Aug 12, 2019

Argentina's former president is making investors nervous again

Argentina's former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. Photo: Mario De Fina/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Former Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner got that much closer to returning to the country's presidential estate on Sunday, sinking the country's currency by as much as 5%.

Driving the news: Kirchner is running for vice president on a ticket with Alberto Fernández, and the pair received 47% of the vote in Argentina's primary election, far more than expected. That bested current President Mauricio Macri and his running mate, Miguel Ángel Pichetto, who had 33%, and 6 other tandems.

  • If the country votes the same way in October's first round of elections, Fernández and Kirchner will win with no need for a run-off election.

Why it matters: Investors fear that outcome could put Argentina's billions of dollars of outstanding debt in jeopardy of default and prompt a renegotiation of the country's $57 billion loan deal with the IMF.

Where it stands: Under Macri, Argentina has fallen into recession and the economy is in what analysts are calling a "Macrisis."

  • Inflation is being choked off slowly by the central bank's unconventional monetary policies, and it is expected to grow at just 34% this year, but that may be too little too late.
  • The country's GDP shrank 6% year-over-year in the first quarter.
  • Its steadily increasing poverty rate hit 32% in 2018.
  • The unemployment rate rose above 10% for the first time in at least a decade in Q1.
  • Argentina's peso fell 5% against the dollar after Sunday's election results, Reuters reported. It most recently traded at higher than 48 per dollar, about triple the rate when Macri took over as president and its weakest level ever.

Go deeper: Argentina's "Macrisis" continues

Go deeper

Argentine president leads economy to debt, inflation and mass poverty

Argentine President Mauricio Macri. Photo: Mario De Fina/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Argentine President Mauricio Macri has essentially returned the country to what it was under former Peronist President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, just in much worse shape.

The backdrop: Macri came to office as a center-right market pragmatist in 2015 riding a wave of investor enthusiasm and pledging to unleash the economy after years of government intervention, like capital controls, that it had seen under Kirchner.

Go deeperArrowSep 3, 2019

Argentina's stock market has its worst day in decades

Data: Investing.com; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Argentine peso fell 30% and its stock market sank 37% on Monday, the worst market collapse for the country in more than 2 decades. In dollar terms, Bloomberg reported it was the second-biggest 1-day rout on any of the 94 world stock exchanges it tracks since at least 1950.

Why it matters: Fund managers who have spoken to Axios over the past year say they foresee an economic collapse and wide-ranging debt defaults with President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner back at the country's helm, even as vice president.

Go deeperArrowAug 13, 2019

The specter of global disintegration

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It's the end of the world as we know it. The world is disintegrating, and much of the highly visible noise and chaos is a symptom of a much deeper problem.

Driving the news: In Hong Kong, millions of demonstrators are taking to the streets in a desperate attempt to preserve their democratic freedoms. In Argentina, the government has been forced to implement capital controls to prevent money from fleeing the country. In Britain, incoming Prime Minister Boris Johnson has lost his majority, his long-coveted control over legislation, and even his attempt to call a new election. Brexit uncertainty has never been greater.

Go deeperArrowSep 5, 2019