Argentina: Down the same road?
Since the opposition ticket of Alberto Fernandez and Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner defeated the ticket of incumbent President Mauricio Macri by over 15 percentage points and nearly 4 million votes in the simultaneous open party primaries on August 11, the pre-existing economic malaise has deteriorated rapidly amid the virtual certainty that Macri will not be re-elected in October. As the exchange rate and bond prices plummeted, by the beginning of September the government had announced new currency controls aimed at preserving international reserves and -- even more ominously -- plans to ‘reprofile’ debt that have been widely interpreted as the prelude to another sovereign default, the ninth in Argentina’s history.

With country risk rising along with doubts over the next disbursement of the IMF’s whopping 57-billion-dollar stand-by agreement, concern has shifted away from the outcome of the October 27 elections to worries over how (and if) Macri can sustain a deteriorating political and economic situation long enough to hand over to his successor on December 10. Increasingly accepted as a lame duck, Macri may lack the means to avert a return to the last days of 2001, marked by the president’s early departure and a messy default.

Sep 17, 2019 03:00 PM in London

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