Tuesday, April 23, 2002

You should never quite believe what you read in the papers. Argentina's president had an op-ed in Monday's Washington Post about his country's economic problems:

... Argentina's future can be as bright as its past, but only if Argentines recognize two facts. First, our crisis is home-grown -- made in Argentina, by Argentines. Second, our solutions will also be home-grown -- made in Argentina, by Argentines.

But an odd thing about this is that at least one of the policies that made the crisis was not home-grown. As Duhalde says,

... the fixed exchange rate we had for 10 years had become an economic straitjacket that meant Argentina would never again grow. We were not competitive enough to be pegged to the most productive economy in the world. At the end of the day, we had no choice but to free the peso and begin the process of restructuring our entire economy.

But that currency peg was at least as much a product of Washington as Buenos Aires; in particular, it was part of a massive economic restructuring package urged on Argentina by the IMF.

It's fairly easy to see why Duhalde might soft-pedal the point; in an article that is largely an appeal for

...the support of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank

it would be indelicate to point out their goofs...


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