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Why Not Default?$
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Jerome Roos

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691180106

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691180106.001.0001

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The Exception That Proves the Rule

The Exception That Proves the Rule

Chapter:
(p.173) Twelve The Exception That Proves the Rule
Source:
Why Not Default?
Author(s):

Jerome Roos

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691180106.003.0013

On December 23, 2001, Argentina declared a unilateral suspension of payments on $82 billion in public debt, triggering the largest sovereign default in history. This chapter demonstrates how the process leading up to the largest default in history, far from challenging the structural power hypothesis developed in this book, actually confirms it. Argentina, in short, is the exception that proves the rule. To understand why, the chapter takes a closer look at what happened to the three enforcement mechanisms of debtor compliance over the course of the crisis. Initially fully effective, each of them gradually broke down over the course of 2001, making a disorderly Argentine default not only possible but increasingly unavoidable.

Keywords:   financial crisis, debt crisis, Argentina, sovereign debt, default, debtor compliance, public debt

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