November 29, 2018

WHEN YOU NEVER GET THE BLESSING OF A PINOCHET:

G20 and the painful price of Argentina's tumultuous past (Andres Schipani, 11/29/18, Financial Times)

Argentina is now again at the centre of a crisis in emerging markets. It can be blamed on the gradualism of President Mauricio Macri and the arrogance of his entourage, but also on the populist legacy of his predecessors, the husband and wife double act of Cristina Fernández and Néstor Kirchner. Looking further back, there was also Fernando de la Rúa, who fled office in late 2001 in a helicopter after two feeble years, the flamboyant Carlos Menem and his scandal-ridden governments and the flawed economics of Alfonsín in the 1980s that led to hyperinflation. And that is not to forget the ruthless military juntas, the chaos of the 1970s government of "Isabelita" Perón before them, and the demagogical corporatism of Juan Domingo Perón.

Despite its crises and neuroses, Argentina is a better country today

Peronism, with its cunning ideologies of both left and rightwing, is a consequence of our own unhinged schizophrenia. Perón is supposed to have said that all Argentines are peronistas. Writer Jorge Luis Borges differed with him, calling Perón's followers "neither good nor bad, but incorrigible". Later, Tato Bores, the political comedian who died in the 1990s, said that we Argentines must take a cacho, or chunk, of the blame for our troubled history, though most should go to our rulers and economic mandarins.

No wonder I have lost faith in policymakers. When markets react to Argentine news, I cringe. We may be a G20 economy, but with interest rates at more than 60 per cent, the adage that there are four kinds of economies -- developed, under-developed, Japan and Argentina -- still applies. 



Posted by at November 29, 2018 4:08 AM

  

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