Dollarize Argentina Now!

A nice post by Steve Hanke of Cato Insti.

Argentina is once again wrestling with its long-time enemy – inflation. Now, it appears history may soon repeat itself, as Argentina teeters on the verge of another currency crisis. As of Tuesday morning, the black-market ARD/USD exchange rate hit 9.87,  meaning the peso’s value now sits 47.3% below the official exchange rate.

This yields an implied annual inflation rate of 98.3%. For now, the effects of this elevated inflation rate are being subdued somewhat by Argentina’s massive price control regime. But, these price controls are not sustainable in the long term. Indeed, the short-term “lying prices” they create only distort the economic reality, ultimately leading to scarcity.

There is, however, a simple solution to Argentina’s monetary problems –dollarization. I have advocated dollarization in Argentina for over two decades – well before the blow up of their so-called “currency board”. To put the record straight, Argentina did not have a true currency board from 1991-2002.  Rather, as I anticipated in 1991, the “convertibility system” acted more like a central bank than a currency board. This pegged exchange rate system was bound to fail… and fail, it did.

 His solution is to dollarize Argentina:

If you note, he is also proposing a free banking system in Argentina with no central bank! Most Cato Insti guys are against central banks and propose free banking where banks figure things by themselves..

Nice bit..


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