The National Bureau of Economic Research

Project on Exchange Rate Crises in Emerging Markets

The Argentina Crisis

July 17, 2002

Sebastian Edwards and Jeffrey Frankel, Organizers

Royal Sonesta Hotel

Ballroom B



7:00 PM Dinner - Harvard Faculty Club, 20 Quincy Street, Cambridge

DOMINGO CAVALLO, former Economy Minister, Argentina


8:15 AM Continental Breakfast

8:45 AM Official Welcome



Chair: JEFF FRANKEL, Harvard University and NBER

GUILLERMO MONDINO, formerly Secretary of Finance, Argentina


ALLAN MELTZER, Carnegie Mellon

EDUARDO LEVY-YEYATI, Central Bank of Argentina

How important was the lack of lender of last resort for the bank run? Was it a mistake to think that because international banks dominated the system a run was "unthinkable"? Would it have made a difference if the local banks had been branches of foreign banks, rather than subsidiaries? Is narrow/offshore banking the only long-term option for the future? For the short-term, how does one "thaw out" frozen deposits?

10:45 PM Break

11:00 AM 2. BANKING

Chair: ANDRES VELASCO, New York University and NBER

PEDRO POU, former head of central bank of Argentina


TED TRUMAN, Institute for International Economics

ALBERTO ADES, Goldman Sachs

Argentina appeared to be the world's biggest success story for currency boards in the last decade. Should we view the 1991 convertibility plan as having been a success, in hindsight? Does its failure in 2001 mean that hard pegs more generally, or the corners hypothesis, are now discredited worldwide?

Was dollarization ever a real option? If so, when was it too late? Is it still an option? Would a hard peg have worked if the link had not been to a currency, the dollar, that on trade grounds was not well-correlated with Argentina's needs?

12:30 PM Lunch - Skyline Suites

Lunch speaker: ANNE KRUEGER, First Deputy Managing Director, IMF;

Stanford University and NBER

1:45 PM 3. DEBT

Chair: SEBASTIAN EDWARDS, UC, Los Angeles and NBER

ROQUE FERNANDEZ, former Finance Minister, Argentina

RICARDO HAUSMANN, Harvard University


MICHAEL MUSSA, Institute for International Economics

Should Argentina's fiscal record in the 1990s be viewed as poor, compared to other countries? What was the role of reform of previously unfunded pension liabilities? What was the role of the provinces, and fiscal federalism?

Why did the measures taken to smooth out debt maturities, and to arrange

private contingent lines of credit, apparently help so little? Was the main problem simply an increase in the interest rate that international investors demanded on Argentine debt and, if so, is this an example of multiple equilibria?

3:15 PM Break


Chair MARTIN FELDSTEIN, Harvard University and NBER

RICARDO LOPEZ MURPHY, former Economics Minister, Argentina

RANDALL KROSZNER, U.S. Council of Economic Advisors

ANOOP SINGH, International Monetary Fund

MARIO BLEJER, former head of the Central Bank of Argentina

Did Cavallo's attempts to deal with the worsening situation make sense? Was it ever possible to have a relatively painless default? Would a pesification have been considered a default, even if done efficiently?

Were Cavallo's desperation measures the best that could be done, or irrelevant, or did they make a bad situation worse? Was it too late to save Argentina, i.e., to avoid devaluation and default, by 2000?

What was the IMF's responsibility in the crisis? Did the IMF make the mistake of throwing good money away in August 2001? Was it an accomplice to the government in making people believe -- including politicians -- that there was more money than what there really was?

5:00 PM Adjourn

6:00 PM - Clam Bake at the Harvard Faculty Club, 20 Quincy Street, Cambridge


National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

Project on Exchange Rate Crises in Emerging Markets

The Argentina Crisis

Sebastian Edwards and Jeffrey Frankel, Organizers

July 17, 2002

Royal Sonesta Hotel

Ballroom B


Alberto Ades Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Mark Aguiar University of Chicago

Montek Ahluwalia International Monetary Fund

Joshua Aizenman UC, Santa Cruz and NBER

Joshua Angrist MIT and NBER

Martin Anidjar JP Morgan & Co.

Caroline Atkinson Council on Foreign Relations

Philippe Bacchetta Study Center Gerzensee

David Backus New York University

Romina Bandura Harvard University

Kasper Bartholdy Credit Suisse First Boston

Marianne Baxter Boston University and NBER

Pierpaolo Benigno New York University

Stanley Black University of North Carolina

Hoyt Bleakley MIT

Mario Blejer former Governor, Central Bank of Argentina

Michael Bordo Rytgers University and NBER

Eduardo Borensztein International Monetary Fund

Lael Brainard Brookings Instituton and NBER

Ariel Burnstein Northwestern University

Ricardo Caballero MIT and NBER

Sonia Cavallo Harvard University

Domingo Cavallo former Economics Minister, Argentina

Stephen Cecchetti Ohio State University and NBER

Luis Cespedes International Monetary Fund

Marcos Chamon Harvard University

Roberto Chang Rutgers University

Menzie Chinn UC, Santa Cruz and NBER

John Coatsworth Harvard University

Giancarlo Corsetti University of Rome III

Brahima Coulibaly University of Michigan

Robert Cumby Georgetown University and NBER

Jorge Braga de Macedo OECD and NBER

Fernando de Santibanes Liberty Foundation

Luca Dedola Bank of Italy

Padma Desai Columbia University

Rafael di Tella Harvard University

Kathryn Dominguez University of Michigan and NBER

Michael Dooley UC, Santa Cruz and NBER

Tomas Dvorak Williams College

Sebastian Edwards UC, Los Angeles and NBER

Barry Eichengreen UC, Berkeley and NBER

Eduardo Engel Yale University and NBER

Charles Engel University of Wisconsin, Madison and NBER

Martin Evans Georgetown University

Martin Feldstein Harvard University and NBER

Roque Ferandez former Finance Minister, Argentina

Eduardo Fernandez-Arias Inter-American Development Bank

Robert Flood International Monetary Fund

Kristin Forbes MIT and NBER

Jeffrey Frankel Harvard University and NBER

Jeffrey Frieden Harvard University

Peter Garber Deutsche Bank and NBER

Fabio Ghironi Boston College

Francesco Giavazzi Universita'L.Bocconi and NBER

Linda Goldberg Federal Reserve Bank of New York and NBER

Pablo Goldberg Merril Lynch

Itay Goldstein Duke University

Gita Gopinath University of Chicago

Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas Princeton University and NBER

Mariko Hatase Bank of Japan

Harald Hau INSEAD

Ricardo Hausmann Harvard University

George Hoguet State Street Global Advisors

Takatoshi Ito Hitotsubashi University and NBER

Byeongju Jeong CERGE-EI

Simon Johnson MIT and NBER

Anil Kashyap University of Chicago and NBER

Michael Klein Tufts University and NBER

Randall Kroszner U.S. Council of Economic Advisors

Anne Krueger Stanford University and NBER

Michael Kumhof Stanford University

Chris Kurz University of Michigan

Amartya Lahiri UC, Los Angeles

Philip Lane Trinity College Dublin

Anne LeBrun Harvard University

Seungho Lee The Bank of Korea

Paulo Leme Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Richard Levich New York University and NBER

Geng Li University of Michigan

Gregory Mankiw Harvard University and NBER

Nancy Marion Dartmouth College

Nelson Mark Ohio State University and NBER

John McHale Queen's University

Allan Meltzer Carnegie Mellon University

Roberto Mendoza Goldman Sachs International

Guillermo Mondino formerly Secretary of Finance, Argentina

Adair Morse Purdue University

Ricardo Lopez Murphy former Economics Minister, Argentina

Michael L. Mussa Institute for International Economics

David Papell University of Houston

Guillermo Perry The World Bank

Paolo A. Pesenti Federal Reserve Bank of New York and NBER

Richard Portes London Business School

Arturo Porzecanski ABN-Amro

Pedro Pou former head of central bank of Argentina

Alesandro Prati International Monetary Fund

Steve Radelet Center for Global Development

Assaf Razin Cornell University and NBER

Carmen Reinhart University of Maryland and NBER

Patrice Robitaille Federal Reserve Board

Dani Rodrik Harvard University and NBER

Kenneth Rogoff Harvard University and NBER

Andrew Rose UC, Berkeley and NBER

Barbara Rossi Duke University

Julio Rotemberg Harvard University and NBER

Nouriel Roubini New York University and NBER

Ayako Saiki Brandeis University

Yuri Sasaki Meiji Gakuin University

Massimo Sbracia Bank of Italy

Ernesto Schargrodsky Universidad Torcuato di Tella

Sergio Schmukler The World Bank

Hal Scott Harvard Law School

Miguel Sebastian BBVA

David Sekiguchi Deutsche Bank

Jeffrey Shafer Salomon Smith Barney

Anoop Singh International Monetary Fund

Alan Stockman University of Rochester and NBER

Rene Stulz Ohio State University and NBER

Federico Sturzenegger Universidad Torcuato Di Tella

Lars E.O. Svensson Princeton University and NBER

Mark Taylor University of Warwick

Alan Taylor UC, Davis and NBER

Linda Tesar University of Michigan and NBER

Edwin Truman Institute for International Economics

Rodrigo Valdes Central Bank of Chile

Andres Velasco Harvard University and NBER

Jaume Ventura MIT and NBER

Paolo Vitale London School of Economics

Beatice Weder Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität

Shang-Jin Wei Brookings Institution and NBER

John Williamson Instutitue for International Economics

Holger Wolf George Washington University and NBER

Isamu Yamamoto Bank of Japan

Eduardo Levy Yeyati Universidad Torcuato Di Tella

Joseph Zeira Harvard University