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In Argentina, the restriction of withdrawing cash from banks to $250 USD per week (at that time 1 USD = 1 ARS) was called a Corralito. The measure was imposed by the government of Fernando de la Rúa on December 1, 2001, in the face of a bank run. Subsequently, and due to the popularity that the term acquired, it began to be used in all Spanish-speaking countries to refer to the immobilization of deposits carried out by the government of any country.

President De la Rúa (front, right), and his Economy Minister Domingo Cavallo (left), December 2001.

The objective pursued with these restrictions was to prevent money from leaving the banking system, thus trying to avoid a wave of banking panic and the collapse of the system. According to Domingo Cavallo, in charge of the Ministry of Economy, when he announced the measure, he clarified that it did not prevent the use of electronic means of payment or bank transfers. The idea was that it be a temporary measure for 90 days while the debt was renegotiated.[1]

Origin of the term[change | change source]

The word corralito, shortened to the word corral, is used in Argentina to call what in other countries is known as a baby park. In 2001 the economic journalist Antonio Laje, in his economic column of the program After Hours by Daniel Hadad, used the term to refer to the government measure. The journalist sought to highlight through an analogy the way in which the Government restricted one of the essential freedoms of the users of any banking system: that of being able to withdraw their funds at any moment.[2]

References[change | change source]

  1. "The Man Who Came In from the Crash" Archived 2012-01-12 at the Wayback Machine - Harvard Independent.
  2. * Reato, Ceferino (2015). Doce noches [Twelve nights] (in Spanish). Argentina: Sudamericana. p. 145. ISBN 978-950-07-5203-9.