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THE WORLD BANK LENDING AND NON-LENDING TO LATIN AMERICA: THE CASE OF ARGENTINA, 1971-1976

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 October 2018

Claudia Kedar
Affiliation:
Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Abstract

Through the analysis of Argentina-World Bank (WB) relations between 1971 and 1976, this article examines how democracies and dictatorships, as well as political and economic constraints did (or did not) impact WB lending to Latin America. This period is especially revealing. Between May 1971 and September 1976, the WB did not grant any new loans to Argentina, thereby generating an exceptional and unusually long break in WB lending to the country. Drawing on previously undisclosed files from the WB Archives and additional primary sources from Argentina and the United States, this article unveils the actual mechanisms, criteria and justification that stood behind the decision to lend or not to lend to Argentina. It maintains that the WB’s self-imposed principle of «neutrality» played a crucial role in facilitating the WB’s relations with Argentina during the politically and economically unstable early 1970s.

Resumen

Por medio del análisis de las relaciones entre Argentina y el Banco Mundial durante los años 1971-1976, el presente artículo examina de qué manera dictaduras y democracias, así como limitaciones políticas y económicas han influido (o no) la actividad financiera del Banco Mundial en América Latina. Este período resulta revelador. Desde Mayo 1971 y hasta Septiembre 1976, el Banco Mundial no le otorgó ningún préstamo a Argentina, generando así una excepcionalmente larga interrupción en la actividad financiera del Banco en el país. En base a una variada serie de documentos del Banco Mundial, nunca antes consultados, así como fuentes primarias de Argentina y de Estados Unidos, este artículo revela los mecanismos, criterios y justificaciones que condujeron a la decisión de otorgar o no otorgar préstamos a Argentina. El artículo intenta demostrar que el principio de «neutralidad» que se ha auto-impuesto el Banco Mundial ha jugado un rol crucial en las relaciones y las interacciones que el Banco ha mantenido con Argentina durante la inestable primera mitad de los años ’70.

Type
Articles/Artículos
Copyright
© Instituto Figuerola, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid 2018 

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Footnotes

a

Department of Romance and Latin American Studies, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. claudia.kedar@mail.huji.ac.il

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