Abstract

This chapter reviews the IMF’s prolonged involvement in Argentina from the introduction of the convertibility regime in 1991 until the onset of crisis in late 2000. The purpose is to determine the extent to which IMF surveillance helped to identify the vulnerabilities that led to the crisis and how effectively the IMF used the program relationship with Argentina during much of the period to address these vulnerabilities. We focus on three areas of critical relevance to the IMF: (i) exchange rate policy; (ii) fiscal policy; and (iii) macro-critical structural reforms in the fiscal system, the labor market, the social security system, and the financial system. For each of these areas, two sets of issues will be addressed: first, whether the IMF’s diagnosis of what needed to be done at various stages was correct, and whether it could have been improved; second, the IMF’s impact on the policies actually chosen, and what determined the strength or weakness of that impact.