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Opinion

Macri, the economy and Dutch disease: Argentinian angst

I can’t seem to stop worrying about Argentina in its election year.

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Ever since I first met with members of Cristina Kirchner’s administration – the henchmen that populated the state banks and ministries – I’ve been privately supporting the forces of their opposition.

That the ultimately successful opposition transpired to be a real breath of fresh air – Mauricio Macri’s Cambiemos – took me further out of my usually neutral position of observer.

Their victory – and the Macri administration’s attempts to dismantle the economic and financial mess they inherited – has verged on the heroic.

That’s not to say the finance ministers – and they’re getting through those by the way; Prat-Guy to Caputo to Dujovne – haven’t made some unforced errors and tightened the margin for error when there was barely any to begin with.

But the country – and it is potentially a great one – seemed to finally have a government it deserved.

Those mistakes, though, began to pile up and I began to worry.

Prescient call

In April, I wrote that – and it has been one of the few times in my career that I have made a prescient call – the tortuously slow fiscal adjustment would soon test the market’s patience.




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