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Traders Dread Angry Calls in Argentina’s Perplexing Peso Market

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Currency trading in Argentina is like nowhere else in the world, a trying process that involves Excel spreadsheets, byzantine tax codes and obtaining clearance from the central bank. And that’s exactly how authorities want it.

Argentina’s government is hampering efforts to buy foreign exchange by doling out progressively smaller amounts of dollars in the three years since implementing currency controls. At the same time, officials are cracking down on black-market street trading and pressuring brokers to stop allowing investors to swap local assets for overseas securities to obtain dollars.