On Thursday March 10, 2016, the Mexican press reported that the pension funds of Mexican workers lost almost 15 billion pesos ($836 million) in February. How could have they lost 15 billion pesos in just 30 days? Well, the fact is that the fortune simply disappeared without a trace.
Did someone steal it? Did anyone not entitled to it dispose of these funds? The word “theft” is, of course, very ugly. The government and, specifically, the Treasury Secretariat, prefer to call it losses due to bad investments. Losses due to buying expensive and selling cheap. Losses due to having lent money to people who could not or would not pay later.
Losses that happened due to buying scraps as if they were the latest and most luxurious car. Can anyone be so stupid? Who could have ordered to buy bonds and securities, that is, simple papers, whose value was $100 but in reality were worth just $50 (or less)?
Was it just a nonsense move by the great “experts” of the Treasury and Public Finance Secretariat (SHCP)? Or was it a maneuver, a converted action, a fraud? Was it, for example, buying overpriced papers of little value — an absurd purchase that can only produce losses when the time to sell comes? But, who could have done such nonsense? Only someone who can dispose of other people’s money, without the obligation to accounting to anyone could have done this, like the Savings for Retirement System National Commission (Consar).
The trick has two clearly visible parts. First, they use resources, which are not their own, over which the rightful owners (workers who save money) have no control. Then, they make what is in reality an agreement between sellers of bonds and the Consar to pocket billions of pesos, look like a bad investment. It’s a simulation, a fraud, a robbery. And what does Luis Videgaray, head of the SHCP, do? Nothing. Is he part of the agreement or is he so innocent as to not notice anything wrong?
Consummatum est (it is finished), goes the classic saying. The robbery has happened. Can in be undone? Impossible. The extracted money already has new owners. By law, the law of Consar, the workers’ hands and feet are tied. They can only wait for the “bad or toxic investments” to not completely take away the amount of their savings.
At this point, the only advice that I can give is to not commit so-called voluntary savings with Consar. This should be avoided at all costs.
This does not mean that we shouldn’t save. Saving is a present condition of the future. But we should avoid putting our savings in the hands of the Consar bandits.
I also advise you to keep your savings in a bank account, but being careful not to put all of your eggs in one basket. Having several accounts, even if they have small amounts, is better than putting all of your savings in one big account.
Finally, the worker should avoid at all costs resorting to credit. Debt, by definition, is negative savings. It is a sure-fire method to end up in ruins. Bank accounts with little inflation are better than debt with immense and excessive interest.