Argentina - The collapse of the Currency board & Beyond

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Case Details:

Case Code : ECOA112
Case Length : 15 Pages
Period : 2003
Organization : -
Pub Date : 2003
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : Argentina, Latin America
Industry : -

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Peronism, that most protean of South American political movements, has survived Argentina's collapse. If it stands for anything, it is strong leadership. So it is ironic that it should now offer up such a week figure. But Argentina's need is for a new kind of president, one who tries to build institutions, rather than promising to fix everything himself. Therein lies an opportunity for Mr. Kirchner and for his country.

- The Economist, 24th May 2003


Argentina, the most cosmopolitan nation in South America was located on the southeastern corner of the continent. Argentina had a distinctive identity within Latin America. Unlike many other countries in the region, Argentines were mostly of European origin. The country had traditionally maintained close links with Europe. At least 85 % of the population was white. Between 1850 and 1940, more than 3.5 million immigrants had arrived in Argentina, about 45 % of them from Italy and 32 % from Spain. Substantial numbers had also come from Britain, Germany, France, Switzerland, Denmark, Poland, Russia, the Middle East, and Japan. Spanish became the official language and was spoken universally, but a number of Argentines also spoke English, Italian, German and French.

Despite the mix of ancestries and languages, the Argentines were fiercely nationalistic, although they were sometimes unsure about their cultural identity. One common saying held that "Argentina is the most European of the Latin nations because its people are from the most Latin of the European nations."

Whatever be the case, the country had rapidly modernized in the past 50 years. Buenos Aires had been voted the. I.T capital of Latin America, the second best city after Sao Paulo for trade shows and the second after Santiago for the best blend of cultural life, entertainment, personal safety and efficiency...

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