Is Argentina's government deliberately trying to fuck its consumers? Off the DJ wire:
Very few bonds had traded yet, but the dollar-denominated Boden 2012 was down sharply to the peso equivalent ARS136 from its open at ARS149.90.
On Tuesday, President Cristina Fernandez signed a bill that, if approved by the legislature, will end the country's 14-year-old private pension fund system.
The private pension funds are set to receive very limited compensation under the proposed bill, according to a draft of the law which has been sent to Congress for debate.
The companies will "in no case (receive more than) the equivalent of the shareholder capital of the liquidated Administrators," according to the bill.
In addition, compensation will be paid with government bonds, not cash.
According to Dow Jones, Argentina's stock market fell 10% in the first 20 minutes of morning trading.
Granted -- Argentina is an extreme example, but this is the first of many to come in the emerging market space. How anyone can think that emerging markets are more sheltered from the credit freeze than the giant, federally/huge central bank-backed European and American economies just because they weren't as leveraged is beyond comprehension.
It doesn't matter that emerging markets were not leveraged on credit. If the countries whose funds that were propping up their bond markets, equity markets, and growth in general (by buying their products/services) are suffering, they will too. Claiming - as some have - that emerging markets are somehow "decoupled" from America is like saying the Merrill plant-waterer is somehow decoupled from Merrill Lynch's troubles. If the bottom falls out, the plants go too.
With spiraling oil prices and less and less liquidity around, emerging markets are going to feel pain similar to '97 in the not-too-distant future. The fact that a lot of them are running current account surpluses and have enormous sovereign wealth funds won't matter one iota either, because the point is, there will be no more income to make those surpluses sustainable any longer.
And the sovereign wealth funds that remained tied up in oil cash without diversifying into U.S. equities on the cheap will live to regret it.
Article (No Link): Argentina Stocks Down 10% After First 20 Minutes Of Trading (Dow Jones)