The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Guillermo Nielsen exclusive: Inside Argentina’s financial crisis

In December 2001, the government defaulted on $81.8 billion of debt repayments and broke the peso’s link with the dollar. When Nielsen was appointed in May 2002, the country was in the midst of one of the worst financial, social and political crises to hit any country since the Great Depression. His job, together with that of his economy minister, Roberto Lavagna, was to help restore stability and turn around Argentina’s financial fortunes.

Why Lavagna was the only man for the job | “Can you pay me before I die?”

A letter from the IMF:

IMF responds to Nielsen accusations

A letter from Guillermo Nielsen:

.......and Nielsen responds to the IMF

In an account written exclusively for Euromoney, Nielsen reveals how the government took the key steps to resolve the financial crisis, and pulls no punches on Argentina’s relations with the IMF.

It’s a fascinating insight into how running a country is more than just about following Excel spreadsheets and textbook policies.


YOU DON’T HAVE a banking system, most banks will go broke in 15 days, the best banks can last two months at the most. You have to launch a compulsory bond swap of the frozen reprogrammed deposits, and reinforce the liquidity controls. You are in the middle of a dangerous monetary overhang that will end up in hyperinflation.”

The man saying this across the octagonal working table at the Argentine economy minister’s office in Buenos Aires in May 2000 was an IMF banking expert who popped up surprisingly in the ministry that Monday morning, together with the IMF’s River Plate chief, the official responsible for Argentina.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree