To those with a sharp memory, the summer of 2014 so far has had some all too familiar headlines. From the Israeli – Palestinian conflict in the Middle East, the death of over 290 innocent commercial airline passengers, disease outbreak in West Africa and now the re-defaulting Argentinians.
The common cliché would remind us that history repeats itself. However, the saying is often used in a greater sense with reoccurrence decades maybe even hundreds of years later.
This summer we have seen Anderson Cooper report on Gaza and the Israeli – Palestinian conflict for now the fourth time after seeing this issue arise again and again in 2006, 2009, and 2012. We have seen Malaysian airline flight MH17 get shot down over a warzone in eastern Ukraine resulting in the tragic death of over 290 innocent lives. However, even this, is not something new. In 1983, some may remember Korean Air flight HL7442, shot down by a Soviet Su-15 fighter jet resulting in the loss of 269 innocent lives or in 1988, 5 years later, when Iranian Air flight EP-IBU was shot down by a US Navy guided missile resulting in the loss of all 290 people on board as well. Most recently, the media has caught up on a growing Ebola outbreak in West Africa that has been surviving and brewing since 1976 that has claimed the lives of thousands. This all sounds disturbingly familiar.
Lastly, what has been flying under the radar for most are the Argentinian debt talks….again. July 29th was the first time in many years the country has agreed and not denied face-to-face talks with bondholders in Manhattan, New York. After hours of negotiation yesterday, both parties still have not reached any resolution, a day before Argentina faces an almost inevitable default. After being shunned from global credit markets since its default in 2002 on $100 billion, Argentina still has not learned from its mistakes. In a country that is already in a recession many suspect that it will not hurt any markets other than its own. Yesterday’s meeting was the first of in more than three weeks that Economic Minister Axel Kicillof decided to show up to negotiate which obviously questions Argentina’s commitment to even reach an agreement. Besides continuously declining invitations to negotiate, Argentinian economic officials have criticized US bondholders and investors as “vultures” tearing at the scraps of its distressed debt and possible default. Amongst the negotiating now lies a myriad of legal clauses such as RUFO, rights upon future offers, that US court judge Griesa has been asked to stay, which would’ve incentivized the terms for bondholders already offered the debt restructure. Speculators say that not extending Argentinian debt would have a greater impact than many foresee, especially for many of its South American neighbors. However in the coming 48 hours it will be interesting to see what is decided and how everything is resolved. It seems to many that beyond this reoccurring Argentinian default, is not only a mismanagement of capital and poor leadership but also an ego that has brought Argentina into these situations in its financial history over and over again. Possibly due to a fear of foreign influence and dependency, the South Americas have always regarded foreign entities as bullies or in this case “vultures.” Nonetheless it will be interesting to see how things pan out for both sides.
How much longer will some of these issues continue to cycle? Will some type of bulletproof agreement or resolution ever finally bring peace Gaza even though many ask if anything ever will? Will Boeing and other commercial airline manufacturers finally decide to designed precautionary anti-ballistic measures to avoid airlines from being shot down? You would think that by now like many others, a disease that’s been actively around since 1976 whose source and cause is known would have been eradicated. How much longer will Argentina continue to default instead of being able to responsibly manage their financing?
2014 so far, for many people has been more of the same, but with many of these issues still in the air as of today, one can only hope that many of these issues finally can be resolved or prevented.