The Political Economy of Argentina in the Twentieth Century

The Political Economy of the Twentieth Century
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Method of ascertaining the statistics of exports and imports—Errors in evaluation—Notes on the import duties on various articles—Variations of the custom duties—Export duties; their transitory characters—The trade in bullion. Tabulation, according to importance of the principal products exported by the Argentine—Remarkable increase in agricultural and pastoral exports—Search for new outlets.

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Eventual denunciation of commercial treaties—Projected new treaty with France—Causes of the superiority of English, German, and North American trade in the Argentine over French trade. The commercial balance—Results of the commercial balance—Its prime importance in respect of the prosperity of the country—It is this balance which compensates the issue of capital for the benefit of the foreign debt. The Great Argentine Industries Sugar-planting , Boiling , etc.

Flour Export Trade —Capital invested—Equipment, steam flour-mills, grain-elevators—Production and exportation. Dairy Industries.

Path-Dependent Import-Substitution Policies: The Case of Argentina in the Twentieth Centur

Looms, Tanneries. Quebracho Wood. Mines, Electrical and other Industries The Argentine has not entered the industrial age—She has no coal-mines in operation, no natural motive forces of any importance. Electric Industries. Various Industries. Comparison between the statistics of and those of —Progress realised in —Workshops and factories. Banks —International character of Argentine banking—Evolution of banking machinery—List of the principal banks, with amount of capital and business done—Conditions peculiar to Argentine banking; the lack of movable reserves—Rates of interest on account, on deposit, and on advances—Statistics of the deposit accounts of the principal banks—Exchange operations: their decrease since the determination of a fixed monetary ratio—The Clearing House; the importance of its operations.

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The Bank of the Nation. Mortgage and Loan-Banks.

The Stock Exchange Bourse. The Bourse is a private establishment—Its membership and its regulations—Statistics of business done during the last ten x years—Securities quoted on the Buenos Ayres Bourse—Decrease in the total amount of business done during the last five years—The monetary reform of as a factory of this decrease—The place occupied by the Stock Exchange in the life of the nation. Joint-Stock Companies. The Argentine Budget The financial situation—Continual increase of national expenditure—Great and rapid progress since —Insufficiency of the means adopted to moderate this increase—The Budget Extraordinary and the Special Legislation Budget.

Causes of this increase of national expenditure—The increase of administrative requirements caused by an increasing population; this is the most natural cause, and that most easily justified—Increase of the public debt—The intervention of the State as the promoter or guarantor of important public undertakings—Exaggerated military expenses. The total sum of national, provincial, and municipal expenses.

The Political Economy of Argentina in the Twentieth Century : Roberto Cortes Conde :

The proportion per inhabitant—Comparison with other foreign countries in the matter of administrative expenses. The national revenue—The revenue as organised by the Constitution, and its analysis—Indirect taxation—The customs the chief source of revenue—Direct taxation; its origin in the Argentine; its justification; its yield—Revenue of the industrial undertakings belonging to the State: railways, sewers, posts and telegraphs—The exploitation of the State lands.

Elasticity of the receipts, which follow the development and progress of the country—The accelerated increase of expenditure, and the resulting chronic deficit—Necessity of serious reforms. Statistics of the public debt on the 1st January —History of the public debt—The first loans. The financial crisis—Consolidated loans—The Romero arrangement—Loan for the redemption of guarantees—The internal public debt—The total of the Argentine public debt, and its annual cost in dividends and redemption—The proportion of financial charges as compared to other budgetary expenses.

The burden of the public debt is heavy, but not unduly heavy in relation to the productive power of the country—The necessity of restraining further issues and of converting old debts—The efforts of the Argentine to improve her credit. The Double Currency The persistence of the double currency—The history of paper money—The origins of the premium on gold, and its almost continual increase—The year and the depreciation of the currency—The causes of this depreciation; abuses in the issue of paper, caused by a bad financial and administrative policy.

The Caisse de Conversion The principles on which the establishment of this institution is based—The necessity of a rapid redemption of fiduciary money—The doubtful success of this programme—New issues of notes—New attributes of the Caisse dating from —The exchange of paper for gold and vice versa —The development of this system of exchange—The authority attaching to the Caisse.

The Balance-sheet of the Argentine according to the Inventory of Securities The Inventory of Movable Property or Securities —The capital represented by movable properties, stocks, bonds, shares, etc. The nominal amount of capital represented by movable values—Table of the annual revenues of the same, and the sinking fund—Division of this revenue among the different countries having capital invested in the Argentine.

English capital—The importance of English investments in all branches of Argentine activity—The benefits of a reaction in favour of Argentine capital—French capital; its small value compared to English capital—German capital and its rapid increase—Approximate valuation of that portion of revenue remaining in the Argentine, and of that which goes to the various nations having capital invested in the country. The Balance-Sheet —The assets are principally composed of exportation values; the liabilities, by the value of imports—The revenue of investments exported to foreign countries, and the total of the sums expended by the Argentines abroad—Table giving a summarised Balance-sheet and the balance in favour of the Argentine—International exchanges and the importation of gold confirm this favourable situation—Argentine capital will presently play a more important part in the country as compared with foreign capital.

Romero, ex-Minister of Finance, who has given us the benefit of his experience for this study of current Argentine affairs.

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Roberto Cortés Conde, Universidad de San Andres, Argentina. Subjects: Latin American Government, Politics and Policy, History, Twentieth Century Regional History, Economic History. 4 - The Political Economy of Peronism. In this work, Roberto Cortés Conde describes and explains the decline of the Argentine economy in the 20th century, its evolution, and its consequences.

We must also pay tribute to the memory of two eminent gentlemen, no longer living, whose death the Argentine deplores; who had desired, by aiding us with their advice, to be in some sort collaborators in this work, destined as it is to make popularly known to European readers the present prosperity of the Argentine Republic. We must express our utmost gratitude first of all to Signor Pellegrini, that eminent man who assumed the Presidency of the Republic in a difficult moment of her history. We are greatly honoured in that we are able to associate his name with this book, by publishing, as an Introduction, a most interesting study of the formation of the Argentine Republic, which was one of the last writings of this eminent citizen.

And we must not forget the friendly and conscientious assistance rendered us so willingly by one of the most notable figures in the financial world of the Republic: M.

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Ernest Tornquist, whose death was also most truly a national bereavement. Tornquist exercised a considerable xiv influence over the trend of affairs, and he most notably contributed to the work of economic expansion, and financial and monetary reorganisation, of which the Argentine is to-day feeling the beneficial effects. We have profited, in writing this book, by his incontestable competence, and respectfully salute the memory of this willing friend and collaborator.

Three years have elapsed since the appearance of the first edition of this book, and we have to-day the satisfaction of being able to state that the development of the country has fully responded to our optimistic forecast. Short as such a period is in the life of a people, it has been extraordinarily full; the ground covered is so considerable that it is of a larger Argentine that we now have to revise the picture, while recording its pacific victories in the economic field.

No country in the world has ever in so short a time realised so rapid a progress, in respect of the produce of the soil. Taking as basis the figures furnished by the Division of Rural Economy and Statistics of the Ministry of Agriculture, we may estimate that the harvest of will give a yield of, 13,, metric tons, [1] which may be divided as follows: Wheat 5,, tons, flax 1,,, oats ,, and maize 6,, tons. To appreciate these figures at their true value, one must remember that twenty-five years ago the Argentine was still importing foreign flour to make her bread, while to-day the xvi production of grain represents nearly a ton per head per inhabitant.

Martinez, has revealed a wealth whose magnitude surpasses all conception. On the other hand we must, it is true, note a decrease of 7,, head of sheep, which are gradually falling back before the advance of agriculture and the increasing numbers of cattle. This harmless animal contents itself with a poorer soil, and does not fear the intemperance of the seasons; also sheep-raising is now giving place, in our central provinces, to other more remunerative industries, and the sheep are taking refuge in great quantities in the southern regions. If we consider these facts with a view to noting the precise direction in which the Argentine is to-day evolving, we shall observe a marked tendency towards the extension of agriculture proper, and a check in the progress of stock-raising, which appears—at least for the moment—to be developing more slowly than of old.

This characteristic change is perceptible each year in the xvii statistics of foreign trade. While the prices of cereals have always attained a remunerative figure, those of the bestial, on the contrary, have now and then suffered sensible depression; and, what is still more serious, the ranching industries have also suffered, as they did in , by a lack of demand for hides and wool, and simultaneously for an insufficient outlet for meats. The dried-meat saladeros industry, which used to absorb annually nearly two million beasts, has by now been almost entirely removed in the direction of Uruguay, or the Brazilian province of Rio Grande do Sul, and is little more than a memory; as this primitive and rudimentary method of preparation had perforce to give way before the more hygienic and progressive chilled and frozen meat trade.

As for the exportation of cattle on the hoof, it is greatly impeded in Europe by prohibitive measures, which diplomacy, by means of commercial treaties, is endeavouring to remove. Yet were the desired advantages obtained, the result would be doubtful on account of the considerable rise in the price of cattle and the high freights which are charged for the transport of living stock.

It therefore results that this particular species of exploitation is at an obvious disadvantage in the face of the refrigerating trade. If the raising of stock and its dependent industries have not, in these last few years, realised a progress comparable to that of agriculture, we must by no means conclude that this department of production has ceased to be an element of national prosperity. Quite on the contrary: thanks to the efforts made to better affairs by happy selections in the breed of animals, the value of live stock has increased in surprising proportions, and the Argentine still retains its rank as second to the United States as a stock-raising country.

What we have endeavoured to emphasise, as a new manifestation of the national activity during the last few years, is that the development of the country has been in especial along agricultural lines; an incontestable proof of progress, and an index of a higher degree of civilisation.

get link Agriculture, as compared to stock-raising, is, from the economical point of view, a source of wealth having quite a different bearing upon the general prosperity and welfare of a nation. It is the fairy which little by little transforms the vast plains of the Argentine pampas into a more animated landscape, peopled by numerous homesteads, foci of colonisation, which then develop into villages, which in a score of years may perhaps be important cities.

Agriculture summons the railroad, stimulates emigration, promotes the division of the soil, creates the small proprietor; it influences even the manners and morals of the inhabitants, for it demands more labour, more intelligence than ranching; nimbler wits, more method, greater foresight. The comparison between the two great industries of the Argentine is summed up in the following fact: a property comprising 25, acres of pasture can be put into working order and managed by a staff of ten to twelve men. For an estate of acres under culture, one may estimate that forty to fifty persons, grouped in families, may easily live upon the soil and prosper.

We may perceive by this the great superiority of agriculture from the point of view of the general interest of the country. It demands and supports a denser population; it permits the grouping of this population in villages and cities, it creates, in proportion, with a smaller capital, a great wealth of produce; in short, it contributes on xix the one hand towards increasing the wealth of the country by participating largely in its exports, and on the other it increases its power of consumption, by absorbing a greater number of imported products.

Thus the evolution of the Argentine towards agriculture constitutes a real progress, and if the country continues to follow the same path, its development will assuredly not be arrested by lack of soil. The 35 to 37 millions of acres already reclaimed, and at present under culture, represent at the most a tenth of the total area of cultivable land, which is estimated roughly at millions of acres, of which at least millions are perfectly adapted to the culture of cereals. This transformation into an agricultural country has already borne fruit.

It is the Argentine which to-day, after the United States, occupies the second rank in the matter of cereal exports; and this is a significant event in the economic history of the nations, to which the attention of Europe should be directed. At the present moment the Argentine, with her 4 million tons of corn available for exportation, is not as yet mistress of the grain markets, but she represents, to those countries whose production is insufficient, a notable reserve, which has become indispensable since the United States, Canada, and Russia seem to have reached their limit of exportation.

The year was for the Argentine, thanks to the results of a good harvest, a period of exceptional prosperity.

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Item information Condition:. Representative example. There had been much hope that the Lula administration would be a clear ally in challenging the IMF, but it is evident that Brazil does not want to rock the boat and is staying on the neoliberal track. Capital is thus less productive and of lower capacity than its vintage alone would suggest and some correction for higher rates of depreciation is warranted. A History of Argentina in the Twentieth Century. As Argentina is coming out of a depression, it makes no sense to generate a budget surplus; instead, it is the time that you expect to have a budget deficit in order to bolster the economy through government spending.

As for the prices, they ruled higher than any the country had so far known, even during its most prosperous periods. Wheat had been selling at 6 or 7 piastres the kilos—that is, approximately, at 3s. In , as a result of the bad harvests in several European countries, the sales rose to 6s. After this cursory glance at the present situation in the Argentine, we must also express our views of the future. Optimism is certainly permissible in the case of a country which has advanced so far in so short a time, and where prosperity is founded on a diversity of products which can never be affected by a universal crisis.

However, one well might wonder whether the Argentine might not, in the Biblical phrase, know lean years following the fat; whether she is not destined to suffer the onset of plagues, such as drought and the locust, which latter is to her, as to Egypt in the time of the Israelites, a veritable scourge. Certainly here we have one of the great risks to which the country is exposed: a country wherein all depends upon the harvest, the earth being the principal source of wealth, and the mother of all industry.

Yet this danger, so real a few years ago, is greatly lessened to-day by the fact of the distribution of cultivated lands and pastures over a far greater area. Yet the country is subject to a very real danger, but one of another kind. From the very exuberance of development may arise a crisis of growth; for her prosperity depends not only on plentiful harvests; it may be influenced by other factors on which it is far more difficult to pronounce. The country must continue to require considerable sums of capital for her agricultural necessities, for her stock-raising, for commerce, and for industries; and it may be asked whether the European markets, from which, in great measure, her capital derives, can continue to afford her an ever-increasing xxi amount of assistance which will keep pace with her development in all directions.

The Argentine is not so far self-sufficing. The soil is, to be sure, a source of immense national wealth, but this wealth is not in the form of a reserve to be drawn on; it is, as a rule, converted into real estate directly it is produced; unless, indeed, it goes abroad. He is contented with his position as a borrower; for if money, even on mortgage, costs him 8 to 9 per cent.

From all this it results that in the Argentine rural and even urban property is largely hypothecated.