Presidents Nestor and Cristina Kirchner have quietly enabled Argentina to start defaulting on its external debt again by putting a friend in charge of collecting and reporting inflation data. The official consumer inflation rate is 8.9%. That is the rate used to set payments on inflation-adjusted bonds. The true inflation rate is more than 25%, said union-protected employees of the statistics office. "Argentina is engineering a partial default on its domestic debt," said Carmen Reinhart, a professor at the University of Maryland.

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