Few letters make Latin Americans cringe more than I-M-F: the International Monetary Fund. Though it operates as a life raft for countries in massive debt that have lost access to private capital, IMF loans come with many strings attached, with borrowing countries forced into measures to reduce spending and increase revenue—in other words, austerity and raised taxes. Sometimes, as was the case of Argentina, this equation does not balance itself out.
Argentina’s loan from the IMF—the biggest ever recorded by the organization at USD 57 billion—failed to deliver on two key goals: curbing inflation and regaining access to private capital. Facing payments of more than USD 40 billion in 2020, Argentina is on the cusp of default and seemingly has no other option besides debt reprofiling.