Remittances reversed
November 18, 2009 7:01 AM   Subscribe

“We send something whenever we have a little extra, at least enough so he can eat." Remittances, the small money transfers a previous FPP called "the most important antipoverty program in the world", are now flowing the opposite direction. Yes, poor families in southern Mexico are having scramble to find money to send north to their out of work relatives in the US.
posted by Forktine (14 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
NYTimes articles may require free registration; Bugmenot link for the privacy-inclined.

See also the recent FPP on the dissonance of seeing native-born citizens competing with immigrants for day labor work.
posted by Forktine at 7:03 AM on November 18, 2009

I hope starvation due to be out of work doesn't do any harm to Lou Dobb's magnificently disapproving jowls.
posted by DU at 7:09 AM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

The real winner in this is Western Union and the banks.
posted by birdherder at 7:25 AM on November 18, 2009

I blame the white day labourers for stealing their jobs.
posted by acb at 7:36 AM on November 18, 2009 [7 favorites]

The flow of money out of Mexico is believed to be a tiny fraction of the remittances still arriving. “The evidence in this regard so far is anecdotal,” said Juan Luis Ordaz, senior economist at the Spanish bank BBVA Bancomer, who has begun investigating the reverse money flow.

Its an interesting article but the trend seems unusual enough to be more of a 'news of the weird' to me too. The remittances flowing into Mexico are still enormous without a doubt. To say they "are now flowing the opposite direction" as it does in the FPP is way beyond an overstatement.
posted by vacapinta at 8:19 AM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

I blame certain state legislatures for imposing some of the most viciously petty laws on record. For instance, Oklahoma House bill 2250's Wire Transmitter Fee Act, passed July 2009. Remember, as a Republican, raising taxes is wrong unless it's on brown people.
posted by ormondsacker at 8:24 AM on November 18, 2009

"We're not targeting the good people," Rogers said. "If you are an Oklahoma taxpayer and you are paying your taxes and you file a tax return with a legitimate Social Security number, you're going to get your money back."
posted by ormondsacker at 8:42 AM on November 18, 2009

do they have taco bells in mexico?
posted by billybobtoo at 8:43 AM on November 18, 2009

Keep in mind this a NY Times trend piece. If the NY Times trend piece trend is anything to go by you can only conclude one thing: It isn't a trend.
posted by srboisvert at 8:49 AM on November 18, 2009

Three notes of interest from the second page of the article:

1- the flow of money out of Mexico is believed to be a tiny fraction of the remittances still arriving

2- remittances are one of Mexico’s top sources of foreign currency (Mexico's central bank, known as the Bank of Mexico, handled $1.65 billion in remittances in January 2008, down from $1.76 billion a year earlier; in 2007, Mexicans sent home an estimated $24 billion, a 1 percent increase from 2006)

3- terrible ad placement ("Have a fantastic thanksgiving / plan your feast / invite your friends" - linking to a Fantastic Mr. Fox thanksgiving site).

(Bonus info - false:false has been a long-term login:pass option for NYTimes acces - via hippybear)
posted by filthy light thief at 8:54 AM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

> To say they "are now flowing the opposite direction" as it does in the FPP is way beyond an overstatement.

You're reading it very uncharitably, as if it necessarily implied "instead of the original way." I personally read it as implying "in addition to the original way," which is true. It's as if you objected to "man bites dog" on the grounds that most of the time dogs bite people.
posted by languagehat at 9:12 AM on November 18, 2009

I don't think it would be considered an "uncharitable reading" to assume the OP implied "instead of the original way" since the freaking TITLE was Remittances Reversed.
posted by Aquaman at 9:25 AM on November 18, 2009

Yeah, but come on, do you seriously think Forktine wanted us to believe money had stopped flowing from the US to Mexico? This is an interesting story presented with slight and forgivable exaggeration, in my view.
posted by languagehat at 10:56 AM on November 18, 2009

Ok, ok, I'll plead guilty as charged to imperfect phrasing, if in exchange you'll admit to a rather narrow reading of that phrasing.

As someone who interacts every day with remittance senders, I had thought it obvious that the majority of remittances are still heading south. Locally, I'm seeing a lot of immigrants I know relying on family already in the US to get them through the downturn. But since it would be beyond shameful to admit that family back there is sending money, I wouldn't expect to know who might be receiving money from Mexico.
posted by Forktine at 1:12 PM on November 18, 2009

« Older Norah Jones, Look Out!   |   Coffee and Other Important Matters Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments