This small town in southern Argentina is nearly a century old, but the unconventional fossil fuel boom is forcing it to basically start over, from scratch. The wave of outsiders drawn by the shale fuel fever has pushed the town to its limits, while the plan to turn it into a “sustainable city of the future” is still only on paper.
Unconventional oil and gas reserves in Vaca Muerta in southwest Argentina hold out the promise of energy self-sufficiency and development for the country. But the fracking technique used to extract this treasure from underground rocks could be used at a huge cost.
“We could be the last Latin American and Caribbean generation living together with hunger.”
Production here has skyrocketed so fast that for now the installations of the YPF oil company at the Loma Campana deposit in southwest Argentina are a jumble of interconnected shipping containers.
The steady increase in patent applications and grants that is taking place in developed and some developing countries (notably in China) is sometimes hailed as evidence of the strength of global innovation and of the role of the patent system in encouraging it.
Argentina has now taken the U.S. to The Hague for blocking the country’s 2005 settlement with the bulk of its creditors. The issue underscores the need for an international mechanism for nations to go bankrupt.
Immortalised by a famous tango, the “Niebla del riachuelo” (Mist over the Riachuelo river) has begun to dissipate over Argentina’s most polluted river, much of which is lined by factories and slums. But two centuries of neglect and a complex web of political and economic interests are hindering a clean-up plan that requires a broad, concerted effort.
The recovery of “grandchild number 114” – one of the sons and daughters of those who were “disappeared” during the Argentine dictatorship – caused a commotion that many compared to the excitement of making it to the final match of the World Cup a month ago.
Argentina’s supposed “default”, an unprecedented case in the history of world capitalism, sets a legal, political and financial precedent that indicates the need for concrete measures regarding the fine line between legal, ethical business activities and criminal usury.
While this week's BRICS summit might have been off the radar of Western powers, the leaders of its five member countries launched a financial system to rival Bretton Woods institutions and held an unprecedented meeting with the governments of South America.
As Argentina starts to mend fences with the international financial markets, the emerging powers that make up the BRICS bloc invited it to their next summit. This could be a step towards this country’s reinsertion in the global map, after its ostracism from the credit markets since the late 2001 debt default.
Argentina finds itself in a strange position since the U.S. Supreme Court rejected its appeal Monday to take a case in which a small group of creditors is suing this country for full repayment: it is on the brink of default even though it is one of the countries in the world that has done the most to dig itself out of debt.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to reject an appeal by the Argentine government will embolden aggressive “holdout” creditors, anti-poverty groups say, and make it far more difficult to arrive at debt-relief agreements for poor countries.
In the past 15 years, China has gone from being a relatively insignificant economic partner in Latin America to the number-one trading partner of some of the largest economies in the region.
The advertising department of Swiss agribusiness giant Syngenta was on a roll in early 2004 when it published a map that dubbed a large area of Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay the “United Republic of Soy”.