(News Spanish) — Many Argentines who have the capacity to save opt for the dollar to do so, given the inflationary and devaluation processes that deteriorate their income in their national currency.
Just as a reference, the level of dollarized assets outside the system amounts to US$ 261,795 million, according to the most recent report from the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (Indec). To measure that sum, it represents more than the market value of the country’s total external debt, according to the same report.
Now, this mass of dollarized assets occurs in the midst of the growing restrictions in the country to buy dollars.
Among the multiple types of existing prices for this currency, there is one with which Argentines are most familiar because of the ease and freedom to acquire it, even if it is an informal procedure: the blue dollar.
What is the blue dollar?
The economist Ricardo Delgado defines it as a non-legal dollar, but a reference for an important sector of the economy.
“Almost 40% of the economy is informal in Argentina, and when those sectors need dollars they do so through the blue dollar,” he explains.
For his colleague Rodrigo Álvarez, “the blue dollar is the free dollar.” “Obviously, it is a dollar that is operated without authorization from the government, it does not go through a formal market. It is the dollar of the street, to call it somehow, ”he adds.
Where are you from?
Currently, the blue is the second most expensive dollar of those that can be obtained in the market, surpassed by a few cents for the Qatar dollar, another price that in turn received its name because it was created for those who wanted to travel to the last soccer World Cup. , disputed in that country.
Economists agree that the blue dollar originates because restrictions are imposed on the purchase of the green ticket in the formal market, the so-called “exchange stocks.”
The last two were established by the government of then-president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, in 2011, and by Mauricio Macri, in 2019. This stock is still in force to this day, and allows the purchase of up to US$200 per month at the official quote.
“The parallel market opens when there is a prohibition, as happened for example in the United States during the dry law, which prohibited the sale of alcohol. So, bars and other clandestine places sprang up because the demand was still there. Here, Argentines want to continue protecting their purchasing power against inflation of around 10% per month”, explains Álvarez.
Why is the blue dollar called that?
Regarding his name, there are some non-exclusive theories.
“Historically it was called the black dollar, because it was an informal market, outside of regulation,” says Delgado.
It is a version on which most specialists agree
“We Argentines call it blue so as not to call it black,” says Álvarez.
But there are others who point out that the name arises from the number of counterfeit bills that circulate in that market. To avoid running into this type of paper, a fiber was passed to them, and if the paper was blue it is because it was apocryphal dollars. Hence, it has been baptized as “blue”, blue in English.
Be that as it may, the blue continues to be the savings refuge of many Argentines who are fleeing the peso and its recurring devaluations.
Article and image Source