Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Demo Request


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Bloomberg Customers


Argentina: A Mountain of Reforms Will Face One Peronist

After last year's devastating 10.9% drop in real gross domestic product, Argentina is rebounding from its worst-ever crisis faster than expected. The peso's devaluation has led to a 16% surge in exports, a manufacturing boom, and 5.8% economic growth in February.

But like a spotlight, the Apr. 27 presidential elections brought Argentina's underlying problems back into view. Former President Carlos Menem topped a crowded field with 24% of the vote. But his slim 2% edge over fellow Peronist N?stor Kirchner failed to reassure investors that Argentina is ready to tackle the reforms needed to sustain the recovery. Kirchner, backed by President Eduardo Duhalde, is an untested governor of a small province whose thinking is more interventionist. The two will square off in a May 18 election. Pro-business candidate Ricardo L?pez Murphy, a U.S.-trained economist, finished out of the running. The day after the election, investors dumped stocks, and the Merval index plunged 8.6%.

Neither candidate will discuss detailed solutions to Argentina's top problems: rebuilding the balance sheets of insolvent banks and renegotiating $95 billion in defaulted bonds. Also, foreign owners of privatized utilities, whose rates have barely budged, even as the peso has plunged 70%, are crying for help. Addressing these issues is crucial to rolling over the country's $31 billion tab with the International Monetary Fund when an existing credit line expires on Aug. 31. Then policymakers must craft the budget cuts and tax and labor reforms needed to generate the investment required for future growth.

Much depends on how the next President navigates the fragmented political landscape. The divided Peronists and politicians of other stripes will be in campaign mode until the November congressional elections. Plus, Argentines are not eager to continue the policies they blame for 17.8% unemployment and a 58% poverty rate in their once largely middle-class country. By Joshua Goodman in Buenos Aires

blog comments powered by Disqus