Serial payers, serial losers? The political economy of Argentina’s public debt

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Cantamutto, Francisco J. ; Ozarow, Daniel (2016)

Global neoliberal architecture has allowed countries to increase their debts to meet their needs. But ever since 2008, many European and North American countries have faced financial crises induced by unsustainable debts. This paper analyses the case of post-default Argentina since 2001, so as to better comprehend the political economy of public debt, especially in cases where governments are elected on anti-austerity platforms. Presidents Néstor and Cristina Kirchner were committed to a debt-reduction policy. Yet, Argentina faced a new, ‘selective’ default in 2014. This paper analyses why the country has inevitably trapped itself in a cycle of debt-dependency, which can only by interrupted by a comprehensive audit of its legitimacy followed by debt cancellation. Critical lessons are provided for other countries facing similar situations.
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