Eat humble pie? Not a crumb. After lying about inflation for seven years, Buenos Aires last night revealed a new and more credible statistical series. This, said Axel Kicillof, the economy minister (pictured), was not because the old inflation numbers were wrong. Rather, it was because they needed to be updated. Why? Because Argentine consumption habits had changed, he explained. The government’s new inflation numbers, he added, provide “an X-ray of another country.” Continue reading »
In almost the only Argentine province not to be affected in recent days by damaging police strikes, which triggered a wave of opportunistic looting, a very different headache has emerged for President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.
A series of articles published in the respected broadsheet La Nación this week which suggest that the president and her late husband, Néstor Kirchner, are linked to a series of murky property deals in Santa Cruz province have breathed new life into corruption allegations that Fernández would doubtless rather avoid. Continue reading »
There are two ways to read the IMF’s call on Monday night for Argentina to sort out its dodgy inflation and economic statistics by next March – or, uniquely, face expulsion from the international lender.
The first way is that the country will never comply. After all, railing against the IMF has been a rhetorical hallmark of the presidencies of Cristina Fernandez (pictured) and her late husband, Nestor Kirchner. Continue reading »
Argentine civil servants in the central province of Córdoba have been given an early Christmas present: January off.
The idea is not exactly new – it was successfully employed in January this year, for example – but then neither is the cash crunch facing many Argentine provinces, which rely on the central government for key funds.
Córdoba, furthermore, is run by a governor, José Manuel de la Sota, with presidential aspirations in 2015, who has clashed in a high-profile fashion with Cristina Fernández, the president, and her government in recent months.
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Cristina Fernández, Argentina’s president, has reason to be thankful for Hugo Chávez’s re-election triumph. Beyond her genuine emotional congratulations to a fellow leftist who has dared to subvert what both see as the market-driven, neoliberal world order, friendship brings big trade rewards. Continue reading »
Earlier this year, Argentina’s GDP warrants – which were issued to sweeten a debt restructuring that offered investors a brutal buzzcut rather than just a haircut – had risen nearly 50 per cent and were a hot investment prospect.
Fast forward a few months and those same warrants were at their lowest ebb in nearly two years.
Why? Well, Argentina’s growth prospects this year are heading south. Fast.
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Charity begins at home.
Argentina and Brazil, the two most protectionist nations in South America – actually, two of the most protectionist in the world – have discussed an Argentine proposal to hike the common external tariff of the Mercosur trade bloc to a whopping 35 per cent from 22 per cent now. Why? To keep out pesky imports from Asia or the European hunting for markets amid recession in many western countries.
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Cristina Fernández, Argentina’s president, faces surgery on Wednesday which doctors say should nip her early-stage thyroid cancer in the bud.
What the three-hour surgery is also expected to do is give a fresh fillip to the popularity of the Argentine leader, who won a landslide re-election victory in October and has maintained high ratings, despite controversial recent measures such as a bid to stem rampant capital flight via foreign exchange controls. Continue reading »
The news that the Argentina’s president, Cristina Fernández, is suffering from cancer of the thyroid gland has taken the country by surprise, perhaps even shock.
Fernández and her team have been quick to allay concerns by returning to work the day after the announcement. She met governors from the some of the country’s provinces and made statements about the economy. And the country’s markets seems to be responding well – its benchmark index, the Merval, had only fallen 1.4 per cent on Wednesday, in line with global markets. Continue reading »