Economic and Financial Developments in Latin America by Sima Motamen-Samadian (eds.)

By Sima Motamen-Samadian (eds.)

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With respect to the US dollar, the real exchange rate between 1992 and 1997 appeared to have appreciated only very slightly when the wholesale price index is used, rather than consumer price index. Indeed, when the producer price index is used, there appears to be some real depreciation from 1997 onwards. This depreciation substantially increased after the devaluation of the nominal peso at the beginning of 2002. Thus, comparison of the real exchange rates based on two different price indices shows that with the producer price index there was much less real appreciation than with the consumer price index.

42 Convertibility Law and its Role in Argentina’s Economy Conclusion The present study has shown that, contrary to the common view that overvaluation of the peso was responsible for Argentina’s loss of competitiveness and the 2002 crisis, the overvaluation of the peso could not have been solely responsible for the crisis. Moreover, those who claim that the peso was overvalued appear to have used the consumer price index in calculation of the real value of the peso rather than the producer price index.

4 pesos per dollar. There is no doubt that the latter action, though might have helped debtors to some extent in reducing the value of their debt to domestic banks7, had the most adverse impact on public confidence in financial institutions. By October 2002, the freeze on savings accounts came to an end, though they continued to remain on time deposits and, by March 2003, pesofication was announced to be illegal by the courts. Nevertheless, the huge losses experienced by banks as a result of symmetric pesofication exceeded the capital of the consolidated banking system.

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