Tiempo Perdido seeks, according to its authors, to tell the story of a country. From the letter to the reader, Marina Dal Poggetto and Daniel Kerner embark on a titanic task, bearing in mind that this country is Argentina and that they seek to unravel how politics and the economy entered into a labyrinth that they did not know, did not want and since 2015. they could not get out. Or, according to the nautical metaphor which orders its chapters, the compass of a damaged ship which drifted, procrastinated, broke.
The executive director of Eco Go Consultores and the director for Latin America of Eurasia Group, the political risk consultancy firm which runs in the United States and is led by Ian Bremmer, interact with Forbes Argentina the keys to the book, while analyzing the current scenario.
“For some, all the evils of Argentina started with Peronism. For others, with neoliberalism. There is a historical story according to which when you put everything together, it is to bang your head, ”says Dal Poggetto.
– What structural reforms has Argentina not carried out and in any case for what model of development of the country?
-Marina Dal Poggetto: She made them. In the 1990s, you made structural reforms, then you backed down. There is a labor regime and a tax regime that coexist with a level of informality in the Argentine economy so high that the level of public spending that you have to compensate for the imbalances caused by the economy in terms of competitiveness generates a budget deficit. which condemns you to a higher rate of inflation. If you don’t recreate the ecosystem you operate in, it is very difficult for you to stabilize the macroeconomics. At the same time, the promise of structural reforms will not solve your short-term problems. With this nominality, with this exchange rate differential, with this formidable dispersion of relative prices, you urgently need a stabilization program which coexists with structural reforms. My feeling is that this agenda is not on either side, this agenda does not exist. The discussion you have is whether the adjustment is paid for now by the current government or if the adjustment is paid for the next one.
-The government and the opposition blame each other for the debt. Macrismo says “they left me with a deficit” and Kirchner says “you went to the fund and took the debt”. In the meantime, the problems persist. What cost does this have for the Argentinian political system?
-Daniel Kerner: The explanations of governments and analysts tend to look at the other’s fault. The inheritance thing. In all of Néstor and Cristina’s speech, we have always inherited this horrible legacy of the 90s and we have solved it. With Macri, the inmates discussed whether the inheritance received had been said or not. And then Alberto Fernández’s speech is: “I’m coming back to solve this thing they left me.” What we’re trying to do is get out of this dichotomy and see that each of us has made mistakes. Part of them was this diagnosis that it was everyone’s fault and that once the other was gone it would start to resolve itself. Cristina when the neoliberals left, with the current state she settled down; Macri leaves the populists and returns to normalcy; or now the capital drains go away and we come back. There is a problem that impacts the diagnosis and the ability to find reasonable solutions because even the diagnosis is not correct. The stabilization Marina was talking about requires that you at least have a good understanding of the issues. And then I think there is a question of short-termism, that since they know that the one who comes after will change everything, it is also too attached to trying to start faster than to think reasonably. It has an impact on the diagnosis and on the willingness and ability to do so. In the United States, where institutions work best, the polarization at the political level is almost absolute. I don’t think Argentina is like that.
-Unlike the United States, here the two coalitions have failed economically. How does this failure affect people’s credibility on the system?
-DK: It seems to me that Argentina is unique. The main blocs still control the political system. In fact, in the election, they always remained those two. If you look at Latin America and the world, traditional parties are disappearing because of this discredit. In Argentina, for various reasons, these two coalitions continue to survive and I think the risk is that if they fail to do it again, it will start to crumble the other way around. Still not here today. But where it’s more clear is in the way the market and the world think of Argentina today. There really is such a marked disinterest in Argentina because of everything that was going on. Another government can change expectations, but it will cost much more than previous ones. Because the market already believes them less.
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