How to Ruin Your Economy and Influence People
by Bill Bonner
We can learn a lot from the Argentines. When it comes to messing up an economy, they’re Numero Uno. They’re Olympians of financial legerdemain and masters of the old false shuffle.
In 2001, the country was deeply in debt. The government was out of money. And the currency was losing value fast. What did the Argentines do?
First, they broke their promise to investors and savers, cutting the peso loose from the dollar. Then, they seized control of banks and bank accounts. People had been saving money in US dollar accounts in order to avoid problems with the peso. But the Argentine feds forcibly converted their accounts to pesos, just as the peso was losing 2/3rds of its value.
The next thing was to take the reserves in the central bank and use them to pay current expenses – which caused the head of the bank to resign in protest.