Tuesday, August 28, 2012

"Where Are We Going and Why Are We in This Handbasket? Argentina Under Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner

Maybe the bond default and nationalizing private pension assets wasn't the best long term strategy.

From our 2011 post, "A Cautionary Tale: 'Argentina files criminal charges against consulting firm for publishing inflation data'"
Argentina is definitely an interesting place.
From the cult of Juan PerĂ³n to the current president Cristina de Kirchner (Hey gang, let's nationalize private pensions!), from the Barings debacle* of 1890 to the hyperinflation of 1990 and the collapse of 1999-2002 there are a lot of lessons to be taught or learned....
From Reuters:
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez's popularity sank to 30 percent in August, less than half of what it was a year earlier, according to a poll published on Sunday that portrayed a country worried about crime and high inflation.

The telephone survey of 2,259 voting-age Argentines by polling company Management & Fit showed dissatisfaction with the interventionist policies that won Fernandez a landslide re-election 10 months ago.
The popularity of the 59-year-old Peronist -- who is part of a bloc of left-leaning South American leaders including Evo Morales of Bolivia and Rafael Correa of Ecuador -- fell by 8.1 percentage points between August and July alone.

The international bond market has shunned Argentina since its 2002 sovereign debt default and subsequent embrace of policies that emphasize state intervention in the markets and heavy government spending meant to stoke economic growth.

As recently as September last year, a month before winning her second term, Fernandez had 64.1 popularity while campaigning on promises of deepening the interventionist policy model of her late husband and predecessor as president, Nestor Kirchner.

Since then the economy has slowed, and the poll suggests most people are not buying Fernandez's argument that external factors, such as Europe's financial mess, are mostly to blame.
Argentina's economic activity was flat in June, according to the official EMAE index, which is a close proxy for gross domestic product.

Of those surveyed by Management and Fit, 44.5 percent said government policy was the main cause of the stagnation. Only 8.0 percent blamed it on spillover from sluggish world growth.

The perception of an increase in street crime was first on the list of complaints voiced by participants in the poll, which had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points. No official crime statistics were available to back this up....MORE