2020 is a year, and therefore there is a good chance Argentina will default in it. History tells us there’s a 6% chance that it will happen in any given year, although over the last seven decades, it’s actually been more like 9%, or once every 11 years or so. And, you know, it’s been all of six years since the last one, which is not to say that the country’s due for a bout of non-bill-paying, only that it’s getting there—and it seems more likely now than, say, five months ago.

So, while we know Argentina’s gonna need to restructure its debt again, we don’t know if it’s going to go the rout of first repudiating it to get there. But there’s a pretty big part of Argentina ready to do so, and it’s led by a guy who knows a thing or two about defaulting (if somewhat less about the U.S. doctrine of separation of powers).

Axel Kicillof, Argentina’s former finance minister and new governor of Buenos Aires province, has given creditors until Wednesday night to accept a three-month delay in the repayment of $250 million in foreign debt issued by the Buenos Aires province due this coming Sunday…. Investors were surprised by Gov. Kicillof’s move as they expected Argentine authorities to honor foreign-debt payments during negotiations to restructure the country’s sovereign debt, Mr. Porzecanski added…. In 2014, he battled hedge funds led by U.S. investor Paul Singer over billions of dollars in unpaid foreign debt, a dispute that culminated in a default after the government defied a U.S. court ruling in favor of what the government labeled as vulture funds.

Argentine Governor Rattles Markets With Plans to Delay Bond Payment [WSJ]

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