For economists of a certain age, Argentina is the gift that goes on giving. For the IMF, it is a recurring nightmare.
And for investment bankers, who actually bought into Argentina’s 100-year bond issue in 2017, it ought to be a lesson that they are not as smart as they think they are.
Come March, Buenos Aires is supposed to repay $45bn to the IMF. It won’t happen, not least because the country’s total reserves are only around $35bn.
But will Argentina risk arrears with the Fund? Or will the Fund blink? This brief Explainer explores the options – another currency board, dollarisation, a technocratic administration? Or just more of the same old same old muddling through?
To zoom in on the complex matter, Andrew Hilton (Director of the CSFI) sits down Danny Leipziger, a Professor of Practice in International Business at George Washington University in DC, and MD of the University’s Growth Dialogue.
He is a former V-P at the World Bank, where he headed the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network, having previously been chief economist for the Southern Cone region.
Leipziger was educated at CCNY and at Brown, from which he has a PhD in economics. He is the author of around a dozen books, and many articles on debt and development.