By RICARDO CASTILLO
What came first, the recession or investment?
On Monday, Nov. 25, the government-sponsored but independent National Geography and Statistics Institute (INEGI) announced that the gross domestic product was negative for a third quarter in a row, hence, in orthodox economics terminology, Mexico was in “technical recession.”
But come next day, Tuesday, Nov. 26, and with great pomp and circumstance and with the crème de la crème of the Mexican business community at hand, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) announced the nearly $43 billion National Infrastructure Plan that will cover 1,700 different projects in which private investors will be fronting the brunt of the cash at hand.
Business Coordinating Council president Carlos Salazar outlined the project, which will cover works on roads, telecom, transportation, energy, tourism, airports, bridges, water resources, environmental cleanups and railroads.
The one reason why the GDP has been stagnant and even dropped by 2 points during 2019 is because investors mistrusted the government.
But, led by the hand of tycoon Carlos Slim. they are apparently back in the fold and supporting AMLO’s administration, even if he is “a populist.”
Great job by AMLO’s Chief of Staff and business advisor Alfonso Romo, who managed to lure the hesitant “conservatives” to AMLO’s side.
But, what is a recession?
Soon after INEGI had made the technical recession announcement, a war of words broke out among analysts, with many a business leader trying to plug another hole in AMLO’s economic policy leaking hose.
For instance, the president of the Mexican Bank Association, Luis Niño de Rivera, said the
economy is crossing through a state of “deceleration, not recession.”
“We can talk about economic stagnation,” he said. “But in order to have a general contraction (recession) there has to be a long period of time.”
The good news, Niño de Rivera added, is that the banking system “has the tools to revert
Mexico Treasury (Hacienda) Secretary Arturo Herrera, on the other hand, said that “what we have to understand is that the economy is growing at lower levels than is desirable, and the one thing to do in this case is invest,” which is just what AMLO is trying to do.
Just a matter of word meanings? Oh, oh!
AMLO in the Polls
Last week, we warned that two pollsters, namely newspaper El Universal and Mitofsky,
dropped overnight AMLO’s popularity by an 11-percent plunge from 71 to around 60 percent.
A new poll carried out by pollsters Social Research Solutions, Opinión Pública and Marketing e Imagen claim that, in their weekly polling called “Amlovemeter” (either you love him or you hate him), the popularity of the president remains steady at 71.2 percent a few days before he celebrates his first year in office.
I have repeatedly claimed that Mexican pollsters get paid by private parties to carry opinion gauging and more often than not, their results rolls in the direction of the player that foots the bill.
The Return of the Anarcas
Around 4,000 women paraded in protest on Monday, Nov. 25, during the International
Day to Eliminate Violence against Women.
Their motivation is the well warranted indignation over the increase lethal machismo in Mexico, and a heinous but sizeable growth of female assassinations.
So far so good, and most of the women who participated showed their faces and proudly marched.
There was a group of about 100 with masked and covered faces, however, who opted for vandalism and rampaged tagging the Paseo de la Reforma and Avenida Juárez memorable monuments.
They peaked their attempts when they partially tagged the Juárez Memorial on Alameda Park and tried to go inside the gorgeous pink Carrara marble walls of the Palace of Fine Arts.
Their move was foreseen by police authorities, who prevented their entry into the
The so-called Las Anarcas, and offshoot of similar male group Los Anarcos, or the anarchists, always show at protest demonstrations to disrupt and wreak havoc.
After tagging dozens of stores and doing some lootings (most stores close down during these demonstrations), the women moved on to the Zócalo, where they built fires and protested against criminal machismo.
In the excitement of their manifestation, a group of them stripped their T-shirts off and showed their bare breasts. But surprise, their breasts had had been ornamented with eyes on the nipples and long eye lashes on the upper part, looking like women’s eye. Male photographers had a heyday.
The declaration of the women – they don’t like men among them — was that they are confronting “an indolent, patriarchal and macho society for which our bodies matter not.”
Sports: JC Chavez vs Arce Benefit
On Friday, Nov. 22, at the old Tijuana Auditorium former world champions Julio César Chávez and “Travieso” (The Menace) Arce fought a benefit performance for now-maimed boxer Christian Castillo. who suffered a brain injury after a fight last July.
Castillo is now on rehab to regain movement of his right leg.
The two oldies wore full head protection masks and fought only three rounds, but there is no question that the ring is where they are at home.
They threw punches galore, and in the last and third rounds they did not stop after the bell rang.
The referee tried to pull them apart, but both landed punches on the third man on the ring, whose knees wobbled for second, but he recouped and ordered them to finish fighting.
They obeyed. The ref called it a draw to the acceptance of both, who surprisingly, still looked in shape and were happily smiling at the end of the bout.
Five thousand fans paid tickets for the match, and enjoyed watching these greats of yesteryear.