By Guido Di Tella, Carlos Braun
Representing the speeches and papers given by way of ministers or different experts on the symposium on Argentina's financial coverage 1946-1983 held in Toledo, Spain, this assortment spans either the commercial and political dimensions of the advance of Argentinian monetary rules.
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Extra info for Argentina, 1946–83: The Economic Ministers Speak
Since late 1948 and during 1949, there were whole weeks when not even one ship arrived in Argentine ports: our products, highly valued only a few months earlier, no longer had a market. Two crops of flax and one of corn remained unsold. Our prospects were thus limited by a $300 million debt and a huge agricultural surplus. I think Peron understood that Miranda had not been very systematic. Although he had been extremely useful in the first stage of structural change, his improvisations were not appropriate for the next stage.
Since 1949 we had thought of promoting foreign investment and in that year we began our negotiations with oil companies. Our plans were not put into effect sooner than that because we imposed very stringent conditions. We wanted work and services rental contracts, and neither Shell nor Esso would settle for that. We knew that YPF, the state oil company, could not meet domestic demand. Argentina was consuming about 10 million cubic metres, and YPF produced half that amount. It was necessary to bring in foreign capital, but without giving up our national policy.
A dangerous hybrid system developed in which both free interest rates and guaranteed deposits were encouraged, making competition for funds among financial intermediaries very easy. The outcome was that after a while interest rates rose both in nominal and real terms. The highly protectionist character of the financial system, with its inefficient and costly modes of operation, kept the spread at a very high level, more than 12 yearly percentage points. 2 per cent). a. The military pressed the government to come to grips with inflation, as it was becoming the symbol of the failure of the new policies.