The Next Step Past "Unexpected"

What does a statist government do when attaching "unexpected" to all negative economic numbers does not provide the necessary political cover?

Argentina’s government has filed criminal charges against the managers of an economic consulting firm, escalating its persecution of independent economists.

…The government is charging MyS Consultores with “publishing false information about inflation data” to benefit themselves and their clients. The criminal complaint alleges that MyS’s data also lead to speculative behavior in Argentina’s bond market.

…Consumer prices rose 9.7% in May from a year ago, according to the national statistics agency, Indec. But virtually all economists say annual inflation surpasses 20%—one of the world’s highest rates—angering government officials who dismiss inflation as a problem.

…So far this year, the Secretariat has fined at least nine economic research firms 500,000 pesos ($122,000) each. This week, the Secretariat also slapped a second fine on Orlando J Ferreres & Asociados.

“They fine us for saying how much prices have risen,” Mr. Ferreres, director of his eponymous firm, said. “They could seek criminal charges against all of us. We don’t know how far they’re willing to go.”

Mr. Ferreres said the legal actions are part of a strategy to prevent independent economists from publishing potentially negative information during an election year…

Government officials say they hoped the fines would deter economists from “deceiving” the public into making poor financial decisions by publishing inflation estimates that differ considerably from Indec’s consumer price index.

It is sad to see how far Argentina has fallen.  In the past it has been one of my favorite countries in the world to visit.

  • el coronado

    "we don't know how far they're willing to go", said mr. ferres. might i suggest he look back about - oh - 30 years or so for a possible clue. 'how far they're willing to go' against 'enemies of the argentine nation' is to allow you several days quality time with a psycopath with a badge and a cattle prod, remove your fingernails with pliers, and throw you, still alive, from a plane crusiing at 5000 feet somewhere over the deep blue atlantic.

    i'd recommend senor ferres and his accountant compatriots look into emigrating to chile. soon.

  • Mesa Econoguy

    On the flip side, maybe Austan Goolsbee and Timmy Geithner might belong in jail....

  • Bram

    So an economic consulting firm was sharing information "to benefit themselves and their clients"?

    Isn't that why consulting firms are hired?

  • http://www.ianrandom.com Ian Random

    Maybe BO can add these types of penalties to those reported to flag@whitehouse.gov.

  • John O.

    It was 1999-2002 when Argentina had its most recent economic collapse, they seem keen on revisiting that by being so brazen.

    -- John O.

  • http://stopthebreathing.blogtownhall.com astonerii

    I my aunt was married to an Argentinean a long time ago. He was a perpetual student, 19 years running before they divorced. His brother as well as 7 children from 4 other families that they were all acquainted with were perpetual students, living off government money and government loans til the day they got divorced and I lost track of what was going on. He's getting his Bachelors in sociology, biology, sociobiology, now its business, no economics is what he really wants to do.

    Yup, I for one have not had much respect for the country myself. But hey, what ever gets you on American soil soaking up the money of hard working entrepreneurs. I say it is at least as moral as hiring an illegal alien to make better profits and drive your competition to follow suit or go out of business. Which is to say, pure evil.

  • caseyboy

    Don't Cry for Me Argentina. Eva, where are you now? Ah the good old days.