"The project was so successful that the next three generations lived off of the wealth. They had big houses in Buenos Aires and apartments in Paris. They had servants...and most of them didn't work at all."The big problems came in the late 1980s. Then, we had inflation of 20,000%. It was almost impossible to keep up. Or to plan ahead. Wages...the cost of fuel...transportation...everything went up."Then, the Raúl Alfonsín government imposed price controls...on sugar, of course."That, and weak management – there is no guarantee that every generation is going to be as dynamic as the first – caused everything to fall apart."By the late 1980s, all we could do was sell out. We got enough to pay our debts. That was about it."
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Bill Bonner is founder and owner of Agora Inc., one of America's largest consumer newsletter publishers. Best-selling author and globe-trotting correspondent since 1999 for the Daily Reckoning email, he is chairman of family-wealth advisory Bonner & Partners, and co-author with his son Will of Family Fortunes: How to Build Family Wealth and Hold Onto It for 100 Years (Wiley, 2012).
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