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Kaepernick is this week's champ while Argentina's president is the chump

Dion Rabouin
Financial Markets Reporter

This week’s champ is unemployed quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Unlike other football players without a job, Kaep showed that he doesn’t need the NFL to ball out when he signed a brand new deal with Nike (NKE). And while President Trump raged on Twitter, your man Colin was wondering: ‘What’s that got to do with me?’

Not only is Kaep’s funding secured — experts and sports agents speculate that his Nike contract is worth millions — his face was front and center on the NFL’s opening night despite him not playing a down. That’s a great way to reduce exposure to CTE, and Apex Marketing estimates his new Nike spot was worth $165 million dollars to the company.

Colin Kaepernick is just one of several athletes-turned-changemakers that Nike is spotlighting in its latest “Just Do It” campaign.

This week’s chump is Argentinian President Mauricio Macri. Remember 2016? Back then everyone was saying, “Market-friendly Mauricio Macri is going to save Argentina with center-right governance.”

“So what if he’s loading the country up with billions of dollars in fresh debt,” they said. “So what if he’s issuing an unprecedented 100-year bond. In a country that defaults on its bonds every 25 years.

“He’s instituting austerity, raising interest rates, sticking it to working people who may have relied on the subsidized food and gas previous administrations had guaranteed.” All the policies investors and economists said governments around the world should adopt.

Argentina President Mauricio Macri’s popularity has been in decline as he struggles to manage a fragile economy (Photo: JUAN MABROMATA/AFP)

And how’d that work out for him? Oh, the country is in a death spiral. Its currency (ARS=X) is worth about a third of what it was when Macri took office, falling from 15 pesos per dollar in 2016 to nearly 40 today. (The more pesos it takes to equal one dollar, the less value the currency has.)

Argentina’s debt – the bonds investors couldn’t snap up fast enough just last year – is now barely worth the paper it’s printed on.

This chart shows the performance of the U.S. dollar against Argentina’s peso. The dollar is now worth nearly 40 pesos.

Adding insult to injury, Macri is taking money from the hated International Monetary Fund — Argentines blame the Fund for forcing austerity measures on the country that led to its 2001 default — and his central bank has raised interest rates to 60%. (Interest rates in the United States aren’t even 2%.) Businesses and homeowners and anyone else in need of credit simply can’t afford to borrow at 60%.

Argentina was the emerging market feel-good story of the decade just last year. And the good times are all but over now.

You know who has almost no chance of winning a second term? Mauricio Macri.

See also:

Wall Street managers have cost Americans more than $600 billion over the past decade

It’s the end of the world as we know it, and investors feel bullish

A Trump trade war victory over China could be disastrous for the US

What the collapse of Turkey’s currency means for the US and the rest of the world

Dion Rabouin is a global markets reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter: @DionRabouin.

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