LATAM e-News – May 2018
Arturo´s Letter

Arturo García Rosa
President & Founder, SAHIC

Argentina: what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

A very tense atmosphere was experienced in the last few days in Argentina and, mainly, among the members of the ruling alliance.

The thing is that the market caught everybody by surprise forcing what the government knew was necessary but did not dare to implement.

The fact is that in the interests of a gradualism that would avoid stimulating the social outbursts that many sectors of power enlisted in the political opposition, after having enjoyed the sweetness brought about by the extreme exercise of this power along the twelve years of “kirchnerato”, are always ready to encourage in order to defend their own interests – which they see increasingly compromised – the government started a programme to get Argentina out of the paralysis and backwardness in which it was immersed. This was implemented by doing a lot of things, some unthinkable both for their success and for their timing, others that were not entirely accurate, some that went decisively wrong and were quickly corrected. But above all, what stands out today more than ever, in the circumstances of the financial crisis that unexpectedly surprised the majority of the population, is everything that was not done, what is still pending, where it is clearly evident that the government did not speak frankly to the population.

It is impossible to think that one can get out overnight from a disaster such as the one the previous government left behind, having exercised power for so long and in such an unwise way rarely seen and, above all, it is impossible to think that one can get out without paying costs that cannot be avoided, no matter how unfair they can be.

It’s a familiar story, one way or another. There is a certain predisposition to resist an inexorable truth such as accepting that the Three Wise Men do not exist.
The crisis was a blow to the heart of the government’s handling of politics and a shock to much, if not all, of the population, including many of those who sympathize with Macri’s administration. It would seem that the latter, even when no longer children, wanted to resist understanding that the Wise Men did not exist.

The government should have made it clear, which would have made it easier to deal with some measures in a shorter time. Suffering is always a cruel thing, but when it is prolonged in time it becomes exasperating, to the point that many decide to surrender.

It shouldn’t have gone that far.

The truth is that, as of today, the crisis seems to be under control. Of course there are those who see it that way and those who predict that the ten plagues of Egypt are nothing close to what is still to come. Personally, I am convinced that Argentina is in the right way. The path, despite the mistakes made and the problems to be faced, is the right one.

It will not be a time of roses for the general population but as was said, this mess needs time to settle in and the road will be hard.

A decadent society, as in my opinion is the Argentine society – a society to which I belong even though I decided to leave it in daily life almost seven years ago – a society that has not yet found a way to stop a process of deterioration in which it has been immersed for decades, cannot pretend to live in the way it does, consuming its resources excessively without worrying about how to multiply them, as if the “perinola” always fell in the face of the “take everything” like a bottomless barrel in which there is always something else to be taken.

Again as with the wise men.

The financial crisis from which the country seems to have emerged was not foreseen by the top government officials, or at least it did not appear to have been so, but certainly the imperfection is not total. It was this same government that successfully sailed the waters of a Super Tuesday that threatened the worst consequences.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. And I believe that this has been a good lesson for President Macri and his team, as well as for the political opposition and a large part of the population, at least for all those who do not suffer from economic difficulties.

Time will tell if it is the beginning of the road to recovery or if it has been just one more bump, in a decay that our parents and grandparents never imagined their children and grandchildren would be able to provoke.