A century ago, Argentina was one of the ten richest countries in the world. But crisis after crisis has earned it the dubious distinction of being the only nation ever to regress to developing country status. With hyperinflation, devaluations and IMF bailouts now facts of life, we meet the people who have lived through a major economic crisis roughly once every decade – including a taxi driver who lost everything in the 2001 crisis and now earns more money selling antiques. We also travel to some of the worst-hit places, where sermons from slum priest “Padre Toto” give people hope. But 2018 has once again tested Argentines’ patience. Inflation has topped 40% and the peso’s value has halved compared to the US dollar. Mauricio Macri’s government has tried to stem another crisis by signing up to the biggest bailout package in the IMF’s history. With the country’s future in limbo, the FT provides a glimpse into life in constant economic turmoil and asks: Can Argentina finally break the cycle of boom and bust?
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