The monumental fiscal and monetary hole that Peronists Massa and Fernández have left for Javier Milei is difficult to replicate. Ex-president Mauricio Macri himself explained that the inheritance Milei receives is “worse” than the one he found from Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. Peronism leaves a country in ruins and with a massive time bomb for the next administration.
The enormous economic problems of Argentina start with a primary fiscal deficit of 3% of GDP and a total deficit (including interest expenses) exceeding 5% of GDP. Moreover, it is a structural deficit that cannot be reduced unless public spending is slashed. Public expenditure already accounts for 40% of GDP and has doubled in the era of Kirchnerism. If we analyze Argentina’s budget, up to 20% is purely political spending. The previous left-wing administration only cut spending on pensions, which were half of the adjustment in real terms, according to the Argentine Institute of Fiscal Analysis.
Continue reading Why Milei Must Shut Down the Argentina Central Bank
Market implied Fed Funds rate discount a string of cuts starting in January 2024 and culminating in a 4.492 percent in January 2025. These expectations are based on the perception that the Federal Reserve will achieve a soft landing and that inflation will drop rapidly. However, market participants who assume rate cuts will be bullish may be taking too much risk for the wrong reasons.
The messages from the Federal Reserve contradict the previously mentioned estimates. Powell continues to repeat that there is more likelihood of rate hikes than cuts and that the battle against inflation is not over.
Continue reading Fed Rate Cuts Will Not Save The Economy
The Eurozone economy is more than weak. It is in deep contraction, and the data is staggering.
The Eurozone Manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI), compiled by S&P Global, fell to a three-month low of 43.1 in October, the sixteenth consecutive month of contraction. However, European analysts tend to ignore the manufacturing decline using the excuse that the services sector is larger and stronger than expected, but it is not. The Eurozone Composite PMI is also in deep contraction at 46.5, a 35-month low, and the services sector plummeted to recession territory at 47.8, a 32-month low.
Some analysts blame the energy crisis and the ECB rate hikes, but this makes no sense. The eurozone should be outperforming the United States and China because the energy crisis reverted almost immediately. Between May 2022 and June 2023, all commodities, including natural gas, oil, and coal, as well as wheat, slumped and fell to pre-Ukraine war levels. A mild winter and the impact of monetary contraction created a strong stimulus that should have helped the eurozone, and there were no supply disruptions. In fact, the contribution of the external sector to GDP helped the area avoid a recession, as exports remained healthy while imports declined.
Continue reading The Eurozone Disaster. Between Stagnation and Stagflation
The United States is borrowing its way to disguise recession.
The headline economic figures for the United States look robust. However, details show concerning weaknesses.
Real GDP growth surged to 4.9% in the third quarter, above the consensus estimate of 4.5%. However, some analysts, including Bloomberg, expected up to 5% growth based on the nowcast estimates.
Continue reading U.S. GDP Hides Weakness Behind Massive Debt