Don’t cry for the bolsa
Becoming the world's first stockmarket to fall victim to globalization might not seem like much of an honour. But Argentina may find in years to come that the rapid decline of its bolsa proved a blessing in disguise. Now is the time for the government to heed the sentiments of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical and shed no tears for its dying stockmarket. It will do better to embrace the new reality and plug the country into what finance secretary Daniel Marx calls "the global pool of liquidity".
The Buenos Aires stockmarket is an antiquated institution with a cumbersome management structure, high charges and an army of small unprofitable brokers whose main aim in life is to block reforms. They may prove successful in which case they are setting themselves up to be a scapegoat for the exchange's demise. Irritating as the small fry are and absurd as their situation is the blame for Buenos Aires downfall is not correctly placed on their shoulders.
The reason has to do with Argentina's openness to capital flows. Since the early 1990s foreign direct investment has poured into the country with sectors such as banking, telecoms, retail and oil now consisting of huge swathes controlled from beyond Argentina's borders.