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Gaucho Banking Redux

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  • Gerardo della Paolera
  • Alan M. Taylor

Abstract

Argentina's economic crisis has strong similarities with previous crises stretching back to the nineteenth century. A common thread runs through all these crises: the interaction of a weak, undisciplined, or corruptible banking sector, and some other group of conspirators from the public or private sector that hasten its collapse. This pampean propensity for crony finance was dubbed gaucho banking' more than one hundred years ago. What happens when such a rotten structure interacts with a convertibility plan? We compare the 1929 and 2001 crises the two instances where rigid convertibility plans failed and reach two main conclusions. First, a seemingly robust currency-board can be devastated by an ill-conceived approach to the problems of internal and external convertibility (or, to rephrase Gresham, bad inside money drives out good outside money'). Second, when modern economic orthodoxy collides with caudillo-style institutional backwardness, a desperate regime with its hands tied in both monetary and fiscal domains will be sorely tempted by a capital levy' on the financial sector (for, as Willie Sutton said when asked why he robbed banks, because that's where the money is).

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9457.

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Date of creation: Jan 2003
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Publication status: published as Gerardo Della Paolera & Alan M. Taylor, 2003. "Gaucho Banking Redux," Journal of LACEA Economia, LACEA - LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9457

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  1. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2004. "The Modern History of Exchange Rate Arrangements: A Reinterpretation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 1-48, February.
  2. Maurice Obstfeld & Jay C. Shambaugh & Alan M. Taylor, 2004. "The Trilemma in History: Tradeoffs among Exchange Rates, Monetary Policies, and Capital Mobility," NBER Working Papers 10396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Frankel, Jeffrey & Schmukler, Sergio L. & Serven, Luis, 2004. "Global transmission of interest rates: monetary independence and currency regime," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 701-733, September.
  4. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Rebelo, Sergio, 2004. "Government guarantees and self-fulfilling speculative attacks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 119(1), pages 31-63, November.
  5. Reinhart, Carmen & Kaminsky, Graciela, 1999. "The twin crises: The causes of banking and balance of payments problems," MPRA Paper 14081, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Velasco, Andres, 1987. "Financial crises and balance of payments crises : A simple model of the southern cone experience," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 27(1-2), pages 263-283, October.
  7. della Paolera, Gerardo & Taylor, Alan M., 2002. "Internal versus external convertibility and emerging-market crises: lessons from Argentine history," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 357-389, October.
  8. Krugman, Paul, 1979. "A Model of Balance-of-Payments Crises," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 11(3), pages 311-25, August.
  9. Michael Mussa, 2002. "Argentina and the Fund: From Triumph to Tragedy," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number pa67, July.
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Cited by:
  1. V. Hugo Juan-Ramon & Emiliano Basco & Carlos Quarracino & Adolfo Barajas, 2006. "Banks During the Argentine Crisis," IMF Working Papers 06/42, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Obstfeld, Maurice & Shambaugh, Jay C & Taylor, Alan M, 2008. "Financial Stability, the Trilemma, and International Reserves," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 6693, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Edgardo Barandiarán, 2003. "El Prestamista de Última Instancia en la Nueva Industria Bancaria," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 40(120), pages 337-358.
  4. Lopes, José Mário & Nunes, Luis C., 2012. "A Markov regime switching model of crises and contagion: The case of the Iberian countries in the EMS," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 1141-1153.
  5. Jérôme Sgard, 2004. "Ce qu'on en dit après - le Currency Board argentin et sa fin tragique," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/6827, Sciences Po.
  6. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/6827 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Jérôme Sgard, 2004. "Ce qu’on en dit après : le « currency board » argentin et sa fin tragique," Revue d'Économie Financière, Programme National Persée, Programme National Persée, vol. 75(2), pages 129-151.

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