The outbreak of the First World War (1914-1918) resulted in significant political, economic and social changes worldwide. The profound crisis that affected intercontinental trade brought about policies aimed at protecting national economies. In 1917, President Hipólito Yrigoyen put forward a bill to create a central bank for the purpose of protecting Argentine reserves, which actually did not succeed in the National Congress.
The 1929 international financial crisis forced the government to adopt a fixed exchange rate regime which may allow continuing intercontinental trade, while keeping sovereign foreign debt service invariable. The fall of the “gold standard” led to the creation of organizations that set out monetary policies aimed at protecting national economies within the international context. The Central Bank of Argentina was founded in 1935 to replace the Currency Board and other financial institutions. .
By the end of the Second World War (1939-1945), some adjustments were made to deal with political, economic, and social changes globally. Although our Central Bank was founded as an institution with private and public ownership, President Juan D. Perón nationalized the banking regulatory authority in 1946 so that it could better cope with the then Argentine economic program.
In 1944, the Bretton Woods International Conference held in the United States of America created the International Monetary Fund, which promoted the privileged position of the US dollar as the international trade currency and kept gold convertibility. Central banks regulated their gold reserves and convertible foreign currencies to ensure the value of money by dint of a fixed exchange rate.
Over the last decades of the 20th century, Argentina and most of Latin American countries were ruled by military dictators. As a result, the economies within the region were decimated in a context of default on foreign indebtedness, currency devaluation, and high unemployment levels—tearing people’s lifestyle to pieces and triggering a dramatic surge in poverty—. With the return of democracy, the mission of the Central Bank of Argentina was in 1992 to “preserve the value of currency”.
The Charter of the Central Bank was amended on April 6th, 2012 to provide the banking regulatory authority with a multiple mandate. The aim of the Central Bank is to promote—within the framework of its powers and the policies set by the National Government—monetary and financial stability, employment, and economic development with social equality.