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Living and Dying with Hard Pegs: The Rise and Fall of Argentina´s Currency Board

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  • Eduardo Levy Yeyati
  • Augusto de la Torre
  • Sergio Schmukler

Abstract

The rise and fall of Argentina’s currency board illustrates the extent to which the advantages of hard pegs have been overstated. The currency board did provide nominal stability and boosted financial intermediation, at the cost of endogenous financial dollarization, but did not foster fiscal or monetary discipline. The failure to adequately address the currency-growth-debt trap, into which Argentina fell at the end of the 1990s, precipitated a run on the currency and the banks, followed by the abandonment of the currency board and a sovereign debt default. The crisis can be best interpreted as a bad outcome of a high-stakes strategy to overcome a weak currency problem. To increase the credibility of the hard peg, the government raised its exit costs, which deepened the crisis once exit could no longer be avoided. But some alternative exit strategies would have been less destructive than the one adopted.

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Paper provided by Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in its series Business School Working Papers with number catorce.

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Length: 58 pages
Date of creation: 01 Jan 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:udt:wpbsdt:catorce

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  1. Tornell, Aaron & Velasco, Andres, 2000. "Fixed versus flexible exchange rates: Which provides more fiscal discipline?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 399-436, April.
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  8. María Soledad Martínez-Peria & Sergio Schmukler, 2002. "Do Depositors Punish Banks for Bad Behavior? Market Discipline, Deposit Insurance, and Banking Crises," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Leonardo Hernández & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (S (ed.), Banking, Financial Integration, and International Crises, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 5, pages 143-174 Central Bank of Chile.
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  13. de la Torre, Augusto & Levy Yeyati, Eduardo & Schmukler, Sergio L, 2002. "Financial Globalization: Unequal Blessings," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(3), pages 335-57, Winter.
  14. Michael Mussa, 2002. "Argentina and the Fund: From Triumph to Tragedy," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number pa67.
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