SECOND TAKE: FT LEX
THE LEX COLUMN: Argentina not crying for Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
Presidential election opinion polls will serve as barometer for economy
In most years, the barometer for Argentina’s economy is the price of its currency, the peso. This year, traders will follow the country’s presidential election opinion polls. In both cases, incumbent Mauricio Macri is losing. The peso has halved over the past year. Worse, his already-low support — one recent poll put it at about 36% — could fall further given that former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner might run against him in October’s national elections. Voters may dislike Argentina’s current plight. But expecting them to back the populist Fernández insults them. They have got her number. Argentine bond prices fell sharply after the publication of Fernández’s autobiography, Sincerely, which hinted at her return. No wonder. Argentina teetered on the brink of collapse when she left office in 2015. She oversaw four recessions during her term, roughly one every two years. Markets had shunned the country. A heavily managed peso, with sporadic devaluations, led to foreign exch...