Synopses & Reviews
In the 1990s, few countries were more lionized than Argentina for its efforts to join the club of wealthy nations. Argentina's policies drew enthusiastic applause from the IMF, the World Bank and Wall Street. But the club has a disturbing propensity to turn its back on arrivistes and cast them out. That was what happened in 2001, when Argentina suffered one of the most spectacular crashes in modern history. With it came appalling social and political chaos, a collapse of the peso, and a wrenching downturn that threw millions into poverty and left nearly one-quarter of the workforce unemployed.
Paul Blustein, whose book about the IMF, The Chastening, was called "gripping, often frightening" by The Economist and lauded by the Wall Street Journal as "a superbly reported and skillfully woven story," now gets right inside Argentina's rise and fall in a dramatic account based on hundreds of interviews with top policymakers and financial market players as well as reams of internal documents. He shows how the IMF turned a blind eye to the vulnerabilities of its star pupil, and exposes the conduct of global financial market players in Argentina as redolent of the scandals like those at Enron, WorldCom and Global Crossing that rocked Wall Street in recent years. By going behind the scenes of Argentina's debacle, Blustein shows with unmistakable clarity how sadly elusive the path of hope and progress remains to the great bulk of humanity still mired in poverty and underdevelopment.
Wall Street Journal, February 16, 2005
"An extraordinary tale of bad policy and financial gluttony... Mr. Blustein tells the tale with precision and panache, offering inside-baseball details and, along the way, color commentary."
Washington Post Book World, May 8, 2005
"The book could have been titled 'CSI: Buenos Aires' because what Blustein expertly investigates is undoubtedly an economic crime scene.”
The Economist, March 5, 2005
“An engrossing inside account… The arguments surrounding Argentina's collapse are complex and technical. It is Mr. Blustein's considerable achievement to have fashioned them into such a page-turner.”
Financial Times, February 17, 2005
“An economic crisis as astonishing as Argentina’s deserves a detailed forensic examination, and in Paul Blustein’s second book it receives it… [a] riveting narrative…timely.”
Los Angles Times, July 24, 2005
“an absorbing tale of hope, folly and betrayal” and an “authoritative account of the nation's unraveling.”
Foreign Affairs, May/June issue
"a vivid and intelligent case study of economic tragedy."
The dramatic, definitive account of the most spectacular economic meltdown of modern times exposes the dangerous flaws of our global financial system.
About the Author
Paul Blustein, a staff writer at the Washington Post, has covered business and economic issues for more than twenty-five years. He has also worked at Forbes Magazine and the Wall Street Journal. His work has won several prizes, including business journalism's most prestigious, the Gerald Loeb Award.