I am often quite left-wing, especially when it comes to resource nationalism. That said, it is probably clear to anyone who reads this that I think the Argentine seizure of YPF is silly. Justice? No sir, you sold it fair and square ... and for a price much higher than YPF’s most ridiculous claim. Revenue? There is that $1.2 billion per year, and you can raise taxes if that is the problem, and anyway the government says the reason for the expropriation was to increase investment. Investment? Argentina has an export policy that makes development unprofitable, even at sky-high prices ... and the reason YPF paid such high dividends was because of the deal with the Eskenazis forced on them by President Kirchner. And then there is the threat of sanctions. (To be fair, the latter threat is a small one, given the European Union’s fetishization of legal authority, something that, say, would concern much less the United States or People’s Republic.)
In short, nationalizing YPF was a dumb idea.
But here is a counterargument from Mark Weisbrot. I like Mr. Weisbrot, but it seems to me that he has recently become a bit knee-jerk in his defense of Latin American heterodoxy. Still, he might be right, and since this blog has implicitly assumed that the nationalization was a silly idea, we should present the opposing view. And here is another.
What say you?