Headline: Mauricio Macri’s failure to plan has put Argentina in a tight spot
Sub-headline: Discontent will grow as the government tries to meet the terms of its IMF bailout
Here is one of the key sentences in Mr. Kerner opinion piece:
While many blame the strategy of gradual adjustments adopted by the government of President Mauricio Macri, the real problem was the lack of a comprehensive plan.
Mr. Kerner credentials are not just excellent, but can only be described as providential ,at least to the select readership of The Financial Times?
The writer is managing director of Latin America for the Eurasia Group
A ‘Political Risk Consultancy’ headed by the technocrat supreme Ian Bremmer. What exactly does the highfalutin notion of ‘Political Risk Consultancy’ mean? The ability to see into the not yet actual? Call it ‘Technocratic Metaphysics’? Or does crystal ball gazing cover the territory?
According to Mr. Kerner’s reckoning it isn’t the policy of Austerity that is at fault, but Macri’s ‘lack of a comprehensive plan’ that he questions. Its been ten years since the Depression of 2008, and the World Laboratory has produced the ineluctable evidence, that it is the very practice of ‘Austerity’ that lacks any viability! Although the Greek situation is is not analogous to Argentina, what is striking is that the Austerity practiced there has produced human misery in abundance.
Headline: After seven years of bailouts, Greeks sink yet deeper in poverty
The tutelary spirit of Herman Kahn rules the amoral contemplator, the technocrat! Thinking the ‘unthinkable‘. The divorce of policy from the ethical, action and consequence, of thought and ‘policy’ is the territory of the technocrat.
I have foreshortened Mr. Kerner’s presentation of key points:
For this reason, it decided to embark on a gradual adjustment programme.
Mr Macri took advantage of the enormous appetite for Argentine assets among financial investors. And, after settling with holdout creditors, he began an aggressive process of debt issuance.
This hit agricultural production and reduced exports, while globally, investor sentiment towards emerging markets soured. A currency crisis left the country facing a deep recession and high inflation.
This seemed to vindicate the critics of gradualism.
The absence of a comprehensive stabilisation plan led to uncoordinated policies. A decentralised economic management system, better suited to a more stable economy, made matters worse.
The IMF agreement announced last week looks more like a proper stabilisation plan, and the adjustment is happening fast and painfully — precisely what Mr Macri wanted to avoid.
The next several months will be difficult as the recession deepens, however.
Before then, the government will have to cut spending and keep monetary conditions tight in order to comply with the terms of the IMF bailout.
The president would do well to learn from previous mistakes.
The Party Line of Neo-Liberalism is repeated, and the imperative that Austerity is only viable, in its most brutal form. Previous mistakes does not only equal the the failure of Macri’s Austerity Lite , but the historically established record of the Neo-Liberal Swindle, and its political/economic crime of Austerity: as the-in-order-too of rescuing The Market from its own inherent opportunistic criminality. The Market isn’t just a function of political/economic actors, but shares a commonality with Hegel’s ‘Spirit’?
Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.