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The Urbanist's Buenos Aires: Talking Points

Want to rile a porteño? Just broach one of these hot topics.


Vulture Funder
Paul Singer, a.k.a. Argentina’s Public Enemy No. 1, is the most prominent member of a group of investors who bought Argentine debt and then sued the country to be paid in full. (Most of the other investors settled for a portion of what they were owed.) The July ruling by New York judge Thomas Griesa held Argentina in contempt for refusing the pay its debt, pushing the country into what some call a “technical” default.





Cristinismo
The widow of ex-president Néstor Kirchner, current president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is a controversial figure whose economic policies have been credited with tanking the economy and devaluing the currency. Her support in B.A. has sunk to such a low that she even floated the idea of moving the capital 600 miles away to Santiago del Estero. (She won’t be able to run in the next election in October 2015; her former Cabinet chief Sergio Massa is favored to win the whole thing.)




Crueler Summer
The Southern Hemisphere is getting warmer, as evidenced by the Antarctic icebergs that floated to Buenos Aires in 2013, and last summer’s heat wave—the city’s hottest in 73 years—resulted in widespread blackouts. Utility companies, funded by government subsidies, are upgrading the grid and don’t expect issues if temperatures remain within “reasonable” levels, but with historic records already broken for the month of October, few residents are as confident.


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