Argentina in the pages of The Financial Times: April 12, 2020. Political Observer comments

Should the regular reader of The Financial Times remind Mr. Mander and his employer of his September 1, 2019 essay, co-authored with Michael Stott ?

Headline: Argentina: how IMF’s biggest ever bailout crumbled under Macri

Sub-headline: With the Peronists waiting in the wings, the country is struggling to avoid a ninth sovereign default

What reader can forget the supplied characterizations, and the words, from convicted criminal Christine Legarde ?

Its decision on the bailout’s future will be taken without the person who was instrumental in winning approval for the rescue: Christine Lagarde, who has stepped down from the IMF’s top job to lead the European Central Bank.

Ms Lagarde is unapologetic about her leading role in lending to Argentina. “We were the only game in town,” she told the Financial Times in July. “There was nobody else at the time to invest in the recovery process through which the government had decided to engage, and given the size of the challenge, we had to go big.”

Or this paragraph about the mendacious spendthrift who now shares power with Alberto Fernández. With all of her crimes, why isn’t Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in jail? According to the Party Line on de Kirchner, she was guilty, at the least, of gross malfeasance.   

The last 70 years of Argentina’s history have been punctuated with regular economic crises, and Mr Macri’s inauguration in December 2015 was no different. His Peronist predecessor, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, had emptied the government coffers, signing decrees to increase spending by an extra $27bn in her final days in power. Inflation was running close to 25 per cent, foreign exchange reserves were dangerously low and generous subsidies for utilities and transport were draining the budget.  

What is unsurprising is the clutch of quotations from the ‘Economic Technocrats’ in the April 12, 2020 article by Mr. Mander and Mr. Smith: 

Carlos Abadi of Decision Boundaries, a financial advisory firm, 

Patrick Esteruelas, head of research at Emso Asset Management.

Gordon Bowers, an emerging markets research analyst at Columbia Threadneedle

Eduardo Levy Yeyati, a local economist, ( A Senior Fellow at Brookings )

From a collection of Capitalist hirelings, and a Brookings ‘Senior Fellow’ the reader obtains respectable bourgeois analysis, riffing on the Chicago Boys?  Under the leadership of both Neo-Liberals and ‘Center Leftists’ Argentina can’t seem to pay its creditors. To frame it paternalistically, should Argentina be treated like a spendthrift relative, that needs to be rescued from their own carelessness? Or is the International System of Capitalism, IMF, World Bank etc. and its  structures the root cause of these ‘Defaults’?

Political Observer

P. S. I have forgotten a very important point I wanted to make, that Macri was the first to ‘Default’, or should I use the preferred descriptor of the Financial Times ‘crumbled’ ?



About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. '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.'
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