Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Don't cry for me Argentina

In 2001 Argentina defaulted and exited its peso from its one to one convertibility peg to the US dollar that had lasted for the previous10 years. What happened? Well since 2001 there has been 10 years of sustained economic growth in Argentina and last year growth hit 9.2%. .

 Was there any difference between Argentina and Greece? Some said  that because Argentina's crisis was preceded by a decade of free-market reforms, and followed by a huge surge in world commodity prices benefiting its farm exports, it would be unwise for Greece to try to take the same path or would it?.

The similarities were not lost on Athens protesters last month when parliament voted through more cuts. They floated a balloon asking: "Yesterday, Argentina; Today, Greece; Tomorrow?" In both countries the populace wanted rid of their parasitic political class and took to the streets to do so.

The difference was Argentina was on its own. There was no danger of their contagion spreading to the US economy. They defaulted, their bond holders sued capital fled the country and what then happened? The most interesting thing was the rise of democratic worker's cooperatives to take over shut down hotels, factories and even airlines. As Wikepedia says, " During the economic collapse, many business owners and foreign investors drew all of their money out of the Argentine economy and sent it overseas. As a result, many small and medium enterprises closed due to lack of capital, thereby exacerbating unemployment. Many workers at these enterprises, faced with a sudden loss of employment and no source of income, decided to reopen businesses on their own, without the presence of the owners and their capital, as self-managed cooperatives."

And it worked! Is this what the EU is really afraid of. Democratic worker power removing the need for Eurocrats and the political class? Its worth a thought.


Anonymous said...

"Well since 2001 there has been 10 years of sustained economic growth in Argentina and last year growth hit 9.2%. . "
Sounds good but how does it compare to its neighbours who didn't default?

Haven't a lot of South American countries being doing well recently?

Eric Edmond said...

Yes they have and they are not in the EU!