Obama admin caught flat-footed by Argentina nationalization of Spanish oil company

posted at 12:11 pm on April 18, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

The big news last week from the Summit of the Americas was the Secret Service sex scandal, which had some in the Obama administration lamenting that no one paid much attention to Barack Obama’s efforts in Cartagena, Colombia to improve relations between the US and its allies.  Today, the White House might be hoping for a little more attention to the scandal.  After punting on an opportunity to defend the UK and the principle of self-determination over the Falkland Islands dispute with Argentina, Obama and his team got caught flat-footed by the nationalization of a Spanish oil company by Argentina’s government:

When Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner abruptly left the Summit of the Americas, it was reported that she did so over the lack of support for her country’s claim to the British-controlled Falkland Islands.

Yesterday, President Kirchner revealed another reason she returned to Buenos Aires: to announce the nationalization of the Argentine oil company, YPF, whose majority stakeholder is the Spanish energy firm, Repsol.  The move has infuriated Repsol and Spanish officials, and raised concerns that this may be the first of many expropriations of privately run companies inArgentina, putting the government on the path toward aHugo Chávez-type model of state control over key resources.

“Once you start expropriating you don’t know where it will stop,” says Boris Segura, an analyst at the New York investment bank Nomura.  “Mrs. Kirchner is now running close to Mr. Chávez’s model,” Segura says.

The EU is furious, although temporarily non-plussed:

Argentina’s move to seize the controlling share of the YPF oil company owned by Spain’s Repsol brought swift condemnation from the European Union on behalf of its aggrieved member state.

Senior officials, including José Manuel Barroso, the European Commission president, expressed deep disappointment and aides insisted that “all possible options” were being studied. The bloc’s foreign ministers will discuss the issue at a meeting on Monday.

But EU officials and trade analysts believe the bloc’s options may be limited, despite the growing clamour from the continent’s corporate sector and some politicians to defend one of its companies against a hostile foreign government.

World Trade Organisation rules do not cover investment disputes, closing off one possible avenue. Other possibilities, such as raising tariffs on Argentinian goods, could backfire, according to Fredrik Erixon, director of the European Centre for International Political Economy think-tank.

Well, thank goodness we had the American President on the ground at the Summit of the Americas.  That gave us an advantage over the EU, and prepared us for this move by Kirchner … right?  Er … not exactly, as Investors Business Daily reports:

After a weekend of cavorting in Colombia, the White House was caught flat-footed by Argentina’s takeover of a big oil company whose loss will hike gas prices, harm Spain and slam U.S. investors. Lucky us.

Never was a response to a global outrage more mealy-mouthed than the one from the U.S. after Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, standing under a portrait of Evita Peron, announced a brazen grab for YPF, the Argentine oil company that’s 57% owned by Spain’s Repsol.

Markets fell, world leaders denounced the violation of contracts and economically battered Spain rallied European Union support.

But the U.S.? “We are following developments on this issue. We are not currently aware of any WTO complaints related to this issue,” the State Department said.

Then, leading from behind after Spain vowed a “forceful” response, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tried to toughen up: “Having an open market is a preferable model. Models that include competition and market access have been the most successful around the world.”

Wow!  That’s telling the Argentines, Secretary Clinton.  Next up, we can discuss further how to hand over the Maldives, er, Malvinas.

The seizure came as China was about to bid on Repsol, which means they may want to get involved in the dispute, too:

Argentina’s move to nationalize local oil company YPF (YPFD.BA), controlled by Spain’s Repsol (REP.MC), has spoiled years of planning by China’s Sinopec Group to buy the South American company, sources said.

Bankers said China’s second-largest oil company had held talks with Repsol to buy its controlling 57-percent stake in YPF. Chinese website Caixin.com cited a source as saying Sinopec had reached a non-binding agreement to take over YPF for more than $15 billion.

But plans by Argentine President Cristina Fernandez to seize control of YPF, which have incensed Spain and sparked international criticism, have killed any hopes that state-owned China Petrochemical Corp (Sinopec) could seal a deal, they said.

That may not be entirely bad news for the US, but the eruption of nationalization in yet another South American oil-producing nation certainly is.  And so is the cluelessness that surrounds Obama and his foreign-policy team for their lack of response to the event.

Update: The Guardian reports that Repsol execs in Buenos Aires were also caught by surprise:

Even as president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner announced on TV her plan to nationalise Spanish-owned YPF, her emissaries were at the oilcompany’s 35-storey Buenos Aires headquarters giving its Spanish directors 15 minutes to leave the building.

The Falklands might be next:

Renationalisation is aligned in the minds of Fernández supporters with the renewed demand for sovereignty over the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic claimed by Argentina as “Las Malvinas”.

“The Malvinas are Argentine, so is YPF,” say posters around the country and a T-shirt that artists who support Fernández have started wearing on internet campaigns in favour of the takeover. “This ends five centuries of white Spanish domination,” said a supporter. Argentina was ruled by Spain until  its independence in 1816.

But the big question remains: are the Maldives Argentine?


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

I don’t understand how any form of “nationalization” would catch Obamuh by surprise – as if he was “shocked, shocked I tell you!”

It’s what he wants here. It’s a part of Utopia.

OhEssYouCowboys on April 18, 2012 at 12:14 PM

the cluelessness that surrounds Obama and his foreign-policy team for their lack of response to the event.

They were bust scouting out vacation spots for Michelle.

itsnotaboutme on April 18, 2012 at 12:15 PM

It’s called “theft”.

Good thing Barry stabbed the Brits in the back.

Mr. Bingley on April 18, 2012 at 12:16 PM

bust busy

itsnotaboutme on April 18, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Why would it catch Obama by surprise? Didn’t do basically the same thing to grabberment motors?

SWalker on April 18, 2012 at 12:17 PM

What do you expect from this bunch? They certainly aren’t going to forcefully denounce what Kirchner did. Considering that this sort of seizure of private resources by the government is pretty much every liberal’s wet dream, I would say that the “Having an open market is a preferable model. Models that include competition and market access have been the most successful around the world.” nearly made her faint.

preallocated on April 18, 2012 at 12:18 PM

What flat-footed. He’s asked then for advice on how to go about doing it.

clippermiami on April 18, 2012 at 12:18 PM

If it had been an American oil company that caused the Gulf oil spill two years ago instead of BP, Obama and his backers would have been calling for the same nationalization with ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco and Phillips 66/Conoco/Union 76. Of course he’s not going to make a big deal about what Kirchner did in Argentina — ideologically, he and the rest of his support staff would have loved to have done it here, if only the opening was available.

jon1979 on April 18, 2012 at 12:18 PM

But at least Michelle has a new vacation destination. Cmon – priorities people

LarryinLA on April 18, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Hillary is consulting the State Department Magic 8-Ball for further instruction.

Cicero43 on April 18, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Obama admin caught flat-footed by Argentina nationalization of Spanish oil company

I submit Teh SCOAMF is cheering it on as SWalker insinuated.

Steve Eggleston on April 18, 2012 at 12:19 PM

I don’t think this took them by surprise. They knew and just didn’t care.

txhsmom on April 18, 2012 at 12:19 PM

You can’t blame Hillary for being late to the table. She had a terrible hang over…

sandee on April 18, 2012 at 12:20 PM

I can’t believe 5 people beat me to the point.

Steve Eggleston on April 18, 2012 at 12:20 PM

So I guess Argentina’s production levels will follow the same trajectory as Venezuela’s. DOWN.

GarandFan on April 18, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Then, leading from behind after Spain vowed a “forceful” response, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tried to toughen up: “Having an open market is a preferable model. Models that include competition and market access have been the most successful around the world.”

Wow! That’s telling the Argentines, Secretary Clinton. Next up, we can discuss further how to hand over the Maldives, er, Malvinas.

Have another beer, Hillary.

Bitter Clinger on April 18, 2012 at 12:22 PM

no one paid much attention to Barack Obama’s efforts in Cartagena, Colombia to improve relations between the US and its allies.

.

errr…I thought we were done with that whole ‘allies’ thing.

BigWyo on April 18, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Maybe he could dust off that reset button that Clinton used with the Russians, worked so well the first time.

D-fusit on April 18, 2012 at 12:22 PM

But the U.S.? “We are following developments on this issue

King Obama is following the developments and taking notes on how to proceed with doing the same to U.S. oil companies.

JPeterman on April 18, 2012 at 12:22 PM

He’ll be calling Fernandez de Kirschner for pointers. No worries.

GeorgieGirl9 on April 18, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Maybe Obama guaranteeing billion dollar oil exploration loans to South American countries wasn’t the brightest idea out there. Can’t he find another fine American company like Solyndra instead.

LarryinLA on April 18, 2012 at 12:24 PM

They knew and approved of the robbery. Probably pretty envious.

forest on April 18, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Likely to cause another spike in gas prices, which means President Obumbler needs to fast track that investigation of speculators…

NotCoach on April 18, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Maybe he could dust off that reset button that Clinton used with the Russians, worked so well the first time.

D-fusit on April 18, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Can we reset the flux capacitor in the DeLorean to 2008 and wipe out the last 3 1/2 years?

Bitter Clinger on April 18, 2012 at 12:25 PM

From U.S. News:

“I am a head of state and not a hoodlum,” said Fernandez…

If you have to point that out, chances are you’ve already gone too far.

Dee2008 on April 18, 2012 at 12:25 PM

“Obama admin caught flat-footed by Argentina nationalization of Spanish oil company” – title of thread

Now that has to piss off the Spanish or anyone else who is doing oil drilling business with Argentina.

SC.Charlie on April 18, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Oh, they knew – the work was in keeping their gleefulness restrained…

Flashback to the detestable Maxine Waters:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niJAkR_6tKQ

Common Sense Floridian on April 18, 2012 at 12:26 PM

And those hookers in Cartagena weren’t really from Argentina, right?

Curtiss on April 18, 2012 at 12:27 PM

I’m sure this is the model Obama fully supports. Obama would love to nationalize every business in America and might be able to do exactly that if elected to another term.

We have a president that wipes his butt with the Constitution. He is cheerleading for Argentina, he is a lawless loose cannon. And I’m sure he admires their actions.

Axion on April 18, 2012 at 12:27 PM

It appears from the news stories I read that Argentina renationalized YPF by buy 51% of the shares – is this accurate?

If that is the case, what is the outrage? Yes, I think it is stupid for a gov’t to go into these kinds of businesses, as they are always ridiculously inefficient, etc. But, it’s not the same thing as if Argentina simply ceased the business. If it went out and purchased the shares on the market at market price – what is the issue?

I’m assuming that they did not purchase the shares at market price? That they forced the sale of those shares?

Monkeytoe on April 18, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Maybe he could dust off that reset button that Clinton used with the Russians, worked so well the first time.

D-fusit on April 18, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Sobrecarga botón.

I couldn’t find a translator for Argentinian so I used Spanish. For some strange reason just hard to find a translator for Austrian.

NotCoach on April 18, 2012 at 12:28 PM

This PATHETIC excuse for an administration makes ‘Cuda lQQk considerably smarter than any politician in the last 100 years to say the least!

Katfish on April 18, 2012 at 12:28 PM

You misconstrue the genius of Obama’s foreign policy. He was trading the Maldives for the Falklands, thus defusing the situation.

pat on April 18, 2012 at 12:29 PM

No thread on Argentina would be complete without someone posting a link to the official Cristina Kirchner Rap.

steebo77 on April 18, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Then, leading from behind after Spain vowed a “forceful” response, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tried to toughen up: “Having an open market is a preferable model. Models that include competition and market access have been the most successful around the world.”

Geez Shrillary – Ya might wanna let Maxine Waters in on that FACT!!

Katfish on April 18, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Where are Francisco D’Anconia and Ragnar Danneskold?

Ceroth on April 18, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Just wait until Obama decides to nationalize the American oil industry…in order to stop “speculators”, of course.

Worked for Chavez…and this Argentinian “puta” to whom he has already ceded the Maldives Malvinas Falkland Islands is clearly an inspiration.

coldwarrior on April 18, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Is she trying to head the Chinese off at the pass?

Keep their influence out of Argentina?

I never thought I’d be offering excuses for Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner…………Yike!!!

FOWG1 on April 18, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Only under a weak – extremely weak – “leader” such as Barack Hussein Obama would something like this happen right under his nose. Do you think that the Argentinian President worries about Barack’s response? Why should she? He’s way too busy leading us towards the light to worry about such little matters as the standing of the United States in the rest of the world.

natasha333 on April 18, 2012 at 12:31 PM

The move might be specifically triggered by the sale of Repsol to Chinese. So for all the ohs, and ahhs, this might be benefitial to US.

anikol on April 18, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Liars – they wish to do the same in the U.S.

Schadenfreude on April 18, 2012 at 12:32 PM

It’s time to let the Spanish and the Brits fend for themselves.

faraway on April 18, 2012 at 12:33 PM

The Obama administration will now assist Argentina in the take over (theft) of the automotive industries, student loan industry, and proper investment strategies in the energy sector. Viva la Revolution!

buckeyerich on April 18, 2012 at 12:33 PM

Obama and his team got caught flat-footed by the nationalization of a Spanish oil company by Argentina’s government…

If by “flat-footed” you mean slapping their foreheads and saying “why didn’t WE think of that!”.

Anglophobia explains part of 0bama’s official neutrality and de facto pro-Argentine position in the dispute over the “Maldives”.

0bama’s desire to help a fellow leftist and “anti-colonialist” explains the rest.

MidniteRambler on April 18, 2012 at 12:33 PM

That may not be entirely bad news for the US, but the eruption of nationalization in yet another South American oil-producing nation certainly is

There’s more to this, Ed. YPF is down almost 30% today, after trading being halted. Repsol, Spanish owned, is going to lose billions. Spain has a major bond auction tonight. If investors shy away from the auction, partly because of Spain losing the revenue of a major energy company, then Spains rates will explode, and will drive down European markets. If that happens, US markets may be in for a bumpy ride tomorrow. Keep an eye out.

Weight of Glory on April 18, 2012 at 12:33 PM

Am I the only one seriously questioning just what the hell was going down there? You’ve got the President utterly clueless about the Falklands, hinting at amnesty, and joking about scouting for vacation spots. You’ve got the SecState bar hopping and doing shots like some 20-year-old coed. You’ve got the 11 to 20 or more support team members(allegedly) with hookers and cocaine. And to top it all off there was utterly no support of the U.S. positions and an underlying contempt for America.

What was the point of even showing up? Maybe we will know more when SecStates Gone Wild comes out on DVD.

Happy Nomad on April 18, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Is Maxine Waters [the Creature From The Black Lagoon] anywhere near Argentina?

OhEssYouCowboys on April 18, 2012 at 12:35 PM

Weight of Glory on April 18, 2012 at 12:33 PM

Yeah, this could really snowball.

forest on April 18, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Obama admin caught flat-footed by Argentina nationalization of Spanish oil company

Was the Obama administration disappointed that Argentina did it first?

dirtseller on April 18, 2012 at 12:36 PM

“Having an open market is a preferable model.”

says our Secretary of State, Mrs. Clinton, a sure candidate for President in 2016. “Preferable” is such a ringing endorsement for capitalism over socialism or whatever the Argentine president is following. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner saw that the Chinese were about to buy control, and so she just decided to requisition it for free, to use for her socialist paradise in Argentina. The controlling owner, Repsol of Spain, is left out in the cold with nothing to show for its legal stake in the company. For Clinton and Obama, that is not the “preferable model.” Democrat leaders do not have a clue about free market economics, considering that this is the kind of nonsense that they spew. An open market is the only market that works, and that is what she should have said. If this country is to survive, we desperately need leaders who are economically literate. With our current leadership, we are on the road to disaster.

stefano1 on April 18, 2012 at 12:37 PM

partly because of Spain losing the revenue of a major energy company,

Is Repsol “Spanish owned” in the sense of being owned by the Spanish Gov’t? If not, who does “Spain” lose the revenue. I suppose they lose the taxes on the company. Was Repsol divested of all shares of YPF? If Spain itself owns Repsol, then how is Argentina owning YPF any different?

None of the stories I am reading are clear at all on what happened here. I ask up-thread about the stories that indicate that Argentina “bought” 51% of the shares of YPF. If they purchased the shares legitimately, what is the problem?

Monkeytoe on April 18, 2012 at 12:38 PM

This administration would have escorted those missles to Cuba. Not blockaded them.
The word is out to our “former” allies.

Jabberwock on April 18, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Obama is upset that he has not been able to do that here.

jeffn21 on April 18, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Dear God, I can’t take this s#!t anymore. Is there nothing impeachable about this disaster of a President?

Yakko77 on April 18, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Re. Obama foreign policy, the London Daily Telegraph editor Alex Singleton wrote some months ago:

The American people chose to elect an idiot who seems hell bent on insulting their allies, and something must be done to stop Obama’s reckless foreign policy, before he does the dirty on his allies on every issue.”

One of the most poorly kept secrets in Washington is President Obama’s animosity toward Great Britain , presumably because of what he regards as its sins while ruling Kenya (1895-1963).

One of Barack Hussein Obama’s first acts as president was to return to Britain a bust of Winston Churchill that had graced the Oval Office since 9/11. He followed this up by denying Prime Minister Gordon Brown, on his first state visit, the usual joint press conference with flags.

The president was “too tired” to grant the leader of America ‘s closest ally a proper welcome, his aides told British journalists.

Mr. Obama followed this up with cheesy gifts for Mr. Brown and the Queen. Columnist Ian Martin described his behavior as “rudeness personified.” There was more rudeness in store for Mr. Brown at the opening session of the United Nations in September. “The prime minister was forced to dash through the kitchens of the UN in New York to secure five minutes of face time with President Obama after five requests for a sit down meeting were rejected by the White House,” said London Telegraph columnist David Hughes. Mr. Obama’s “churlishness is unforgivable,” Mr. Hughes said.

The administration went beyond snubs and slights last week when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton endorsed the demand of Argentine President Cristina Kirchner, a Hugo Chavez ally, for mediation of Argentina ‘s specious claim to the Falkland Islands , a British dependency since 1833. The people who live in the Falklands, who speak English, want nothing to do with Argentina . When, in 1982, an earlier Argentine dictatorship tried to seize the Falklands by force, the British — with strong support from President Ronald Reagan — expelled them.

“It is truly shocking that Barack Obama has decided to disregard our shared history,” wrote Telegraph columnist Toby Young. “Does Britain ‘s friendship really mean so little to him?” One could ask, does the friendship of anyone in the entire world mean anything to him?

“I recently asked several senior administration officials, separately, to name a foreign leader with whom Barack Obama has forged a strong personal
relationship during his first year in office,” wrote Jackson Diehl, deputy editorial page editor of the Washington Post, on Monday. “A lot of hemming and hawing ensued.” One official named French President Nicolas Sarkozy, but his contempt for Mr. Obama is an open secret. Another named German Chancellor Angela Merkel. But, said Mr. Diehl, “Merkel too has been conspicuously cool toward Obama.”

Mr. Obama certainly doesn’t care about the Poles and Czechs, whom he has betrayed on missile defense. Honduras and Israel also can attest that he’s been an unreliable ally and an unfaithful friend. Ironically, our relations with both Israel and the Palestinian Authority have never been worse. Russia has offered nothing in exchange for Mr. Obama’s abandonment of missile defense. Russia and China won’t support serious sanctions on Iran . Syria ‘s support for terrorism has not diminished despite efforts to normalize diplomatic relations. The reclusive military dictatorship that runs Burma has responded to our efforts at “engagement” by deepening its ties to North Korea .

And the Chinese make little effort to disguise their contempt for him.

For the first time in a long time, the President of the United States is actually distrusted by its allies and not in the least feared by its adversaries. Nor is Mr. Obama now respected by the majority of Americans. Understandably focused on the dismal economy and Mr. Obama’s relentless efforts to nationalize and socialize health care, Americans apparently have yet to notice his dismal performance and lack of respect in the world community.

They soon will.

itsnotaboutme on April 18, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Then, leading from behind after Spain vowed a “forceful” response, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tried to toughen up: “Having an open market is a preferable model. Models that include competition and market access have been the most successful around the world.”

Except, of course with health Care……

Tenwheeler on April 18, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Obama admin World caught flat-footed by Argentina nationalization of Spanish oil company

plewis on April 18, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Am I the only one seriously questioning just what the hell was going down there? You’ve got the President utterly clueless about the Falklands, hinting at amnesty, and joking about scouting for vacation spots. You’ve got the SecState bar hopping and doing shots like some 20-year-old coed. You’ve got the 11 to 20 or more support team members(allegedly) with hookers and cocaine. And to top it all off there was utterly no support of the U.S. positions and an underlying contempt for America.

What was the point of even showing up? Maybe we will know more when SecStates Gone Wild comes out on DVD.

Happy Nomad on April 18, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Hope and Change Yes We Can for all to see…is it November yet?

GeorgieGirl9 on April 18, 2012 at 12:40 PM

None of the stories I am reading are clear at all on what happened here. I ask up-thread about the stories that indicate that Argentina “bought” 51% of the shares of YPF. If they purchased the shares legitimately, what is the problem?Monkeytoe on April 18, 2012 at 12:38 PM

From the reactions, I would venture to say that this was not a “win-win” negotiation

Jabberwock on April 18, 2012 at 12:41 PM

I love watching the known Communist Jose Barroso get his panties in a bunch over a South American country nationalizing a business. What a pathetic charlatan.

MadisonConservative on April 18, 2012 at 12:41 PM

The EU is furious, although temporarily non-plussed:

I don’t understand? Obama is the first Global President, the European’s love him. Because of Obama being elected president of the United States, the World loves us again/ They gave him a Peace Prize for goodness sakes, just because he’s not, you know a Cowboy LOL!

Dr Evil on April 18, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Anglophobia explains part of 0bama’s official neutrality and de facto pro-Argentine position in the dispute over the “Maldives”.

MidniteRambler on April 18, 2012 at 12:33 PM

With Obama I think it is more than Anglophobia. He has a deep-seated hatred for Britons. It dates back to his daddy’s issues with the British authorities when they governed Kenya.

Happy Nomad on April 18, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Models that include competition and market access have been the most successful around the world.”

Would that include health insurance too?

BacaDog on April 18, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Given the strength of Spain’s economy, especially its thriving and completely self-sufficient green energy sector, and Spain’s successful experiment with left-of-center government, I assume there is dancing in the streets of Madrid over this news.

No more “colonialism” of the oppressed Argentines, no more distasteful capitalism, and with wind turbines dotting the landscape the Spanish don’t need fossil fuels anyway.

MidniteRambler on April 18, 2012 at 12:42 PM

What does this have to do with the Maldives, again?

Red Cloud on April 18, 2012 at 12:42 PM

From the reactions, I would venture to say that this was not a “win-win” negotiation

Jabberwock on April 18, 2012 at 12:41 PM

I agree that seems to be what is indicated. But, no story I’ve found explains who Argentina went about “purchasing” the shares. If they are traded on open markets, like NYSE, and Argentina simply purchased them – then why the outrage?

If not, and some kind of gov’t force was used to require YPF to sell shares at a lower price to Argentina, then then why is nobody reporting that? It is all very odd.

Monkeytoe on April 18, 2012 at 12:44 PM

They knew and approved of the robbery. Probably pretty envious.

forest on April 18, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Be sure to go to forest’s link, y’all.

Thank you for the reminder, forest. Very thought-provoking.

itsnotaboutme on April 18, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Yeah, this could really snowball.

forest on April 18, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Indeed. The only thing that makes me think that Spain will be able to be sell its debt, is that the ECB will find some way to support the auction. It’s just been known for too long how critical this auction in Spain is, and I have a hard time believing that the ECB will let it fall flat on its own. But we’ll know in about 15 hrs.

Weight of Glory on April 18, 2012 at 12:44 PM

When Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner abruptly left the Summit of the Americas…..

Why can’t we get a hawt President like that?

Not that we need another dictator, but at least she’s a lot easier on the eyes than 0-Bozo.

UltimateBob on April 18, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Then, leading from behind after Spain vowed a “forceful” response, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tried to toughen up: “Having an open market is a preferable model. Models that include competition and market access have been the most successful around the world.”

Except, of course with health Care……

Tenwheeler on April 18, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Would that include health insurance too?

BacaDog on April 18, 2012 at 12:42 PM

My thoughts, too.

Bitter Clinger on April 18, 2012 at 12:45 PM

The optics at the Summit of the Americas: Obama’s Secret Service is cavorting with hookers, Hillary is out drinking and dancing and Obama is scoping out new vacation spots for Michelle. Under their noses, Argentina plans to nationalize a Spanish Oil Company and put the EU economy at risk plus take over the Falklands.

Romney’s campaign couldn’t ask for much more.

Curtiss on April 18, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Dear God, I can’t take this s#!t anymore. Is there nothing impeachable about this disaster of a President?

Yakko77 on April 18, 2012 at 12:39 PM

But God, if there is nothing impeachable could you see Your way clear to toss a lightning bolt, a plague, or something his way? Nothing too heavy, just your garden variety smiting.

Happy Nomad on April 18, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Why can’t we get a hawt President like that?

Not that we need another dictator, but at least she’s a lot easier on the eyes than 0-Bozo.

UltimateBob on April 18, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Sarah!!!!!!!!!

Bitter Clinger on April 18, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Well, as the Argentinian pointed out, YPF belonged to white Spaniards, and so needed to be liberated from their evil white clutches. How could Obama have a problem with that?

/sarc

RebeccaH on April 18, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Romney’s campaign couldn’t ask for much more.

Curtiss on April 18, 2012 at 12:45 PM

True but it still would have been better if clowns, mindreaders, and commemorative coins were involved!

Happy Nomad on April 18, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Would that include health insurance too?

BacaDog on April 18, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Nice catch.

Sidebar – Hillary Clinton looks like an unmade bed [with deference to a Suzanne Pleshette character in a Columbo episode].

OhEssYouCowboys on April 18, 2012 at 12:48 PM

“This ends five centuries of white Spanish domination,” said a supporter. Argentina was ruled by Spain until its independence in 1816.

It’s time to get the white Hispanics in Latin America too. Everything connected to caucasians is now raaacist all over the globe. It’s only justice to reappropriate their money. Obama must be secretly thrilled and inspired to redouble his efforts to end the “bitter clingers” domination in the USA.

Gladtobehere on April 18, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Obama sees this as a learning lesson on how he can nationalize companies in the US.

albill on April 18, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Cristina shows Barrack that you’ve gotta do better than just attack those evil oil speculators, you’ve go to ‘man up’ Obama!!!

Bob in VA on April 18, 2012 at 12:49 PM

If not, and some kind of gov’t force was used to require YPF to sell shares at a lower price to Argentina, then then why is nobody reporting that? It is all very odd.

Monkeytoe on April 18, 2012 at 12:44 PM

It’s being reported. President Kirchner “declared” the oil company a public utility, which automatically subjected it to 51% ownership by the government under Argentine law. From the article:

Reading a statement at the meeting, an official said YPF-Repsol “is declared a public utility and subject to expropriation of 51 percent of its assets.”

de rigueur on April 18, 2012 at 12:50 PM

I guess that Argentina has a Commerce Clause, too.

OhEssYouCowboys on April 18, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Well, as the Argentinian pointed out, YPF belonged to white Spaniards, and so needed to be liberated from their evil white clutches. How could Obama have a problem with that?

/sarc

RebeccaH on April 18, 2012 at 12:46 PM

The people with money and power in Argentina are all white European descendents. In fact, that is true of almost all of South America. People of native heritage are the poor underclass, while the European descendents rule. It’s just more so in Argentina than the other South American countries.

Which is why I always laugh that everyone pretends that “Hispanics” or “Latinos” are a race or ethnicity different than say, French or Italian. It’s not.

Monkeytoe on April 18, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Puts a whole new spin on his rose garden speech yesterday?

First the speculators, then the stock holders…get ready. There will be gas lines.

Remember when we were mocked for calling Obama Carter II?

Portia46 on April 18, 2012 at 12:54 PM

What was the point of even showing up? Maybe we will know more when SecStates Gone Wild comes out on DVD.

Happy Nomad on April 18, 2012 at 12:34 PM

I’d rather have my eyes gouged out than watch SecStates Gone Wild with Hillary going topless.

Gladtobehere on April 18, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Why can’t we get a hawt President like that?

Not that we need another dictator, but at least she’s a lot easier on the eyes than 0-Bozo.

UltimateBob on April 18, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Sarah!!!!!!!!!

Bitter Clinger on April 18, 2012 at 12:46 PM

There ya go. The Cuda is way hotter than this commie b!tch.

UltimateBob on April 18, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Flat-footed? Nah. He’s just jealous the Argentinians got there first.

totherightofthem on April 18, 2012 at 12:56 PM

I bet Obama would “drill baby drill” if our government owned
the oil companies in the US.

Amjean on April 18, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Maxine Waters just had a orgasm.

Look for her exploration trip to Argentina.

plutorocks on April 18, 2012 at 12:57 PM

I ask up-thread about the stories that indicate that Argentina “bought” 51% of the shares of YPF. If they purchased the shares legitimately, what is the problem?

Monkeytoe on April 18, 2012 at 12:38 PM

My understanding is that the Argentine government did not buy the shares by, say, making an offer and having shareholders voluntarily sell their stock to the government.

Rather, they have already forced the acquisition of stock the government, with the amount of payment to be decided later, by the government. The parent company has demanded $10.5 billion in payment for the YPF stock that the government has nationalized, but the government has rejected the demand. The government will presumably pay something, but not an amount voluntarily agreed upon by both sides of the deal.

J.S.K. on April 18, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Obama administration caught with its pants down,
although the usurper must be secretly admiring the cajones of the Christina and plotting his own moves should he be lucky enough to steal another term.

Here doggy, doggy, doggy…ground Hound = good, ABC

ConcealedKerry on April 18, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Is Repsol “Spanish owned” in the sense of being owned by the Spanish Gov’t? If not, who does “Spain” lose the revenue.

Monkeytoe on April 18, 2012 at 12:38 PM

No. From what I understand, it has to do with those Spanish banks who had large investments in a company that no longer exists. Repsol demanded 10.5 billion from Argentina for the loss of the company, and of course Agentina said “get bent”. Now, where this gets dicy is that many banks in Spain are already leveraged out the wazoo, and depends on every available bit of capital to support the enormous amount of “assets” they back. Now, all of a sudden, those banks have a huge capital short fall. Here’s Zerohedge with an assesment of the implications:

However, where discovery is ample is at the second degree, namely Spanish Repsol-YPF which is a majority owner of YPF, whose CDS continue soaring, and hit a whopping 391 earlier today, well over 100 bps compared to the Friday closing spread. For a massive energy production company this is a big move and we can only hope its Spanish bank shareholders are well insulated from mark to market losses, although somehow we doubt it.

Finally, Zerohedge completes the thought with a later post on how the Spanish banks are worse off than we had previously known:

…now we get the Bank of Spain, also taking advantage of today’s market rally to dump its own set of bad news, namely that Spanish banks will need to provision another €29.1 billion, and will have higher core capital requirements of €15.6 billion (this is fresh capital). 90 banks have already complied with the capital plan, 45 have yet to find the needed cash. Putting this into perspective, the amount already written-down is €9.2 billion. So, just a little more. And this assumes there are no capital shortfalls associated with any impairment from the YPF -> Repsol follow through, which as Zero Hedge already showed, would leave various Spanish banks exposed.

Weight of Glory on April 18, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Doesn’t the American taxpayer own Solyndra? Obama just nationalizes and bankrupts companies! here doggy, doggy, doggy, Snap!

ConcealedKerry on April 18, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Apparently no one in the White House reads The Economist. Here’s an article from March 31st:

http://www.economist.com/node/21551507

Key bit: “It is not clear whether the president’s aim is renationalisation: she would find it hard to raise the funds, although her threats have depressed YPF’s share price by 14% this year.”

So nationalisation was publicly reported to be a possibility more than two weeks ago.

grahampowell on April 18, 2012 at 1:00 PM

…lamenting that no one paid much attention to Barack Obama’s efforts in Cartagena, Colombia to improve relations between the US and its allies.

Why should we? He sat on the trade agreement with Columbia (negotiated, but not ratified under Bush) for three years, at the behest of his union paymasters. He is a petty, whiny martinet; he brings to mind the lyrics from National Lampoon’s “Deteriorata”:

…whether you can see it or not
The Universe
Is laughing behind your back.

ss396 on April 18, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Where are Francisco D’Anconia and Ragnar Danneskold?

Ceroth on April 18, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Holy Crow! This is EXACTLY where I went. Dagney Taggert would never have let this happen.

walnut on April 18, 2012 at 1:02 PM

I knew there was some reason barky threw the Secret Service and thier Secret operations under the bus. To cover up his abysmal failures.

keep makin enemies there barky…

ConcealedKerry on April 18, 2012 at 1:03 PM

So? They appropriated the massive profits of a greedy oil company and distributed them to the people. How could Democrats get angry about this? They’ve been pushing for it in the U.S. for years.

29Victor on April 18, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Obama has to be the absolute WORST President on energy matters. He has closed the Gulf of Mexico to drilling, but gave Brazil $2 billion to drill in the Atlantic.

Now, the day before Argentina nationalizes its oil company (basically stealing the stake of the Spanish investors), Obama figures he will sweeten Argentina’s pot with the Falklands Maldives Malvinas.

But don’t you dare build a pipeline from Canada. What will happen to all the poor little fishies in Nebraska?

Steve Z on April 18, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Spain should respond by nationalizing Argentina’s international superstar, Lionel Messi.

Christien on April 18, 2012 at 1:07 PM

That may not be entirely bad news for the US, but the eruption of nationalization in yet another South American oil-producing nation certainly is. And so is the cluelessness that surrounds Obama and his foreign-policy team for their lack of response to the event.

Isn’t our monetary policy also a form of nationalization? Only instead of nationalizing a corporation, they are nationalizing our money. Inflation is essentially a tax on the lower economic strata who can’t afford to invest a large percentage of their income. When the ruling class adds trillions of dollars to the money pool it is a redistribution of wealth from average Americans that spend most of their income in cash, to the ruling class. People’s cash may not be a corporation but it is still supposed to be their property, once upon a time.

What people don’t seem to understand is that inflation is a hidden tax. While the Republicans and Democrats argue about ridiculous budget proposals that don’t even balance for over 30 years, and promise they won’t dare raise taxes, in fact they ARE raising taxes through their monetary policy that both parties share. When the two parties raised the credit limit on the national credit card with the debt ceiling vote, that was a tax on the future, and when they print money, that is a tax in the present.

All the nonsense about the budgets and taxes are a sham, a dog an pony show for the masses, while they secretly raise taxes without the political liability of a “tax hike” bill or betraying promises not to “raise taxes”.

How this relates to the story is that nationalization of a company is bad, but when crony capitalists nationalize The Peoples cash to bail themselves and their cronies out, that is also wrong.

FloatingRock on April 18, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Comment pages: 1 2