Argentina’s former President Nestor Kirchner has died suddenly at age 60 from an apparent heart attack. He served as Argentina’s president from 2003 until 2007 and stepped aside to let his wife run for the office according to Britain’s Telegraph. After the country’s economic collapse in 2001 with a massive $132 billion debt, Kirchner ran on the populist opinion of economic expansion and getting rid of Argentina’s debt. Amongst his many accomplishments are balancing the Argentine government’s budget and increasing exports to alleviate trade deficits. Argentina’s stock market quadrupled in value in the four years that Kirchner was Argentina’s president.
The United States and the rest of the world could use the Argentine model set forth by Nestor Kirchner as a method to pull national economies out of a collapse. Let’s examine what Kirchner did to be so successful.
Before Kirchner even became Argentina’s president he surrounded himself with people he trusted. Because of this cadre of people he understood could get the job done Kirchner was able to purge the previous administration’s corruption once he took office.
Kirchner also made moves to devalue the Argentine peso so the country would retain more of its own currency. When the cash started flowing back to Buenos Aires then Kirchner made moves to restructure Argentina’s debt with the International Monetary Fund according to “Encyclopedia Britannica”.
At the end of his term the policies that Kirchner used to get Argentina back on track came back to haunt him. Several corruption scandals rocked his administration and high inflation led to a diminishing of Kirchner’s economic fortitude. Instead of running for a second term he passed the torch to his wife as she became the first elected female president of Argentina.
Other Countries Take Notice
Nestor Kirchner was relatively unknown when he ran for president in 2003. What made his campaign, and later his economic policies, so effective was that he got rid of the old way of doing things and instituted new ideas regardless of how popular they were. At the time Argentina needed someone strong to take the reins of monetary policy, former lawyer Kirchner was tough and stood by everything he did.
Countries shouldn’t be afraid to innovate when it comes to economic policy. When drastic solutions are needed, even if they are initially unpopular and even scary, Kirchner’s steadfast belief guided his administration to the proper course of action. Even though Kirchner was not an economist he was a hard-nosed lawyer who wouldn’t take no for an answer.
If the United States gradually got more of its currency back into its borders we could pay more debt. Becoming more reliant on our own resources would make America more prosperous and less dependent upon foreign currency and foreign trade. Perhaps that is the way to go for a few years while the United States heals from the recession.
When economies are in trouble and recovery is slow sometimes all a government has to do is get creative with sweeping reforms no matter what. As far as saving a country’s economy, Nestor Kirchner should be commended and Argentines can be proud of his work despite the negativity that he saw in the last year of his administration.
Telegraph, “Nestor Kirchner”, Telegraph.co.uk.
Encyclopedia Britannica Online, “Nestor Kirchner”, Britannica.com.