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Argentina’s Economy

No 04-28. Avril 2004

The IMF Deal

After more than a year of negotiations with the IMF, the Argentine government got an agreement signed on January 24th, 2003. It was obtained in spite of great opposition on the part of the directorship of the IMF and of several of the members of its advisory council. The reason for the change in position of the IMF were three. First, some of the main shareholders of the IMF (US, Spain, Italy and France) pushed for an agreement to secure the investment positions in Argentina ; second, the improvement in economic performance of Argentina during the second half of 2002 took away the arguments from the IMF and the US and European press that no negotiation was possible with a country on a free fall ; and third, the IMF itself was in risk of having a US$1bn loan defaulted by Argentina (plus a US$680m. default to the IADB and a US$800m to the World Bank). Therefore, the combination of these three factors pushed the IMF to sign an agreement with Argentina then, and in the following conditions :

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