Following two consecutive years of recession, 2017 may mark a turning point for South America. Simultaneously mired by political scandal, high inflation, growing government debt, increasing unemployment and declining output, politico-economic turbulence in Brazil has dragged down economic activity on the continent. Though, while the new Brazilian government introduces fiscal reforms with a renewed commitment to growing the economy, there are no guarantees that Brazil’s re-emergence will necessarily benefit its neighbours if it continues its approach to regionalism.
As the deadline of June 30th came and went, Argentina attempted to make $832USD million in payments to restructured hedge funds, but was forced to take the money back by Judge Thomas Griesa who ordered the original debt ruling back in June.1 The New York Courts demanded BNY Mellon give back the $539 million it received from Argentina, deeming the payment in violation of the equal payment clause. Griesa decided that Argentina must make payments to both the restructured hedge funds and the holdouts or service neither.