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The Resurrection of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner

How Argentina’s Economic Crisis Powered a Populist Revival

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in Buenos Aires, Argentina, August 2019 Luisa González / Reuters

In 2018, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved the largest bailout package in its 73-year history. The $57 billion loan to Argentina was supposed to backstop the country’s faltering economy and end its pattern of cyclical crises. By way of comparison, the Argentine bailout was roughly five times what the IMF approved in 2016 to stave off economic collapse in Egypt.

[Lea la versión de este artículo en español aquí.] 

One year later, it’s clear that the IMF has lost its largest-ever bet. Argentina’s annual inflation rate is the highest in the region at 54 percent, the credit agency Fitch has downgraded the country’s credit rating from B to CCC, and the crisis shows no signs of improving.

With general elections slated for October 27, both Argentine President Mauricio Macri and his center-right government are in trouble. A businessman and former head of the Boca Juniors football club, 

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