Peak Stupidity: Argentina Fines Walmart For Violating "Fair Price" Pact, Urges Citizens To Denounce "Evil" Retailers

Tyler Durden's picture


We take certain liberties with this title: we realize that since one is dealing with human individuals, particularly human individuals stuck in an insolvent, soon to re-default nation, stupidity can never peak per se, as the next day will without doubt bring some peak-er instance of even more profound idiocy. However, at this particular moment, this may be it.

What happened is that on Friday, Argentina fined supermarket chains including Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, and Carrefour for "failing to maintain adequate stocks of price-controlled goods." This happened after the country shocked everyone in late January by devaluing the peso by 18 percent, effectively wiping out the purchasing power of its population by the same amount and forcing a mad scramble by the population into retail outlets, such as Wal-Mart, where the people were desperate to convert their increasingly more worthless pieces of paper for tangible goods resulting in a "run on the Wal-Mart" and depleting store shelves of virtually all goods, price-controlled or otherwise.

Also, in a press conference on Friday, trade secretary Augusto Costa said that the government has opened 141 investigations from consumer complaints on pricing and shortage issues that would violate "fair price" agreement signed with state since Jan. 27.

In other words, it is not the government's fault that it has unleashed soaring inflation courtesy of yet another major currency devaluation, and in addition, quietly admitting several days later that it had been lying all along about its soaring rate of inflation over the past decade in order to keep the popular mood jovial (even though said population had every clue just what the true inflation rate of goods and services in Argentina was... the same as in the US).

No: it was Wal-Mart's grave error for not stockpiling enough key products which the population would scramble to procure upon this (and all future) instance of currency devaluation.

And so it must be punished. From Bloomberg:

Carrefour will be fined 1.3 million pesos ($166,462) and Wal-Mart was ordered to pay 604,000 pesos for violations detected through complaints by consumers, Trade Secretary Augusto Costa said at a news conference today in Buenos Aires. The other companies were Chilean retailer Cencosud SA’s local unit, Vea, Spanish supermarket chain Dia SA and local companies Coto and Chango Mas.


The goal isn’t to hand out fines, it’s to comply with the price agreement on 194 basic goods,” Costa said. “But if there are violations we’ll continue to implement the law.”

Actually, the goal is to hand out fines, considering the "law" is about the dumbest thing one could conceive. And remember: price controls in insolvent socialist paradises always work (at this point Venezuela now, and soon France, and the US are free to chime in):

The Argentine government has moved to control price increases after President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner let the peso tumble the most since 2002 in January to stem a fall in international reserves and make the South American nation’s exports more competitive. Consumer prices rose 3.7 percent in January from a month earlier, the government said in its first measure of a national inflation index. That would be the highest monthly figure in more than a decade, based on the Greater Buenos Aires index, which was the previous gauge.

You mean to say that when inflation is "suddenly" revealed to be borderline flirting with the "hyper-" prefix, that people will rush to empty out one and all retailers of whatever goods are in inventory? Unpossible.

But while all of the above in itself is certainly grounds for today's instance of "peak stupidity", what really takes the cake is the following:

Fernandez has called on Argentines to use consumer hotlines to denounce retailers that charge excessive prices or fail to properly stock shelves.

At this point it is unclear who is spinning faster in their grave: Lenin, Goebbels or Joe McCarthy.

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Sun, 02/16/2014 - 21:31 | 4443543 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

things are getting really Messi

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 21:32 | 4443553 fonestar
fonestar's picture

Argentina should move to Bitcoin, rename their country Bitentina.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 21:37 | 4443568 BandGap
BandGap's picture

I gave you an up arrow and renamed you stonefart.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 21:40 | 4443583 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

And here I've been thinking his real name is afronets or nosefart.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 21:41 | 4443586 fonestar
fonestar's picture

Go away Rand.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 21:44 | 4443601 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Oh, touchy tonight.  Upset with the collapse in Bitcoin prices lately right after you told us it's going to the moon?  Or just upset because I know you are a ChinaBot?  So many questions, so few answers from you.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 21:47 | 4443609 fonestar
fonestar's picture

When did fonestar ever say Bitcoin was going straight to the moon? 

fonestar likes the spikey-crashy thing, it scares the pussies out.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 21:48 | 4443617 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

The moon is exactly where Obitcoin belongs...

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 21:54 | 4443619 dryam
dryam's picture

Have you ever rolled a coin in one of the cyclinder things at museums and such?  The coin gets moving very quickly as it gets close to the center just prior to it falling through the bottom.


Edit:  my comment is regarding Argentina, not shitcoin.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 22:06 | 4443677 max2205
max2205's picture

They have better looking customers than US Walmarts

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 22:13 | 4443704 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Ha ha.  But, that's a pretty low bar to jump over...

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 22:23 | 4443745 economics9698
economics9698's picture

That 93 IQ thing gets old after awhile.

Mon, 02/17/2014 - 01:07 | 4444220 Theosebes Goodfellow
Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

~"That 93 IQ thing gets old after awhile."~


What Ron White said applies to Fernandez de Kirchner as well, to wit:

You can't fix stupid.


Mon, 02/17/2014 - 01:53 | 4444274 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Fernandez has called on Argentines to use consumer hotlines to denounce retailers that charge excessive prices or fail to properly stock shelves.

Unfortunately, there's probably a large contingent of Idjuts that think doing so is gonna be in their interests...

Mon, 02/17/2014 - 02:16 | 4444296 philipat
philipat's picture

Show us your Tits, Madame President??

Mon, 02/17/2014 - 04:40 | 4444442 The Vineyard
The Vineyard's picture

I also believe in punishing evil retailers.  Bitches.

Mon, 02/17/2014 - 14:36 | 4445257 Transformer
Transformer's picture

This is right out of Atlas Shrugged.


Sun, 02/16/2014 - 22:24 | 4443751 ACP
ACP's picture

Literally, since half the customers are 4 1/2 foot tall illegals.

Mon, 02/17/2014 - 00:32 | 4444151 tickhound
tickhound's picture

Yeah cuz my shit sandwich tastes better than yours and you look funny...

Now if we can set policy to this and call the above our mission statement. Lol

Ya just gotta love this new Tyler too..

"We take certain liberties with this title: we realize that since one is dealing with human individuals, particularly human individuals stuck in an insolvent, soon to re-default nation, stupidity can never peak per se, as the next day will without doubt bring some peak-er instance of even more profound idiocy. However, at this particular moment, this may be it."

Case and point.

AS IF, WE aren't insolvent, haven't "defaulted" (per se ed norton LOL), our policy isn't pure IDIOCY, dollar hegemony isn't the creator of SYMPTOMS...

I mean for GAWDS sake are we to SUPPORT our BENEVOLENT retailors??? Ed? Remember those entities that pimp market and advertise for us to buy the most amount of shit with the most amount of credit in the shortest amount of time?

Fucking ed norton... All over again the apologist for excessive consumption.

Well done.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 21:50 | 4443624 fonestar
fonestar's picture

Well if you mean the Bitcoiners should populate other planets leaving the dullards behind on a smog infested planet, then yes.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 21:52 | 4443634 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

There's a lot of smog in China.  Not so much in Canada where you say you live.   Funny you would mention smog.  

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 21:54 | 4443643 fonestar
fonestar's picture

In fonestar's area it's called wood smoke.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 21:58 | 4443645 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Lame attempt to recover.  Yeah, everyone knows Canadians are constantly bitching about wood smoke smog.   And that the Chinese are not having to stay indoors because smog is a major daily problem that may cause a Chinese citizen to mention smog as the number one problem on the planet.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 22:56 | 4443867 Lore
Lore's picture

Please don't pin fonestar on Canada. We have our fair share of lib-tard left-coast fuckheads, but nobody's that lame, even among the basement dwellers.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 21:59 | 4443659 nmewn
nmewn's picture

No, its virtual wood smoke.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 22:51 | 4443851 graneros
graneros's picture

Good ole Bitsmoke.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 23:32 | 4443997 ThroxxOfVron
ThroxxOfVron's picture

"Throw it on the fire"

Mon, 02/17/2014 - 00:07 | 4444098 fonestar
fonestar's picture

That's a great idea actually, fonestar needs something to sell at his new site fonestar.bit .... maybe Hickory flavoured Bitcoins?

Mon, 02/17/2014 - 08:31 | 4444590 JustUsChickensHere
JustUsChickensHere's picture

Not much to see on your fonestar.bit web site - it just says it is 'parked' at   ... has some domain squatter grabbed your domain ;-)

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 21:56 | 4443641 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

Now for anything above the ionosphere you're clearly talking Orbitcoin...

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 22:19 | 4443720 logicalman
logicalman's picture

OK idea, but how would they pay for it?


Sun, 02/16/2014 - 22:22 | 4443733 hmmtellmemore
hmmtellmemore's picture

@fonestar So, I take it that moronic 1-track stackers (who probably can't afford to stack 2 silver dimes) are singling you out as a bitcoin supporter?  I hope they count me in that group as well.  This June/July will make a lot of them cry a little bit when the btc prices top out again.

Mon, 02/17/2014 - 00:10 | 4444103 fonestar
fonestar's picture

Yes.... the next big rally should take us into $3000+ area (followed by another 50% drop). 

The spikey-crashey thing is the fountain of virtual life.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 22:27 | 4443758 Meat Hammer
Meat Hammer's picture

Don't feed the fonestar.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 22:43 | 4443820 fonestar
fonestar's picture

feed the fonestar.  He needs junk for his statue of Satoshi.

Mon, 02/17/2014 - 14:01 | 4445155 RaceToTheBottom
RaceToTheBottom's picture

The NSA has already built a statue of Satoshi

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 21:59 | 4443661 satoshi411
satoshi411's picture

India Bot fights China Bot, ... precious.

Dialectical materialism all bought and paid for by Goldman-Sach's for our entertainment.


Well BTC is going to where it belongs ( near zero ), but given the that exchanges control price, and there is no exit ( can't get your money back ), I expected this thing to deflate as such, ... slow death.

No foney, many times you told us that BTC would go to a million just like all the other BTC Ho's.

I still ask, but never get an answer "How many million BTC's does Ron Paul have to date?", Did he get 'out', or is he too sitting and watching a falling knife?


Sun, 02/16/2014 - 22:46 | 4443831 Calmyourself
Calmyourself's picture

For those of us with a history Rand you're the bot with ever changing positions.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 21:48 | 4443615 pods
pods's picture

Well LTER at least brings an argument. You bring neither humor nor argument.


Mon, 02/17/2014 - 14:16 | 4445190 silverserfer
silverserfer's picture

fonestar- shit you bring back from a weekend in vegas. Awe shit I got a fonestar in my d!@k!

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 21:52 | 4443637 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

how long before the businesses just bail out and leave?

most businesses, government and amazon aside, are FOR profit

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 23:42 | 4444031 Fish Gone Bad
Fish Gone Bad's picture

how long before the businesses just bail out and leave?

That is a good question.  Since Argentina has blown up a few times before, and retailers came back, my guess is they shutter the box stores and just wait for things to run their course.  Since Argentina is really in a bind, I would think Walmart would play hardball.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 23:25 | 4443967 ThroxxOfVron
ThroxxOfVron's picture

"Go away Rand."

No.  I wanna keep him around for the laughs.

He's really deeply conflicted and watching him self-destruct or come slouching to Jesus is going to be glorious to behold...

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 21:47 | 4443607 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Anyone going to Argentina please consider taking down an oz or two of gold and report back to us how much you get for it.



Bitcoin is gaining popularity rapidissimo in Argentina.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 21:49 | 4443620 pods
pods's picture

Talk about a capital crime!  Argentina will allow nothing to get in the way of the fairytale.



Sun, 02/16/2014 - 22:04 | 4443673 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

And it looks like BTC is catching on in Colombia too:

Mon, 02/17/2014 - 01:39 | 4444265 Urban Roman
Urban Roman's picture

How's it doing in Peru?

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 21:53 | 4443639 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

gold? i'm showing up with a bottle of booze (Johnnie Walker?) and a carton of Marlboro Reds and a PARTY!

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 22:11 | 4443694 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

A few years ago we were in Argentina on a visit.  Two of us had a great steak and split a bottle of a very nice Cab/Malbec wine for about $20.  Might even be cheaper now.


The reason I am curious about demand gold down there is wondering if you might be able to pay for the trip with a little "physical arbitrage", something that rich Argentines might be interested in...

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 23:00 | 4443897 Lore
Lore's picture

Don't be in a hurry. The longer you wait, the further your forex will stretch.  Let the stupid collectivists squirm for a while.

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