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Saving the banks Americans can’t

26 November 2008

Talk about your “man bites dog” story!

WIth the Bushistas prepared to bombard Citibank with cash (20 Billion — that’s a thousand million to everyone outside the U.S. — greenbacks), mostly to cover the losses from bad loans, mismanagement and over-buying… there is ONE profitable citibank property…


banamexAccording to a story in Tuesday’s El Universal (my translation):

In 2007, Banamex contributed near 19 billion (thousand-million) Pesos to Citigroup.

In the second trimester of this year, the Mexican bank’s assets were listed at 7,490 million pesos, and in September had mounted to 8,490 million.

Bank spokesmen described Banamex as the “jewel in the crown” of Citibank.

Despite rumors to the contrary (including an odd one that Carlos Slim — whose fortune rests on consumer sales, not banking) would buy Banamex, Citibank can’t sell off Banamex. To pay back the bailout, the U.S. government (and Citibank) is depending on remittances from Mexico.

Upside-down world strikes again!

According to the keepers of Quechua tradition, namely the Q’eros people who live in remote villages high up in the mountains in the Cuzco region of Peru, the world was turned upside down by the arrival of Pizarro&Co in the 16th Century. As a quick sidebar, I’m told translations from Quechua can always be disputed for idiomatic precision, but the message is the thing to understand. With that said, in the words of the Q’eros, pachakuti is the time that, “What became right became wrong; the logical became illogical, and the unreasonable became reasonable.” The word pachakuti is also correctly translated as “the great return”. So if you can grasp the concept of translating a single word as “upside down world” and “the great return” at the same time, and then look back at that little Q’eros description and note why the word was coined in the first place, you can begin to see where it’s coming from.

Legend states that Pachakuti would continue until this era; spookily, Pachakuti is supposed to have begun its reversion to the norm began in our year 1987 and the process will finish in 2012, at which time the world will be put back to normal. For those of you with a bit of Mayan pop culture, that people (unconnected with the Inca) also predicted their own “end of time” for December 21st to 23rd, 2012 using a very complicated and sophisticated calendar system, which is often erroneously interpreted by us heathens as the Mayans predicting the end of the world, doomsday and all that baggage.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 26 November 2008 6:38 pm

    The second question I always get asked by students spending significant time in Mexico is usually “are there safe banks?” I love that question.

    This post makes me think of Tim Golden’s reporting on Citi Bank and the Salinas gang in the mid 90s. Great stuff.

  2. 26 November 2008 8:34 pm

    excellent example of Pachakuti, RG

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