World Cup of Forex

The finals of the Soccer (Football) World Cup are rapidly approaching. It has come to Germany and Argentina, Mueller and Messi. Lucky for Argentina this is not the world cup of Forex! The German economy is strong and Germany is, to a degree, accomplishing with its industry and banking system what it did not accomplish by war in the 20th century. Germany dominates Europe economically. Meanwhile Argentina is meeting a second time with a debt mediator. The nation of Argentina defaulted on its debts a decade ago and its creditors finally caught up with the nation in an American court room. A suit filed by holdout investors won. These were folks who loaned money to Argentina and refused to take a debt write down as part of a settlement years ago. Messi and company have a good shot at taking the golden football back to Buenos Aires but if this were the World Cup of Forex it would be a different story. What are the lessons to be learned from this situation for Forex traders? Certainly over the years the worst Forex trades were probably those expecting a recovery of the various Argentine currencies.

Argentine Currency History

Here is a brief history of the Argentine peso.

The peso ley was the Argentine currency from 1970 to 1983 and replaced the previous currency, the peso moneda nacional 100 to 1.

The peso argentino lasted from 1983 to 1985 and replaced the peso ley 10,000 to 1.

The austral lasted from 1985 to 1991 and replaced the peso argentine 1,000 to 1.

The peso convertible was introduced in 1992 and replaced the austral 10,000 to 1. Its exchange rate was fixed at 1 to 1 with the US dollar. For every peso convertible in circulation there was a US dollar in currency reserves in the Central Bank of Argentina. The fixed rate lasted until the 2001 financial crisis at which time the currency floated against the US dollar. When the Argentine currency became convertible in 2001, one peso convertible was worth 10,000,000,000,000 pesos moneda nacional.

That is a ten trillion fold devaluation of the Argentine currency over thirty years!


In trading currencies one needs to look at current times. The history of the various pesos is awful but today one trades the ARS. The rate of exchange for the Argentine currency, the ARS, fell to two to the dollar in 2002 and fluctuated up and down in the first decade of the century. Today the ARS trades eight to the dollar. The Euro began as a currency in 1999 at one to one with the dollar. The currency fell as low as $0.83 to the Euro in 2001 and recovered, trading today at one euro = $1.36. The obvious point of this is that Germany uses the Euro which has grown versus the USD in the last fifteen years while the ARS is an eighth as valuable. When Germany and Argentina play in the world cup of Forex Argentina loses badly.

For the Trader

So, are there guaranteed Forex profits betting against the ARS? The peso convertible has not done so well over the last decade or so but it has not had the problems of previous currencies. So, using the infamous ten trillion-to-one devaluation as a guide may or may not be useful. When the economy was humming along prior to the 2008 market crash Argentina built up billions in currency reserves, in dollars. On a short term basis things are still shaky in Argentina and strong in Germany so in the minute by minute playing of the World Cup of Forex one might short the ARS and go long on the EUR. But remember that Germany is not working with the Deutschmark anymore. There is a whole southern tier of weak economies in the Eurozone. Maybe it will come to a shootout in the end!