Argentina’s (government) is decoupled (of common sense): when there was a global expansion in commodities (the so-called tailwind) the administration pump up aggregate demand (with inflationary effects and resource misallocations). Now, as the global economy slowdowns sharply, affecting U.S., Asia, Europe and Brazil (Argentina’s main trading partner); not only commodities’ prices, but also external demand decreases. Thus, the trade channel was expected to be the main source of the negative shock—after all, Argentina had almost no access to international financial markets (not only due the 2001 default but also due to policy applied since then). But Fernandez de Kirchner is causing the financial channel to re-couple. While the world economy is progressively trying to stabilize in baby steps, Argentina’s government plants the seeds of its own destabilization. The Tango effect might be approaching: debt default? (the country risk is close to 2000 pts.), the government almost repudiating its obligations, unemployment and volatility with upside risks, output with downside risks (all of which point to even lower than expected revenues in the near future and the medium run), increase in demand for dollar deposits—the Central Bank probably losing international reserves in the process. Will the exchange rate be devalued? My sense is not whether the domestic currency will depreciate or not, but at what pace. It seems that the central bank intends the depreciation to be progressive, gradual. But, will that be possible?
Is always easier to blame “the marketplace and the neoliberal policies;” or is that the current administration is in a way forcing market forces to act—it is always simpler to blame it for your mistakes…
It is worth mentioning that government debt is still highly dollarized, while revenues—in domestic currency—will tend to decrease, and funding is already extremely limited and poised to freeze, the more so with the socialization of pensions with a decreasing revenue to finance the PAYG social security system.
How will this end? I leave to the smart reader to answer this quite obvious question.