Argentina is currently embroiled in a dispute with the International Monetary Fund over its reporting of inflation in the country. As a means to chasten Argentina’s leaders, like president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, IMF chief Christine Lagarde (who is French) invoked soccer’s well-known system of discipline. Kirchner wasn’t having it.
Lagarde, speaking in Washington on Sept. 24, said the IMF’s decision amounted to giving South America’s second-biggest economy a “yellow card” for failing to improve inflation reports that economists say underestimate consumer price increases by almost one-third.
This seems like an easy way to convey the message, in an analogy we can all understand, that Argentina better straighten up. A “red card” for Argentina would see the country censured and possibly expelled.
“My country is not a soccer team, it is a sovereign country and as such is not going to accept a threat,” Fernandez said in her UN speech. “This is not a soccer game, this is the most serious economic crisis since the 1930s.”
While this is no doubt fascinating for all of you economy wonks out there, I think the soccer analogy gives us a perfect way to settle the matter. Pit Argentina’s national team (which actually is a soccer team) against a team of all-stars made up of players from other IMF nations (which is basically the world). Sell tickets, put it on pay-per-view. Winner gets to use have their way on the inflation data issue. Loser has to give Diego Maradona a job where he’s in charge of something.
You’d think the IMF All-Stars would have the edge, but Argentina would have Messi. That might even things up.
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