Cecilia Nahon: Argentina Vs The Vultures

Cecilia Nahon Argentina


During the 1990s, Argentina had been the poster child for Neoliberal policies—they adopted virtually the whole of the so-called “Washington Consensus” agenda lock-stock-and-barrel. They even adopted a currency board. And unlike Euroland (which also adopted something like a currency board as each member adopted a foreign currency—the euro), Argentina would have consistently met the tight Maastricht criteria on budget deficits and debts over that period. The main purpose of the austere budgets and currency board constraints was to kill high inflation. It worked. But, over that period unemployment grew and GDP growth was moderate. And because the peg was sold to the Argentinean public as “inviolable” it created great incentives to accumulate a lot of foreign debt, particularly dollar denominated. By the late 1990s, however, growth slowed making it harder for Argentina to secure the dollars required to service its growing debt burden (it peaked at 180% of GDP) and the peg was ultimately abandoned.

Cecilia Nahon: Argentina Vs The Vultures

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