At a recently renovated mall in the upscale Recoleta neighborhood [of Buenos Aires], the McDonald’s is immaculate. ...
But reading the brightly lit menu behind the cash register, it appears
that something missing: The Big Mac. McDonald’s signature sandwich is
not prominently advertised. Down the hall toward the bathroom there is a
price list that includes a picture of the Big Mac down near the bottom.
Why is McDonald’s downplaying the world’s most famous burger? ...
At 20 pesos, the individual Big Mac is at least 4.50 pesos cheaper than the list price of comparable options. ...
The relatively inexpensive Big Mac has become an open secret in
Argentina, spurred by media attention and discussions on social
networks. It is being used as Exhibit A by government critics to explain
how the government pressures businesses to keep certain prices frozen
and manipulates economic statistics in its interest. There is
widespread speculation that the government is trying to influence The
Economist’s famous Big Mac Index, a “lighthearted” guide that compares
burger prices across the globe to determine whether a currency is under-
or over-valued. ...
And downplaying the Big Mac would seem to be McDonald’s way of selling as few as possible. ...
The national statistics agency says the inflation for the 12 months
through October was 9.7 percent. But private economists insist the real
figure is more than double that number. Independent experts agree the
widely discredited government statistics agency has been fudging
consumer-price data for years for political gain and, to a lesser
extent, to lower inflation-linked debt payments.
--Daniel Politi, International Herald Tribune, on the price of being a signature global commodity