By Arturo Porzecanski (*) The following was published in the Americas Quarterly, a contribution from a leading emerging-market economist writes. The seeds for the latest chapter in Argentina’s long history of confrontations with the International Monetary Fund were planted about a year ago, on the eve of the global pandemic.
A U.S. district judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by New York-based hedge fund Aurelius Capital against Argentina, related to an alleged payment shortfall under securities offerings linked to the country’s gross domestic product.
Argentina will negotiate with holders of its sovereign bonds and the International Monetary Fund to extend the maturities of its debt obligations, as a way of ensuring the country's ability to pay, Treasury Minister Hernan Lacunza said on Wednesday.
President Mauricio Macri said on Monday that Argentina was close to a deal with the International Monetary Fund to bolster a US$ 50 billion credit line, while a government source said US$ 3-US$ 5 billion in additional funds could be announced this week.
Argentina's former Secretary of Culture José Nun said that current poverty in the country is similar to that which preceded the 2001/02 crisis, and underlined that he would never vote for the presidential incumbent candidate Daniel Scioli, who was handpicked by outgoing head of state Cristina Fernandez.
President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner assured on Thursday that Argentina is under “permanent speculative attack headed by US Federal judge Thomas Griesa,” and criticized “local vultures who have amplified the offensive to the point of ridicule.”
United States interim ambassador to Argentina Kevin Sullivan was summoned to foreign minister Hector Timerman's office and was informed of ”the profound and firm rejection of the Argentine government to the US diplomat’s inappropriate statements”, according to the statement from the ministry made public on Tuesday.
President Cristina Fernandez said on Tuesday her government will move to service its defaulted debt in Argentina or allow bondholders to swap their bonds for new bonds governed by national law in order to get around a U.S. court order.
Debt talks on Argentina’s defaulted bonds in the hands of holdout hedge funds ultimately collapsed this week due to disagreements over prices and the absence of a government guarantee to honor payments on the paper, sources close to the discussions said.
Talks between a group of global banks and at least one major hedge fund about buying a portion of the fund's exposure to Argentine debt have collapsed, a person familiar with the matter told sources in Buenos Aires, amid concerns that the Argentine government has dug in to its refusal to pay certain creditors what they are owed and may not relent for months to come.