The Argentinian Debt
History, Default, and Restructuring - Working Paper #141
This paper avers that the key to understanding the leadup to the Argentinian debt crisis was the particular anti-inflation and growth strategy—followed first in 1979–81 and in a more radical way in 1991–2001—of fixing the exchange rate, liberalizing the economy, and fully opening it to international financial flows. The chapter shows that funds first rushed into Argentina to take advantage of high nominal interest rates in an inflationary environment, which also helped spur economic recovery. However, later the funds fled the country as confidence in the sustainability of growth and of the exchange rate regime dissipated owing both to real appreciation (domestic inflation, while slowing, still exceeded international rates) and to vulnerability to exogenous shocks in the context of a growing foreign debt burden.
About the Authors
Center for the Study of State and Society (CEDES)
University of MA, Amherst
Principal Research Associate
Roberto Frenkel is Principal Research Associate at CEDES (from 1977) and Professor at the University of Buenos Aires (from 1984). Presently he is also Director of the Graduate Program on Capital Markets (University of Buenos Aires) and teaches graduate courses at the Di Tella and FLACSO-San Andrés Universities in Argentina. He was Professor at the University of Chile, University Católica de Chile, University Central de Venezuela and also visiting professor at the University of California (San Diego), University Católica de Rio de Janeiro and University of Pavia (Italy). He has been a consultant of several international organizations including UN, ILO, UNCTAD, UNDP, ECLAC, and he has also worked for the OECD Development Center, IDB, UNIDO and the governments of Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela and Uruguay. He was Undersecretary Chief of Economics Advisors to the Ministry of Finance (1985-89) and a member of the Board of Directors of the Banco de la Provincia de Buenos Aires (1999-2003) both in Argentina. He is a member of the Board of the World Institute for Development Economic Research (WIDER), United Nations University. He was a member of the UNDP Advisers Group. He published numerous books and articles in academic journals on macroeconomic theory and policy, money and finance, inflation and stabilization policies and labor market and income distribution, with special focus on Argentina and Latin America.