Latin America: Win-a-Loan Lottery

Like most Latins, Argentines love a lottery. Latest to capitalize on this weakness are Argentina's 100-odd savings and loan societies, each of which now holds a monthly drawing that generates almost as much excitement as the national lottery. The prize: the right to borrow money to buy a house.

For Argentines this is a prize indeed. Housing in Argentina is so short that unpretentious apartments rent for $300 a month, after "key money" of at least $1,000. And between galloping inflation and the fact that moneyed Argentines prefer to invest overseas in safer climes, mortgage credit is scarce and costly....

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