Argentine President Cristina Fernandez visited Wall Street and Washington on Monday with a strong message: Argentina is not heading to economic disaster.
Argentina has a long list of unpaid IOUs, yet it’s still attempting to help the government recover from a world-record debt default, which occurred a decade ago. She believes this is due to its leaders putting the people first.
Fernandez said corporations no longer tell Argentina's presidents what to do, allowing them to put the people’s needs first. As a result, Argentina is “freer than ever from international debt obligations.”
However, critics are stating otherwise. Previously, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Argentina’s risk rating, possibly increasing borrowing costs for anyone conducting business with the country. In addition, the International Monetary Fund threatened once again sanctions over its economic data. The Associated Press is reporting that Argentina’s INDEC agency has “magically kept inflation below 1 percent monthly for the last 29 months, even as consumers struggle with price hikes two or three times bigger.”
Fernandez has refused to pay more than 100 court judgments to U.S. businesses, causing U.S. negotiators and diplomats to remove trade preferences. Despite growing criticism, she believes the needs of Argentina’s people are more crucial.
“That’s what they’re never going to forgive: that Argentines have been able to demonstrate, contrary to all the theories of despondency, of fear, of unpatriotic feelings of those who didn’t believe in Argentina, that they could do what’s necessary so that Argentines would live better,” said Fernandez. “They still keep punishing us, because we’re a bad example; we’re the example that it’s possible to build a country without an outside tutor. We’re the example that a country can vote for a president and the one who decides is this president.”
Ever since her husband, President Nestor Kirchner, passed away nearly two years ago, Fernandez has chosen to make major economic decisions with a small group of advisors. Her $6 billion welfare program has more than double in cost and the private pension funds she nationalized brought money Fernandez “spent at her discretion.” At the same time, the Associated Press is reporting that Fernandez recently redirected treasuring and pension funds to housing loans for poor Argentines at minimal rates, which has made her popular among the people for keeping the economy moving.
Fernandez is expected to address the United Nations, as well as answer questions at Georgetown and Harvard this week.