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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Brazil and Argentina: Washington Post Gets Them Backward

Brazil and Argentina: Washington Post Gets Them Backward

Tuesday, 21 September 2010 04:19

The Washington Post had an article touting Brazil's recent growth, implying that it is a growing regional powerhouse, at least in part at the expense of its neighbor. Actually, Argentina has been growing considerably more rapidly since 2003, the period discussed in the article.

According to the IMF, growth since 2003 has averaged 6.6 percent annually in Argentina. It has averaged just 4.2 percent in Brazil. It is worth noting that Argentina defaulted on its debt in 2001 and pursued economic policies that were widely condemned by both the IMF and most of the economic policy establishment.

Comments (11)Add Comment
Brazil and Argentina: Washington Post Gets Them Backward
written by caseyf5, September 21, 2010 6:16
Wow! Imagine that. The Washington Post gets something wrong. Stop the presses. News flash, banner headline "The Washington Post admits error in judgement". Runs this headline two years later.
Argentina poll sees Kirchners return from oblivion
written by Scott ffolliott, September 21, 2010 11:56
Argentina poll sees Kirchners return from oblivion
written by Ed Dolan, September 21, 2010 1:46
You are right to point this out. Argentina is a smaller country than Brazil, of course, but it does deserve more attention than it gets. In particular, it's recovery after the 2001 default is highly relevant to the debate over whether Greece should quickly default on (polite translation: "restructure") its debt rather than slogging through on its daunting austerity program.
written by KS, September 22, 2010 7:47
Ed Dolan's comments about lessons for Greece from Argentina are interesting, but i'd be careful about this. First, Argentina restructured at exceptionally good terms (good, from the debtor's perspective, not necessarily the creditors'), and it's not clear that Greece would be able to impose such terms on its creditors. Second, post-restructuring Argentina experienced a massive boom in revenues for leading exports, particularly soya, and it seems less likely that Greece is going to benefit from such an export boom. This is not to say that Greece should not default (i.e. unilaterally demand restructuring), only that the lessons from Argentina's experience may be less relevant than they seem.
written by Fabio de Oliveira, September 23, 2010 8:15
This posting is ludicrous. The mere notion that Argentina has even comes close to matching Brazil's accomplishments is absurd. Argentina today is on par with Venezuela not Brazil. They share the highest inflation rates and both practice censorship of the press. The Kirchner family has been Argentina's ruling dictatorship since 2003 and has amassed great wealth during their reign through questionable means. During Cristina Kirchner´s first year as president and Néstor Kirchner as ex-president, the assets of the couple increased from 17,824,941 to 46,036,711 pesos which implies an increase of 158%. Their personal enrichment allows them to lead an imperial lifestyle similar to that of Hugo Chavez while Argentine poverty and homelessness grows. Corruption coupled with inflation have never been catalysts for economic growth. The bottom line is that Brazil's economy, like Chile's economy, has steadily grown during the last 50 years. Argentina's has not. It has mainly been stagnant with intermittent and brief periods of growth. In 2010, Brazil overtook Spain and Canada to become the 8th largest economy in the world. Argentina's economy has lagged since the late 1990's and now barely ranks in the top 30. In addition, the government has propped up the economy by repeatedly defaulting on their international debts and now practices raiding the foreign exchange reserves of the central bank to balance the government's budget. It is not surprising that the the G-20 is considering dropping Argentina as a member nation... No Mr. Baker, the Post has not overlooked Argentina and it has no hidden agenda when reporting the facts. Brazil, with its booming economy and growing presence on the international political scene, is poised to become a world power. Like it or not Mr. Baker, Brazil is in fact the real Latin American tiger.
good article
written by Gabriel, September 24, 2010 11:00

Well the W.Post seems to hold a right leaning agenda, thus anything good coming out of countries perceived as mildly leftist, will be portrayed negatively or ignored...

@Fabio... thanks for giving us the typical opposition rant word for word... any thoughts of your own...? (Try not to be so nationalistic, but if you must, just wear the Verde-Amarela...)
written by Fabio de Oliveira, September 25, 2010 11:32
@Gabriel... No, no thoughts of my own, just stating the facts... Can't go wrong with the facts... Will save my "thoughts" for my upcoming blog Verde Amarelo (with an o).
Good article
written by Gabriel, September 28, 2010 11:32
Fabio, the so call facts you are presenting are either coming from a political point of view similar to the W.P., or refer to a period in time outside the scope of the article (from 2003 on)

Now, in regards to weather Brazil or Argentina should be called the Latin American Tiger, it is not the issue... you can call Brazil the latin american superpower if you want, but the issue at hand is that Argentina has been on strong footing, but as previously mentioned, but since it does not conform to the W. Post political leanings, it is disregarded…

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written by Gary, December 12, 2010 2:08
The Kirchner's are not a dictatorship, what a ridiculous assertion. Both were elected, Cristina by a massive landslide. I also suspect most of the accumulation of wealth was Nestor's doing, given his personality type. His confrontational, bloody minded approach was what Argentina needed in that nightmare, but times are different now. Cristina is passionate but more willing to listen than her late husband.

Much of the Argentine media is controlled by corporate interests who were closely connected to the 1976-1983 dictatorship. That would bug any person who cares about democracy.
Note that Cristina has no problem with people protesting (unlike the UK government), which is not a characteristic one finds in dictators.

The fact is Cristina is not a raging lefty, Kirchnerismo is almost identical to Keynesianism. But the Washington Post, being Neo-Liberal, thinks that Keynesianism and Marxism are the same thing. The Post conveniently fails to mention that Neo-Liberalism destroyed Argentina's economy.

Ireland and Greece are finished, they are, as Max Keiser stated, "vassal states". If you're not rich, I suggest leaving Ireland, as the rich are the only people who the Irish government cares for.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.