No Leaders, No Money, No Hope

May 1, 2002

A deepening financial crisis is adding another layer of complexity to Argentina's troubles, made worse by the government's extraordinary incompetence.

Three steps backward and a few shuffles sideways is probably the best way to describe how President Eduardo Duhalde is dealing with the disaster that has enveloped Argentina. Good news of sorts came in April when Congress approved new legislation in less than a day to stem the outflow of money from the country's ruined banking system, five months after the previous government froze bank accounts to prevent a run on the banks. This should ease pressure on the debased peso and keep banks limping along for a while longer. But the politicians only acted after Jorge Remes Lenicov quit as economy minister after 113 days on the job when his plan to save the banks unraveled, plunging the country into yet another crisis. After he resigned, Duhalde holed up in the presidential residence of Olivos surrounded by Peronist party bosses and provincial governors to search for a successor....

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