Even before the virus hit, the country was on track to default on $66 billion in debt. Singapore deploys a robot named Spot to tell people to keep a safe distance.
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Argentina again teeters on default as the pandemic guts its economy.
Argentina is hurtling toward default on international loans in two weeks, a prospect that threatens to revive its reputation as a serial deadbeat and global financial pariah that could haunt the Latin American country long after the coronavirus pandemic is over.
If Argentina defaults, which as of Friday appeared likely, it would be the third time in two decades that the country has failed to meet loan payments after having amassed billions of dollars in foreign debt in a deepening spiral of economic dysfunction. Argentina would join Lebanon as the first defaulters in the financial tumult caused by the coronavirus.
Argentina’s 45 million people already were suffering through the third year of a serious downturn when the coronavirus scourge hit, accelerating the economic pain by forcing a lockdown that closed many businesses and left workers jobless.
That suddenly threw a wrench into the government’s plans to restructure $66 billion in debt owed to a range of mostly foreign creditors that include Wall Street investment banks and other private investors around the world. Some of that debt is a vestige of unpaid loans from Argentina’s default in 2001.
The country faces a $500 million interest payment May 22.
The center-left government, elected just seven months ago, says it cannot afford to meet obligations to international creditors while it is raising health care spending and providing emergency cash to Argentines already reeling from soaring inflation and rising poverty.
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