Don't Cry for Argentina

With a little help from friends, it meets a $500 million deadline

It was another cliffhanger in a long-running drama that has featured more narrow escapes than Raiders of the Lost Ark. Once again, the Latin American debt monster was terrifying bankers. Argentina was threatening to ignore a March 31 deadline for paying $500 million in interest to its creditors around the world.

For 25 U.S. banks that were owed $200 million, the implications were ominous. Because the money would be more than 90 days overdue, federal regulations dictate that banks would have to classify...

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