Sunday, October 14, 2012
WHEN Argentina proposed a brutal 65% haircut to holders of its defaulted sovereign bonds in a 2005 restructuring, one argument the country’s officials used to justify the offer was that the country could not take on more debt than it could reasonably expect to pay. As painful as the loss might be, the argument went, at least the new bonds the government would issue would be creditworthy.
Just seven years later, that claim now looks harder to support. This month the impoverished northern province of Chaco was unable to pay $263,000 of interest, after Argentina’s Central Bank refused to sell it the necessary dollars. That forced the province to announce it would compensate its creditors in pesos, converting the amount owed at the official exchange rate, which is roughly 25% less than the currency’s value on the black market. It was the first time an arm of the Argentine government had failed to deliver a debt payment in full since the country’s massive 2001 default.
To view the full article, visit: http://www.economist.com/blogs/americasview/2012/10/argentinas-sovereign-debt