Argentina to IMF: Please give us (even) more $$$
As early as this week, Argentina's high-profile Economic Minister Sergio Massa is expected to travel to Washington, DC, in a last-ditch bid to ask the IMF for more funds on top of $44 billion worth of debt the country already owes to avoid yet another default.
You might think: I've heard this story before. And you'd be right since Argentina is a serial IMF defaulter. But this time, Massa will argue to the lender’s bean counters that they really must help Argentina because the economy is such a disaster that the nation is on the cusp of devaluing the peso (which means it'll be harder to pay the IMF back) or, worse, entering hyperinflation.
This presents the international lender with an impossible choice: give Argentina more cash despite the government failing to meet most of the targets it agreed to under the terms to trim an even bigger earlier loan — or risk precisely the type of financial mega-crisis the IMF was set up to avoid.
And, of course, there's a domestic political angle. Massa needs a big win before June 24, the deadline to pick candidates for the October presidential election. With President Alberto Fernández and VP Cristina Fernández de Kirchner out of the race to lead the ruling left-wing Peronist coalition, Massa hopes to take credit for “saving” Argentina's economy to run for the top job.