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And, yes, I DO take it personally: Yeah, what DID happen to Argentina...?
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Monday, October 12, 2009

Yeah, what DID happen to Argentina...?


as i've previously opined in many previous blog posts on argentina, i really love the country and seriously don't think argentina has to take a back seat to anybody in the potential department... it's beautiful, it's big, it's incredibly blessed with resources and great people, but i also don't think there's any country anywhere more adept at shooting itself in the foot...

from the nyt via mercopress...

What Happened to Argentina?

A century ago, there were only seven countries in the world that were more prosperous than Argentina (Belgium, Switzerland, Britain and four former English colonies including the United States), according to Angus Maddison’s historic income database.

In 1909, per capita income in Argentina was 50% higher than in Italy, 180% higher than Japan, and almost five times higher than in neighbouring Brazil. Over the course of the 20th century, Argentina’s relative standing in world incomes fell sharply. By 2000, Argentina’s income was less than half that of Italy or Japan.

The chart below shows the relationship between income in 1909 and income in 2000 in 1990 dollars, and Argentina is the extreme outlier. The gap between 2000 income and predicted economic success, based on 1909 income, is larger for Argentina than for any other country. Why did that once-wealthy nation do so poorly?

In its pre-World War I heyday, Argentina thrived as a trading giant shipping beef and grain abroad. After World War II, formerly poor countries including Japan, Korea and Italy followed an export-led model to wealth. A combination of external shocks (two world wars and the Great Depression) and protectionism caused Argentina to turn inward.

Peronism was not only protectionist, but it also favoured large state enterprises and significant regulation of the economy. Neither strategy has been particularly good for growth. Argentina’s inbred banking system has historically had trouble weathering severe shocks. Decades of political instability have made property rights insecure and investment unattractive.

maybe someday they'll get it together...


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