No single country has all the natural resources and human capital it needs. All countries (even North Korea) realize they benefit greatly from cross-border cooperation. Some if it is labeled "foreign aid", but the vast majority of it is called "trade" or "foreign investment".
they did get paid for the assets.
As for all those applauding the move, consider this: this isn't an extractive industry, exploiting Bolivia's natural resources, it is about distributing electricity. Something which requires technical knowhow and a lot of capital, two things which Bolivia isn't greatly endowed with. Roughing foreign investors like that isn't going to help Bolivia acquire either...
It seems to me that re-nationalizing national capital like the country's energy grid, which had been privatized around 20 years ago -- with the company controlling it trying to extract the maximum possible rents with the minimum possible investments during that time -- is probably going to do more good for Bolivia than giving its "populist" president a popularity boost.
Indiscriminately rejecting it as an a priori evil, without any knowledge whatsoever of the specifics of the case, as most commenters seem to be doing here, also seems rather idiotic, doesn't it?
Spanish corporations were prominent in the 90s' privatisations not least because US investors staid away. Now it's goodbye to the Spanish, and in a couple of years it will be hello to the Chinese, I guess.
None of the equipment was made in Bolivia (there are maybe 5-6 companies that make large scale Transmission equipment) and I do not know, but I would be highly confident that the engineering and project management was done by foreign firms. Its not a simple project and it would be folly to try to do it w.out outside expertise. And the money to build the grid was almost certainly raised in the sovereign bond markets. Those bonds were later defaulted on, and the asset sales were part of the IMF's (misguided) efforts during the 90's to bring Bolivia back into the world of sovereign issuers.
The point is - nothing is black and white.
Unless someone presents evidence one way or another you just can't say if this is a good things or a bad thing. And even then who the hell really knows.
No. This is not how natural monopoly assets in private hands work in any functioning state. There are always rules. Sometimes those rules are poorly constructed so you make more money than you should, but that's still not "Charging whatever you want"
Because the "asset" becomes nothing more than a place of employment for politically connected people, enjoying fantastic salaries without bothering to show up for work. Also the "asset" commands a public works budget, out of which a sizeable percentage is skimmed off the top regularly due to endemic corruption by the same politically connected people mentioned above.
First of all, in the context of this discussion, the relevant period is starting in 2002, since that is the year that Argentina abandoned the IMF's neoliberal policies and defaulted on their debt
I hope you don't notice how much you are sounding like an evolution denier
Delmoi, you complain about the context of the argument. I didn't choose that context or time period. Conservatives did.
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