Playing the Victim
Argentina's private retirement funds may be impacted less by the government's default than many think. That's good news for pensioners.
Incredible as it may seem, Argentina's shell-shocked private
pension funds could well survive the government's December 2001
default in relatively good shape, even though their original
holding of $15 billion in public bonds has not paid a cent in
interest and has lost 70% of its value since then.
In the months prior to the default, as confusion and panic
reigned in Buenos Aires, it seemed the funds were doomed.
Portfolio managers at Argentina's private pension funds -
among the biggest holders of government bonds - met every
day to try and make sense of the unfolding disaster. "It was
total confusion," recalls one manager. "We would get together
every day and guess what would happen next. It was almost
impossible to guess the next move. Everyone was improvising."
The default brought in its train a 70% devaluation, destruction
of the banking system and the worst collapse in Argentina's
Already have an account?
Subscribe now for unlimited access to all current and archive news, data and market analysis.
Take a free two-week trial now for the latest news, data and market analysis.