Statement to the Executive Board Members From the Governor for Argentina, His Excellency Roberto Lavagna, on the Ieo Evaluation of the Role of the Fund in Argentina, 1991–2001


We consider this to be a valuable and candid report that helps to form a more complete picture of the relationship of the Fund with Argentina during the 1991–2001 period when a currency board arrangement (CBA) was in place. The special nature of this exchange rate system implemented during the years of “irrational exuberance” and when the “first crisis of the twenty-first century” took place makes the Argentine case an interesting one to study. We should remind ourselves, however, that given the special circumstances that surrounded the case it is not possible to expect that the lessons to be drawn are all going to be equally useful to the Fund’s membership looking forward. The report also mentions the belief of the majority of the staff at the time that the “Argentine situation was so unique … as to make previous experience inapplicable.” We hope that this is not forgotten in the present dealings of the Fund with Argentina, since it is of the utmost importance to try to avoid to the extent possible the repetition of the same mistakes, as both the Fund and Argentina are suffering, albeit unequally, the consequences of misguided policies.