International Monetary Fund warns Argentina on bogus statistics

The IMF recently threatened to give Argentina a 'red card' for fudging its growth and inflation rates.

• A version of this post ran on the author's blog, bloggingsbyboz.com. The views expressed are the author's own.

Argentina has done a lot to anger the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over the years, but it looks like the international institution is finally going to punish the country for an issue on which they are completely wrong: bogus statistics. Christine Lagarde has threatened to give Argentina a "red card" if the country doesn't come clean about its real growth and inflation rates. For better or worse, Argentina can follow whatever economic policies they want, but they need to be honest about the results if they want to remain a relevant international economic actor.
 
 The other issue I've been watching closely is the currency control regime, which is slowly tightening upon itself. See FT and Seeking Alpha for two great on-the-ground reports about the effects of the current regulations. The Kirchner government has essentially imposed a tough exit visa system, preventing most Argentines from leaving the country by not allowing them to trade for any foreign currency to spend. Dollars are very hard to obtain across the country.

RELATED: Think you know Latin America? Take our geography quiz!

On top of the political ramifications (voters in democracies don't like these sorts of heavy handed government restrictions), watch for increasing criminal smuggling of dollars and other currencies into Argentina. There is high demand for foreign currency within the country and the government is restricting supply, creating the ideal conditions for a large black market. Various organized crime groups are watching for the opportunity to enter that market and profit.

– James Bosworth is a freelance writer and consultant who runs Bloggings by Boz.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.