Oct 1, 2001

Argentine Bank Deposits Slide
Bank deposits in Argentina peaked in February at $75.17 billion but have fallen almost every month since. Deposit levels are an indicator of the ebb in confidence in the government's economic policies. Savings accounts are mainly in dollars, while checking accounts are in pesos. People have swapped their pesos for dollars to avoid the effects of a possible devaluation and are moving dollars out of the banking system to prevent the government from freezing their assets. Savers also worry about the solvency of the banking system since its assets consist mainly of government securities. Deposits picked up a little after Domingo Cavallo's appointment in March as economy minister, but fell after the government's $29.5 billion debt exchange in June. They edged up somewhat after the International Monetary Fund promised in August to lend $8 billion to help the central bank maintain liquidity of the banking...

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