Penchant for Slogans Haunts Macri as Argentina Turns to IMF

(Bloomberg) -- "Greenshoots." "Plan B." "Flood of Investment." President Mauricio Macri’s favorite economic slogans have come back to haunt him now that he’s seeking help from the same institution many Argentines blame for the traumatic 2001 debt crisis.

Here’s a selection of the Macri administration’s favorite catch-phrases since he took office in 2015, vowing to restore economic growth and Argentina’s access to global financial markets. None of the scenarios came true. All the phrases have been retired. And government officials are meeting with the International Monetary Fund in Washington to discuss a credit line of about $30 billion.

  • Brotes Verdes ("greenshoots"):
    • Macri and most of his cabinet used it in 2016 to describe key economic indicators that would show a slow, but steady, recovery. Argentina remained in a recession through the end of that year. In a biting twist, the lead opposition TV channel, C5N, named its latest economic show "Brotes Verdes."
  • No Hay Plan B ("There is no plan B"):
    • In an April 2017 interview, Macri told Bloomberg there was no backup plan if his strategy for slow and gradual changes didn’t work. His treasury and finance ministers used the same terminology in until a few weeks ago.
  • Lluvia de Inversiones ("Flood of investment"):
    • The nation’s return to capital markets in 2016, after a 15-year absence, was supposed to pave the way for billions of investment in infrastructure, real estate and construction. That wave has yet to materialize.
  • Segundo Semestre ("Second half"):
    • Macri and his then-finance minister pinpointed the second six months of 2016 as the start of the recovery. The entire year came and went with a barely perceptible recovery and the phrase grew to be used to mock any estimate of a time frame for success that was too bold.

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