The Next Paraguay

Oct 5, 2003

Argentine government debt negotiators now are fanning across the world in their first concerted attempt to open talks with bondholders. It is impossible to feel any sympathy for the Argentines, since their problems are entirely self-inflicted. Their negotiating tactics have systematically - by design or not - alienated nearly all support still left to them in the outside world. They have defaulted (briefly) on official sector debt, refused for 22 months to engage in serious talks with bondholders since defaulting in December 2001, misled officials at developed country central banks, made an absurdly aggressive opening offer to bondholders in September and needlessly angered interlocutors around he world with their arrogance.

All this is part of a pattern of remarkably self-destructive behavior that has marked Argentina's policies for years. In December 2001, after...

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