Infographic

Argentina’s Stock Market Decline Is Among the World’s Worst Since 1950

Despite Monday’s drop, Argentine stocks have performed better than those in Pakistan and Oman this year.

A woman walks past a currency exchange board in Buenos Aires on Aug. 12.
A woman walks past a currency exchange board in Buenos Aires on Aug. 12. Natacha Pisarenko/AP

Argentina’s main stock market plummeted 48 percent in U.S. dollar terms on Monday. The S&P Merval’s fall was the second-largest drop of any major stock index tracked by Bloomberg since 1950.

Argentine President Mauricio Macri’s wider-than-expected margin of defeat in primary elections Sunday by his center-left rival, Alberto Fernández, sent shock waves through the Argentine stock market. The conservative Macri is known for championing austerity and freer markets as solutions to Argentina’s recession.

The country has a long history of fiscal crises. As seen in the chart below, two of the five worst stock market drops since 1950 occurred in Argentina.

Argentina’s main stock market plummeted 48 percent in U.S. dollar terms on Monday. The S&P Merval’s fall was the second-largest drop of any major stock index tracked by Bloomberg since 1950.

Argentine President Mauricio Macri’s wider-than-expected margin of defeat in primary elections Sunday by his center-left rival, Alberto Fernández, sent shock waves through the Argentine stock market. The conservative Macri is known for championing austerity and freer markets as solutions to Argentina’s recession.

The country has a long history of fiscal crises. As seen in the chart below, two of the five worst stock market drops since 1950 occurred in Argentina.


Largest Stock Market Plunges Since 1950


The only country that suffered a larger drop in U.S. dollar terms is Sri Lanka, which in 1989 was mired in civil war.

But despite yesterday’s drop, Argentina’s Merval is only down 9.12 percent in 2019 to date. The key indices in Pakistan and Oman have performed worse this year.


Worst Performing Markets in 2019

Index Country YTD
KSE100 Pakistan -20.61%
MSM30 Oman -10.69%
MERVAL Argentina -9.12%
WIG20 Poland -7.33%
IPSA Chile -5.44%
KOSPI South Korea -4.84%

As of Aug. 12 close. Source: Bloomberg

  Twitter: @seekayhickey

More from Foreign Policy

The Taliban delegation leaves the hotel after meeting with representatives of Russia, China, the United States, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Qatar in Moscow on March 19.

China and the Taliban Begin Their Romance

Beijing has its eyes set on using Afghanistan as a strategic corridor once U.S. troops are out of the way.

An Afghan security member pours gasoline over a pile of seized drugs and alcoholic drinks

The Taliban Are Breaking Bad

Meth is even more profitable than heroin—and is turbocharging the insurgency.

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya addresses the U.N. Security Council from her office in Vilnius, Lithuania, on Sept. 4, 2020.

Belarus’s Unlikely New Leader

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya didn’t set out to challenge a brutal dictatorship.

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid

What the Taliban Takeover Means for India

Kabul’s swift collapse leaves New Delhi with significant security concerns.