It is the 10th anniversary of the 2001 financial crisis in Argentina and we managed to get some of the best books and documentaries gathered in this financial crisis material round up to make you an expert on the subject. Check it out!
‘Memoria del saqueo’
This documentary creates a timeline between the military dictatorship of 1976 until the beginning of the protesting in December 2001.
It reports 25 years of economic, financial and social problems because of the countries exorbitant debt as well political and financial corruption in government sectors.
This documentary is a complaint of the plundering of resources by multinational corporations with the complicity of the national government.
According to the director Pino Solanas, little has changed in Argentina since 2003: “the looting goes on.”
Director: Pino Solanas. Countries: Argentina/France/ Switzerland. Duration: 120 minutes. Year: 2004. Language: English and Spanish
In the beginning of the Argentine economic collapse of 2001, former employees of the newly shut Forja plant in a suburban area of Buenos Aires, take over the factory as a part of a new movement that encourages workers to occupy bankrupt businesses to create jobs in an attempt to recuperate their means of living.
Locking themselves inside and with no bosses, 30 former auto-parts workers start running the once silenced factory and refuse to leave.
This act has the power to shake the basis of the whole globalization debate.
The president of the new worker’s co-operative, Freddy, and the head of the Movement of Recovered Companies, Lalo, know that their struggle is only beginning. Having to face a bureaucratic rampage amongst going to courts, dealing with cops and politicians, they know their success is far from secure. Their future is uncertain: they can either be granted legal protection or be evicted from the factory.
The presidential elections sets the background, having Carlos Menem – known as the main responsible for the crisis – as the front-runner. Menem’s supporters are the factory owners, who will get the factories back from the workers if their candidate wins.
Now the workers have to fight their bosses, the bankers and the whole economic system that do not really care about all the lives they affect by shutting down plants.
Directors: Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein. Country: Argentina/ Canada. Duration: 87 minutes. Year: 2004. Language: English and Spanish
‘The Argentina Experiment’
Greek documentary film maker Yorgos Avgeropoulos was living and working in Argentina between 2001 and 2002, during the crisis. He now returns to the country to re-examine the economic, political and social situation of Argentina and how it is handling the consequences of the collapse it faced ten years ago.
The documentary creates a parallel of what happened in December 2001 and what is happening now in Argentina ten years later.
According to the documentary, the ending of the neoliberal economic model in Argentine economic calamity of 2001 left 39 people dead – murdered by the police and bank securities – 30,000 collateral damages (suicides, heart attacks and strokes) and over 50% of the population submerged in poverty and misery.
Director: Yorgos Avgeropoulos. Country: Argentina. Duration: 100 minutes. Year: 2010-2011. Language: English, Spanish and Greek
‘Broken Promises? – The Argentine Crisis and Argentine Democracy’
Editors Edward Epstein and David Pion-Berlin have brought together an impressive group of Argentine and American experts to contribute to in this book. This is considered to be the first comprehensive account of the 2001 Argentine economic collapse.
The book shows insights of the role of the police and the military, as well as the analysis of the behaviour of the population and politicians as the economic crisis develops.
It also portrays the Argentina emerging from the crisis and the complexities of contemporary Argentine democracy.
Editors: Edward Epstein and David Pion-Berlin, 296 pages. Publisher: Lexington Books. First edition: March 2008. Language: English
‘History of The Argentine Crisis’
According to author Mauricio Rojas, “there are countries which are rich and countries which are poor. And there are poor countries, which are growing rich. And there is Argentina.”
Rojas’ book explains in a summary the journey and the reasons that lead Argentina to its economic and financial crisis in 2001. The text is written in a simple and accessible manner, perfect for the lay in Argentine politics or the ones that want to understand the crisis but not in depth.
Explaining the Argentine golden age between 1860 and 1930, which the country growth increased astonishingly, there came 70 years of stagnation as well as political, economical and especially social issues.
It sets the scene for the beginning of the 20th century, when the country was richer than France, Italy and Sweden and its long and hard fall into bankruptcy.
The book also talks about the Perón years and its importance to Argentina, besides all the corruption, populism, nationalism and protectionism.
After years of inflation, aborted reforms, regional conflicts and political scandals, the country finds itself in a delicate political and financial situation.
Originally published in Swedish and later translated to English, Spanish and Portuguese, this book is highly recommended if you want to read a short but profound text to understand how such a powerful and country fell into financial failure.
Author: Mauricio Rojas, 130 pages. Publisher Cadal / Timbro. First edition: December 2003. Language: English, Swedish, Spanish and Portuguese
‘The Crisis of Argentine Capitalism’
Author Paul H. Lewis begins his book describing the development of the Argentine industry, emphasizing the period after World War II, in which Argentina had become the most industrialized nation in Latin America.
Lewis considered Perón and his military colleagues responsible for the end of the evolution of Argentine economy aiming dynamic capitalism.
He also describes the political disputes amongst peronists and anti-peronists between the years of 1955 to 1987 and points out how the post-Perón governments failed to incorporate the trade union movement in their list of priorities, causing – amongst other things – economic stagnation and an increase on the levels of violence.
This book is ideal for people who want a deep study on the roots of the Argentine instability and decline in the times before the crisis – or how Lewis calls “the politics of political stagnation” -, as it describes Argentina’s entrepreneurial classes in relation to foreign capital, labour, the government and the military.
It also differs from previous studies because it does not focus on parties or governmental institutions, but in pressure groups and their organization, development and political activities.
Author: Paul H. Lewis. 594 pages, Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press. First edition: February 1992. Language: English
‘And the money came rolling in (and out)’
Author Paul Blustein managed to expose in his book the flaws of the financial system worldwide and shows Argentina’s efforts in the 90s to become one of the developed countries – even being praised by the IMF, the World Bank and Wall Street.
Blustein – who also wrote a book about the IMF called “The Chastening”- gathered in “And the money came rolling in (and out)” hundreds of interviews with politicians, economists, stock market investors as well as parts of internal documents showing how the IMF ignored the vulnerabilities in the Argentine economic policy.
The narrative of the rise and fall of Argentine economy is very clear and makes the reading flow, being considered by many top publications such as The Economist and New York Sun to be a “page-turner”.
Author: Paul Blumstein. 304 pages, Publisher: PublicAffairs. First Edition: March 2005. Language: English