Friday, June 26, 2009

Is America going down the Argentine road?

The FT had a fascinating article comparing and contrasting the United States and Argentina [emphasis mine]:

A short century ago the US and Argentina were rivals. Both were riding the first wave of globalisation at the turn of the 20th century. Both were young, dynamic nations with fertile farmlands and confident exporters. Both brought the beef of the New World to the tables of their European colonial forebears. Before the Great Depression of the 1930s, Argentina was among the 10 richest economies in the world…

There was no individual event at which Argentina’s path was set on a permanent divergence from that of the United States of America. But there was a series of mistakes and missteps that fit a general pattern. The countries were dealt quite similar hands but played them very differently.

Is America going down road to Argentina (aside from the governor of South Carolina)?

This is a brief excerpt of a much longer letter that I wrote as part of my weekly newsletter on commodities and inflation. It generated a much larger than usual response that I thought I should feature it here. If you would like to see the rest, which is too long to reproduce here, drop me a line here. It's free and I promise that I'll keep your email address to myself.

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