recession,´´
said Fitch, adding that ''projects not subject to demand or price risk such as public-private partnership (PPP) availability transactions and long-term, contracted projects will likely be more stable.´´

Across sectors and regions, projects with limited leverage, strong covenants and structural protections and strong committed sponsors with long-term strategies are likely to be more resilient than others
. In this case, the rearrangement of project structuring in key projects is already taking place in Colombia. One interesting aspect of this is, in my opinion, the recent decision by the Colombian government and the IFC to split up the ambitious $2.6 billion Ruta del Sol road project into three parts, to overcome funding scarcity. A Colombian executive involved in multiple infrastructure projects said mid- and small-sized projects will have an edge over the larger ones, due to the difficulties stemming from obtaining funding for new projects.

About that, Fitch ''expects that when new funding is available, the terms will be far more stringent and creditor-friendly than was the case in the past few years.´´

S&P Downgrades Ratings on 24 Securitisations Across Emerging Markets, Following MBIA Rating Cut

Standard and Poor's cut the ratings of 24 transactions involving the securitisation of mortgages, loans and other assets following its decision to downgrade MBIA Corp's ratings to BBB+ from AA. Five of those securitisations are related to residential mortgage-backed bonds issued by Mexican banks, in addition to Petróleo Brasileiro SA's securitisation of export receivables and Cia. Vale do Rio Doce SA's asset-backed securities sold in 2003.

Following is a list with the rating actions:



PF Export Receivables Master Trust (Petrobras)

2003-B A- AA
GMAC Financiera - Bursatilizaciones de Hipotecas Residenciales II (MXMACFW)

07-3U BBB+ AA

07-5U BBB+ AA
Hipotecaria Su Casita - Bursatilizaciones de Hipotecas Residenciales III (BRHCCB)

07U BBB+ AA

07-2U BBB+ AA
Hipotecaria Su Casita - Residential Mortgage Backed Notes Due 2035

A BBB+ AA
International Diversified Payment Rights Co. (Banco Bradesco)

2004-1 A AA

Bancomer Receivables Master Trust

2004 A+ AA
CVRD Finance Ltd.

2003-1 BBB+ AA