Argentina and Turkey threaten to spark global financial 'CONTAGION'

Argentina and Turkey threaten to spark global financial 'CONTAGION'

03/09/18 - 17:34 - THE world economy could be plunged into chaos by the deepening financial turmoil in Argentina and Turkey, experts have warned.

Argentina's peso has lost half of its value this year against the US dollar, forcing the Latin American nation to impose austerity measures.

Argentina's central bank also raised the country's interest levels to 60 percent, the world's highest, in a bid to ease the decline.

Meanwhile, Turkey's lira has slumped by 42 percent against the dollar this year amid a tense diplomatic feud with the US.

Inflation in Turkey rocketed to 17.9 percent last month, its highest level in 15 years, as the currency crisis shows no sign of abating.

Other emerging economies, including Brazil, India and Indonesia, have also seen their respective currencies fall in value.

German economist Isabel Schnabel warned that Argentina and Turkey's woes threatened to spark a "contagion".

She told German newspaper Handelsblatt: "The contagious effects on other emerging countries are already visible.

"Should there be a broad emerging market crisis, this would have a significant impact on the global economy and thus also on Germany."

Marcel Fratzscher, head of economic thinktank DIW Berlin, warned that China could be hit by the market disruption.

He said: "Political intervention in China has led to major economic imbalances.

"The risks in China's financial system have grown tremendously.

"The fact is that an emerging country has never made the transition to an industrial nation without at least one big financial crisis."

Argentina today announced new taxes on exports and harsh spending cuts in a desperate bid to balance its budget.

President Mauricio Macri said the "emergency" austerity measures were the only way to tackle repeated bouts of financial turmoil.

Speaking in a televised national address, Mr Macri said: "This is not just another crisis. It has to be the last.

"This is an emergency. We cannot keep spending more than we make. We're facing this the best way we can."

Meanwhile, Turkey's Finance Minister insisted the country's central bank will take all necessary steps to combat inflation.

Berat Albayrak, a close ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said Ankara was prepared for "full-fledged fight against inflation".

And he insisted the lira sell-off poses no risk to Turkey's banks, despite widespread concerns it could weaken lenders' assets.

He said: "I have no reason to be worried at this stage. But we are aware of how important the banking sector is.

"We are not expecting any problems in the banking sector, but in case of a problem, we will support them in every way." es un sitio web oficial del Gobierno Argentino