Sentences to ponder

En Argentina, ¡el precio del Big Mac subió casi el doble que el IPC oficial! Mientras el IPC oficial aumentó en 10% en 2010, el precio del Big Mac aumentó en 19%.

In other words, the real price of the Big Mac rose nearly twice as much as the official statistics were willing to admit, in Argentina of course.  That’s not right, so the government sprang into action.  The minister of the commerce department “persuaded” McDonald’s to price the Big Mac at $16, while other sandwiches at the chain are in the $21 to $23 range.

The outlets now keep the Big Mac well-hidden, full story (in Spanish) here.  For the pointer I thank Raphael Corbi.

Economist Big Mac index, be warned!


Is it called el Big Mac in spanish?

No, it's called El Royale because of the metric system ... dangit, I forgot how that one goes...

It's the Quarter Pounder that's called Le Royale

Come on

A Big Mac's a Big Mac, but they call it Le Big Mac.

Maybe El Big Mac for Spanish.

Do you know what they call a quarter pounder with cheese?

you dig it the most

Cuarto de libra con queso. Lol.

lol only because it's the literal translation.

El Grande Mac.

Just goes to show, even the Big Mac index can be Lucas/Goodhart'd. Now imagine what happens with measures that allow significantly more subjectivity and judgment! (CPI, GDP, NGDP ...)

Btw, are those prices really in USD? Because Argentina uses the peso.

Also, I take it the Big Mac isn't on the menu, so you have to specfically ask for it, perhaps even get the manager's approval to let you buy one?

The $ symbol is the traditional symbol for Pesos, I assume it is still used as such in Argentina. The original currency in the US was the Spanish (ie. Mexican) Dollar or "piece of eight" from which I believe the word Peso derives.

The visit to McDonald's website in Argentina is fun.
They are promoting their Angus burger "Nueva con Salsa Tasty"!

I guess the old non-tasty sauce wasn't a big hit.

Many years ago, while vacationing in France, I noticed that some menu items had asterisks on them. I asked the meaning, and was told that these were price-controlled items. So, I ordered the first one on the menu. No, I was told, that dish was already sold out for that days lunch!

May as well dispense hallucinogenics to the population.

Can I do Barandiaran. Tyler, forget Argentina. It has been like this since 1911. Only the burgers have improved. You should turn your attention to France and Spain. They matter and they are going down. Sorry, this means more hard work for you!

Nah. Not mad enough. It is also not true Barandiaran without at least one mention to 'fraudulent clowns'.

LOL and +1 to both of you.

Please cite an esoteric old reference from the sixties.

Approximately 60 minutes ago:
Mike Riddell of M&G, one of Europe’s biggest fund managers, called it “probably the most worrying day” of the crisis so far.

Austrians should be worried too.

But the Mayor of New York liked Parsons!

You might enjoy this one from the 1860s:

Two celibate buddhist monks see a beautiful woman by the road unable to cross a stream. The first monk sweeps her up in his arms and carries her across the stream and puts her down on the other side. Sixty minutes later the second monk asks "brother, should you have got so physically close to that woman?". The first monk responds, "Hey, I put her down an hour ago, are you still thinking about her?"

Problem solved!

whoops, I better clarify. That (above) wasn't Tyler Cowen. Different Tyler...

Most of McDonald's stores are franchises. In the U.S. franchises are not generally subject to maximum price agreements and can, as a consequence, set their own prices. I would not assume the same is true in Argentina, but I do wonder about this story, which sounds rather apocryphal to me.

You didn't see what happened with McRib prices.

Just introduce the Fair Sized Mac. Or target the nBig Mac

And yet we are assured the Argentina is growing like gangbusters.

All that's growing is soya. Cattle pasture turned over to soya. As you suggest it's at present an economy of mirage-level distortions.

Maybe Tyler meant to make this clear, but the Argentine government took this move specifically in order to manipulate the Economist's Big Mac Index, not because the Argentine people depend heavily on sesame seed buns. At least, that's what the link claims.

Wow, The Economist Big Mac Index is really that powerful, huh?

It makes sense as part of a concerted effort to massage inflation indices.

Tyler's being brave; wasn't questioning the official inflation an arrestable offence? Don't travel to Argentina anytime soon, Tyler!

New spin on the old joke, "when we are out of them we'll charge half-price too."

What does it say about my ideology if I initially skim-translated "Big Mac subió casi" as "Big Mac subsidy"?

I live in Argentina so I had the opportunity to test this first hand. I went to a McDonald's yesterday to get a Big Mac. It's true that it's not advertised (the Triple Big Mac is). I also got an orange juice. Without asking, I got fries thrown in for the deal as well. Cost of the meal: 23 pesos, or around US$5.40 using an exchange rate of $=4.25.

I'm lovin' it.

The problem is eventually you run out of other people's Big Macs.

Between determining the correct price of a Big Mac and determining the best pork arbitrage strategy for the McRib ( I think I can safely say that all the best economists are now working for McDonalds

And they are getting fat.

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