Widespread breakdowns of contractual arrangements are the characteristic feature of some macroeconomic crises. Economies and political systems generate and must process the consequences of large-scale "broken promises" (Leijonhufvud, 2003). This paper discusses such phenomena, in the specific context of the fluctuations of the Argentine economy. That experience highlights themes which have been prominent in Leijonhufvud's work, like the problems of intertemporal coordination, the potentially deviation-amplifying behavior of credit markets in the event of large disturbances, the relevance of the sequential decision-making of agents and the interrelated dynamics of policies, institutions and economic performance.
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