London/New York — This year’s global emerging-market sell-off has its roots in a slew of mini-routs as the era of easy money came to an end. Consider Turkey, now paying the price for its refusal to follow orthodox monetary policy; Argentina, facing a crisis of confidence just four years since its last default; China, targeted in a trade war; and SA, the emerging-market proxy punished for crisis in any corner of the asset class. Here is a look at what is actually behind declines in markets most vulnerable in the current geopolitical and monetary environment.

Argentina South America’s number two economy has a benchmark interest rate of 60% and inflation tops 31%. The real policy rate now ranks among the world’s highest and is pushing the economy back into recession. Economic activity fell 6.7% in June. New taxes announced this week to restore a balanced budget would only compound the suffering. Argentina is targeting a primary budget surplus by 2020 to ease its demand for foreig...

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