Uruguay Expat Life – Our second year

One year and 3 months since the low-key launch of this site as “just another expat blog”, we’ve had some great growth, thanks to our many loyal readers, Facebook, Google+, and Twittter followers, and resulting top search rankings on queries about living in Uruguay.

Google SERP showing Uruguay Expat Life at the top for query: uruguay expats
¡We’re numero uno!

What we have yet to do, is give you, and really, ourselves, Mark Mercer (me) and Lisa Marie Mercer, the co-owners, and co-explorers on this next step of our adventure, all the reasons we’re here. Continue reading Uruguay Expat Life – Our second year

Why Is My US Brokerage Firm Closing My Account? – ExpatFocus.com

Initial thoughts

on this column, which I just got via my email subscription to the Expat Focus – Argentina group on Facebook. As a Uruguay resident-in-processing, I do try to keep up with what goes on next door in our “big sister”, Argentina, so I subscribe to it.

ExpatFocus.com logoWell whether you are in Uruguay, Argentrina, Switzerland, Thailand, or Namibia, you may have yet another unpleasant surprise courtesy of Uncle Sam, if you are a “US Person” (a US citizen, or a US legal permanent resident):

Why Is My US Brokerage Firm Closing My Account? – Financial – Articles | ExpatFocus.com.

(Uruguay Expat Life does not have an opinion on the services provided by the author of the linked article, which, while giving good information, is also soliciting customers of that author’s tax services. Caveat lector.)

Just freaking lovely. Continue reading Why Is My US Brokerage Firm Closing My Account? – ExpatFocus.com

Uruguay raises reserve requirement to fight inflation

Uruguay central bank ups reserve requirements to combat inflation | Reuters.

This report broke on my Google News Uruguay filter, just as I was making some notes for an upcoming Cost of Living post. That’s probably a few days away, but yes, we are having some inflation problems. This move by the central bank, BCU, to raise the fractional reserve requirements is a big one, and it does make a lot of sense. I don’t know if it will help the inflation problem, but it does help keep our banking and monetary system a lot less likely to crash than, for example, the USA.

Photo of several denominations of Uruguayan currency
Not worth quite as much as when we arrived, but isn’t it pretty?
Photo credit mercopress.com

Relatively short explanation of the “reserve” requirement concept. For a filmed version, re-watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” for Jimmy Stewart’s explanation of why the money on deposit isn’t in the bank. Except nowadays it’s more like Mr. Potter’s bank, not the good old Building and Loan!

Simply put, when you deposit money into the bank, it creates new money. Continue reading Uruguay raises reserve requirement to fight inflation

South American Authors Social Media events coming up!

¡Hola de Marcos!

Sorry that Lisamaria and I have not been blogging lately. We’ve had a big pickup in freelance work for both of us. Landed a new Social Media marketing client, in the middle of a big Social Media upgrade project for a client from back in the States. “In the middle of”, as in, I was up all night to make sure I pushed a site upgrade out to my client in Boston before his start of business. Ah, the joys of being a “location-independent digital nomad”!

Couple tango dancing outdoors
Tango in La Boca Barrio of Buenos Aires

Lisa is meeting up in Punta del Este on Wednesday, with two authors who live in the Southern Cone. One of them is our new client. The other woman is also an expat, living across the Rio Plata in Buenos Aires, Argentina, teaching Tango. I’ll leave it to Lisa Marie to post more pictures and info. But in brief, Cherie Magnus transformed her life in amazing, unforseen ways, when she left the USA for South America. She tells her tale in her memoir, The Church of Tango.

As for our author client (and friend), Susan Joyce, get ready for a riveting read of adventure under fire, marriage to a spy (likely a double agent), heartbreak and discovery, love and adventure in Europe and the Mediterranean divided nation of Cyprus, her development as an artist, which ultimately led to a new life here in South America.

I’d link to her author sites, but hey, I have to build them for her first! Get busy, Mark! Edit 2013-03-23 (I have been busy!): Here’s Susan’s site, her Author Platform, blog, and website for her memoir, The Lullaby Illusion, now at LullabyIllusion.com. It has her comments, thoughts, latest activities, and a blog where she’d love you to chat with her. Also links to all her social networks at Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, and tools for you to share to your favorite social nets and bookmarks.

We may be setting up a webinar with Susan and Cherie, and possibly some other authors of non-fiction and/or fiction that have a South America or other expat connection. So stay tuned!

It’s Not All Chivitos and Ponies – part 2 – Banking for USA folks

Marcos here, with another “it has its hassles” post for you. Lisamaria and I are dedicated to bringing you the truth about life here in Uruguay. Remember, we love it overall, are thrilled that we are here, and have every intention of remaining in this welcoming and thriving country.

That said, especially if you are estadosunidense (literally USA-ian, and far less offensive in English than appropriating two whole continents for the name of one country), you are going to have one heck of a problem banking here. Because every bank in Uruguay is “firing the customer” if you are a US citizen. It isn’t their fault. It is the fault of the USA. The USA is trying to make every bank in every other country into an IRS Enforcement Agent. Hey, if I was running a bank I’d fire every US customer too, to avoid the Wrath of Obama (plenty of Republican blame on this one too, bipartisan arrogance in trying to rule the world.)

Of course there is one bank remaining that will still open account for US people. The bank run by the Government, Banco Republica, or more fully, Banco República Oriental del Uruguay, BROU. Especially if you already have a cédula like me, because that means you have to be treated with full Uruguayan rights under our very liberal and friendly immigration laws. They cannot refuse a cédula holder, and as of my inquiries last week, they still even will open accounts for non-residents with US passports.

Picture of hand grenade and BROU logo that looks just like a grenade.
Someone set us up the bomb – in their ATMs

There is one little problem with that. Continue reading It’s Not All Chivitos and Ponies – part 2 – Banking for USA folks