First, Argentine president Nestor Kirchner "began tightening restrictions on private pension funds last year, requiring them to keep more investments in the country as part of an effort to sustain a five-year-old economic expansion."
And now, his wife and successor Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, is about to seize those pension funds. Reports Bloomberg:
[Argentine] president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner will unveil a new pension fund plan at 4 p.m. New York time today, the country's social security administration said in a statement. Fernandez will nationalize the system, giving the government control of $29 billion in retirement accounts, La Nacion reported, citing government officials it didn't identify.
"It's horrible,'' said Jaime Valdivia, who manages $1 billion of assets for Emerging Sovereign Group in New York. ``We're going back to the dark ages. Not even in times of the worst financial stress did the government ever think about taking over the private pension system.''
In times of financial stress, all bets are off, aren't they.
As the reader said who sent me the note, "You'll note the parallels, no doubt..."