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Expat Files – 08.05.16

#1- Spotting Latin American “Gringo wanabees”:
Seems as if every Latin American with a little dough eventually jumps on his own Latin version of the 1st world treadmill. The upper 5% are not looking to have more leisure time or even a calmer lifestyle. Just the opposite. Their quest is all about appearing to be more 1st world hip and affulent than their Latin friends and neighbors. The question is, who cares? While we Gringos and Expats snicker, it’s a serious business to them and other Latins playing the same dumb game.

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Expat Files – 12.27.15

-More stories of failed charitable freebee attempts by first-world “do gooders” to save the poor…

-How “do gooders” team up with corporate monsters like Mcdonalds to use so-called acts of charity. The secondary effect is simply to program poor kids into becoming future “Happy Meals” consumers.

-More unique traditions that show up during Latin holiday season (most of these totally unknown by first-world people)

-Reports on two criminal Latin Ex-Presidents: one (from El Salvador) under house arrest for stealing $15 million plus and the other (from Panama) now holed up in Mijami awaiting extradition from the USA.

-Today we discuss the root causes of the massive Latin real estate bubble and why deceptive advertising looks as if it’s keeping parts of it somewhat afloat (but not for long)

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Expat Files – 12.25.15

-Latins celebrate the Christmas holidays for virtually months and months at a time. That said, if you yourself are obsessed about the Christmas season you’ll be in great company down here.

-Because Latins go all out for Christmas, most of them are dead broke before the big event even arrives which, oddly enough, is why the local cops are ever so vigilant as the day approaches. Cops love the holidays. “Tis the season” for the cops to squeeze extra cash out of unsuspecting drivers who are perpetually late and in a hurry to get somewhere (it’s a manana society you know). Today we talk about what to do if you get stopped or pulled over. Right off the bat there will be definite signs that indicate a bribe request is forthcoming. We’ll also explain a few tricks you can use to try to get out of it.

-Today I’ll describe my own very recent traffic stop- Christmas bribe/extortion story. Not to worry, it does have a somewhat happy ending. Listen now to hear how it took me a half hour to wiggle my way out of a sticky situation, when confronted with some crooked cops.

-In a late breaking email, a gringo listener (with a Colombian wife) describes some of the more common and clever new neighborhood extortion schemes that have been popping up in working class residential areas in Colombia, specifically in and around Barranquilla. Could it happen to me, you, or other Expats to? Should we be worried?
Listen and find out…

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Expat Files – 12.20.15

– Which Latin currencies are the strongest and most stable? Which are apparently good risks to hold, and why?

-More news on the very high interest rates Latin banks are offering in both US dollar funny money and local funny money accounts too.

-What Latin banks are conservative, strong and worth dealing with? How do clueless gringos search them out?

-How to take advantage of subtle local variations in currency exchange rates.

-Which Latin countries have the fastest growing fat-ass government bureaucracies, and why?

-A sad but true Latin holiday story..

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Ariel Noyola Rodríguez – China-Latin American Relations, Santiago De Chile: The Yuan’s Financial Stronghold

Economic relations between China and Latin America are living increasing tensions. As a result of deflation (fall in prices) on a global scale, the South American region is suffering the consequences of concentrating the bulk of its exports to China on commodities. However, the opening of the first yuan financial center in Latin America, in Santiago de Chile, agreed during …