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2/4/14

Re. Argentina (and an excerpt from IKN247)

We note with interest that Argentina's forex is improving against the dollar this morning (8.06 last night, 8.03 over the weekend, 8.01 today), which of course means that it won't make any headlines in your English language bizmedia...can't possibly say anything positive about the country, or anything that might contradict the forecasts of immediate country destruction vomited out by the truckload last week now, can we?

Anyway, this below is an excerpt on the country from IKN247 last Sunday.
I’m not out here defending this government with gusto, sword and shield. I am saying that the coverage has been twisted out of all proportion in the last few days and has the look of a world trying desperately to cause a crisis, rather than report on one. I don’t think Argentina is in great shape but it’s not that bad, either. If I were a bonds trader I’d be very interested in picking up some of those Argentine BODEN15 dollar bonds, which ended Friday paying 19% on paper that matures next year. On the other hand, those who wait for blood in the streets before buying are going to be disappointed in Argentina 2014 vintage; this country isn’t anywhere near its 2001 state of despair yet and isn’t going to collapse in the year ahead, no matter how much The Economist would wish otherwise. Meanwhile, if the rumourmill only has a quarter of its facts right (10) (11) (both Spanish language links and only really useful for people who know their Argentine politicos) we’re likely to see measures from the CFK government to counteract last week’s negativity. There are still plenty of tools at the country’s disposal today, which again marks the current situation as very different from the ordeals of 2001/2002.
UPDATE: Your humble scribe immediately receives pushback from those who are expert at reading headlines and then making the media language their own. In this case the line is "BUT THE COUNTRY RESERVES ARE STILL DROPPING!". This was also covered in IKN247 and though I'm not going to paste the whole piece out (it moves to reaction from the mining community, an altogether different and much smaller subject), here's one other segment from the note to illustrate:
Much of the attention is taken up by Argentina’s International Reserves position (as although a mere symptom and not the cause it’s an easy one to follow, while the real baseline problem of the government’s fiscal deficit requires a working knowledge of the country and its day-to-day economy) and the thrust of all arguments against the country (do we have to suffer “Don’t Cry For...” headlines every time?) went along the lines of “it gets to zero and the place implodes”, or some such.