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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘latin america

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • blogTO notes the refusal of Bombardier to explain to the TTC, even in the context of an impending lawsuit, why streetcar production is so delayed.
  • At the Broadside Blog, Caitlin Kelly recommends the movie Spotlight for its insights into the importance of journalism.
  • Crooked Timber considers protests at Princeton about racial representation.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper suggesting possibilities for direct imaging of the Alpha Centauri system.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes plans to close down the last coal-powered power plant in Britain.
  • Far Outliers looks at Russian and German encounters with Papuans in the late 19th century.
  • Language Hat starts a discussion on marginalized languages.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the defense of the mayor of Roanoke that his defense of the Japanese-American internment was not racist.
  • Marginal Revolution notes the importance of the Iran-Iraq War in the Middle East’s downward spiral.
  • pollotenchegg notes language use in Ukraine.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes how the Kirchner governments in Argentina subsidized energy companies.
  • Torontoist notes a Bloordale artist’s efforts to start a fact box in her neighbourhood.
  • Towleroad notes the belated recognition of a trans widow’s marriage.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the complications of the cut-off of electricity supply from Ukraine to Crimea.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alexander Harrowell is critical of certain plans for devolution that risk creating party fiefdoms.

[LINK] “First Venezuela Lost the Concorde, Now It’s Losing to Bolivia”

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Bloomberg’s Bill Faries writes about the continuing economic plunge of Venezuela, as it is being shown up by better-managed Bolivia.

Back in the late 1970s, when Venezuela’s oil wealth fueled the supersonic Concorde’s flights from Paris to Caracas, the idea that a poverty-stricken, landlocked nation known for bowler hats and coca leaves would someday surpass it was unthinkable. How times have changed.

Bolivia, South America’s poorest country on a per-capita GDP basis, leads or is poised to surpass Venezuela in a number of areas. Already plagued with a plunging currency and the world’s fastest inflation rate, Venezuela’s decline is stunning for a country that holds the world’s largest reserves of oil and whose late president, Hugo Chavez, once served as a mentor for Bolivia’s leader, Evo Morales.

While Morales took over Bolivia’s natural gas industry in 2006, his policies were never as radical as Chavez, who once walked through Caracas’s downtown, pointing at various companies and saying “nationalize it.” Morales and Finance Minister Luis Arce “understood the importance of having orderly fiscal policy,” said Ben Ramsey, chief economist and head of sovereign debt strategy for the Andean region at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York, who follows the two countries. “They have massive reserves vis-à-vis their economy.”

After peaking at more than $40 billion in 2008, Venezuela’s reserves have tumbled to less than $15 billion, much of that in gold. While falling energy prices have also affected Bolivia, its reserves have been on an upward or stable trajectory under Morales, peaking at about $15 billion last year from less than $5 billion when Morales took office in 2006.

Written by Randy McDonald

November 20, 2015 at 2:24 pm

[LINK] “Uruguay’s Chinese Car Boom Ends on Cheap Brazil, India Imports”

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At first glance, Ken Parks’ Bloomberg article suggests that Uruguayans–at least car-buyers–benefit from a very competitive auto retail sector.

Uruguayans love their beef, wine and cheap Chinese cars that used to account for almost a quarter of new vehicle sales. But competition from low-cost Brazilian and Indian cars has sent Chinese sales into a tailspin this year.

Chinese passenger vehicle sales tumbled almost 34 percent year-on-year during the first 10 months of 2015, compared to a 9 percent decline in the total market, according to data from Uruguayan automotive trade group ACAU.

China’s market share in Uruguay, once the highest in Spanish-speaking South America, has plunged with sales. Brands such as BYD, Geely and Chery represented 17 percent of new passenger vehicle sales this year, down from 23 percent in 2014.

The devaluation of the Brazilian real, which has helped Volkswagen and Fiat factories in Brazil, and Suzuki imports from India have forced dealerships to cut prices on Chinese vehicles, Santiago Guelfi, a director at BYD and Peugeot distributor Sadar, said earlier this month.

Written by Randy McDonald

November 12, 2015 at 8:36 pm

[LINK] “Chile-Peru Squabble Over Six Football Pitches of Sand and Rock”

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The 19th century War of the Pacific continues to overshadow Chile’s relations with Peru, as it does more visibly Chile’s relations with Bolivia. Bloomberg’s John Quigley describes how bitterness over lost territory persists.

Andean neighbors Chile and Peru are at it again. After resolving a decades-old dispute over their maritime border last year, talks to deepen integration have broken down over a patch of arid sand and rock the size of six soccer fields — and that is when the tide is out.

Peru’s President Ollanta Humala on Saturday signed a law creating a municipality on its southern border that includes an coastal area measuring 3.7 hectares (9.1 acres) claimed by Chile. Chile’s Foreign Ministry said the triangle-shaped territory is “unquestionably Chilean” and canceled a meeting with Peruvian ministers scheduled for next month.

It is a sensitive issue for Chile. The country lost sovereignty over an area of sea the size of Costa Rica to Peru last year in a ruling by the International Court of Justice in the Hague. That same court has just ruled that it will listen to Bolivian arguments for Chile to start negotiations over its demand for access to the sea, lost to Chile in the Pacific War of 1879. Chile doesn’t want to lose another ruling.

“What seem to be extremely minor issues play into really deep historical and
nationalist sentiment in both countries,” said Greg Weeks, a professor of
political science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, in a phone
interview. “Until the boundaries are agreed upon by both sides, down to the inch, you’ll just have disputes that keep popping up over and over again.”

Written by Randy McDonald

November 11, 2015 at 8:47 pm

[LINK] “Solar Energy Is Cheapest Source of Power in Chile, Deutsche Says”

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Bloomberg’s Vanessa Dezem notes the profitability of solar energy in the context of Chile.

Solar power is now the cheapest source of electricity in Chile, according to Deutsche Bank AG.

That conclusion is based on the results of an energy auction in October when renewable projects offered the lowest prices and won contracts to supply 1,200 gigawatt-hours of power, Deutsche Bank analyst Vishal Shah said in a report Tuesday.

That may lead to more than 1 gigawatt of new solar capacity installed in Chile this year, Shah said. It will help the country reach a target set in 2014 by Chile’s government of having 45 percent of its installed electric capacity powered by renewable sources.

Three solar farms offered to sell power for $65 to $68 a megawatt-hour in the auction, Shah said. Two wind farms bid $79 a megawatt-hour, and a solar-thermal plant with storage offered power at $97. Coal power was offered for $85 in the same event.

Written by Randy McDonald

November 6, 2015 at 1:26 am

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • Crooked Timber wonders what Nietzche would have to say about immigration.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper examining the atmospheres of different exoplanets orbiting different kinds of stars.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that Pluto and Charon may have iron cores.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that Martin Shkreli’s newly-overpriced drug is being vastly underpriced by a new competitor.
  • Language Hat notes a Yiddish translation of a Chinese song.
  • Languages of the World argues that the Indo-Europeans are an identifiable people.
  • Marginal Revolution considers the nature of Chinese economic growth.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer looks at the fiscal constraints of Brazil and notes the interactions of the vulture funds with Peru.
  • Bruce Sterling on his tumblr shares a post looking at an American shantytown.
  • Supernova Condensate enthuses about Enceladus.
  • The Understanding Society Blog’s Daniel Little considers how to model organizational recruitment.
  • The Financial Times‘ The World blog wonders if the German economy will benefit from Merkel’s open door.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell notes the menace of coordinated hype cycles.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly describes what it takes to be a professional writer.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper considering dust in atmospheres.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes the study of a medieval Korean star catalogue.
  • Language Hat notes a program to translate Mexican writers who write in indigenous languages.
  • Steve Munro offers advice on what to do about Smarttrack.
  • Marginal Revolution refers readers to Gary Kasparov’s new book on politics, criticizing Putin and much else.
  • The Planetary Society Blog shares the latest data from Dawn at Ceres.
  • Torontoist has a beautiful picture of the Prince Edward Viaduct.
  • Towleroad notes a referendum on same-sex marriage in Slovenia.

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