Argentina\’s trick this time, under the presidential double act of Nestor and Cristina Kirchner, has been to purge the National Statistics Office and appoint a friend to manage inflation data.
The official Consumer Price Index (CPI) is 8.9pc. This is the benchmark used to set payments on inflation-linked bonds, now 40pc of the country\’s debt.
The true inflation rate is more than 25pc, according to union staff of the statistics office. They allege manipulation. St Luis province is issuing its own data, three times higher.
"Argentina is engineering a partial default on its domestic debt," said Professor Carmen Reinhart, from Maryland University.
Gosh, who would have thought it?
As one economist recently pointed out, perhaps the only thing worse than the effect of orthodox economic policies in Argentina is the effect of heterodox ones.