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A Tale of Two Defaults

BRUSSELS – Once upon a time, there was a country plagued by large deficits, high inflation, and decades of economic stagnation. When economic problems once again became particularly acute, the country’s leadership embraced a radical approach to achieving price stability.

A new currency was introduced and pegged to the US dollar at a one-to-one exchange rate. A new law stipulated that this quasi-monetary union was to last forever. Moreover, the economy was opened, state enterprises were privatized, and the country participated in an important regional free-trade initiative.