The value of Argentina’s peso has hit its lowest level ever on the black market.
The peso weakened 2.5 percent Wednesday to close at 15 per U.S. dollar. That’s far cheaper than the official exchange rate, which closed at 8.4 pesos per dollar.
Confidence is dwindling in Argentina’s frail economy, which is in recession as it struggles with one of the world’s highest inflation rates and a drop in foreign currency reserves.
Argentines are haunted by memories of the 2001 economic crisis, when banks froze deposits and the currency lost value. So they are eager to obtain and hold dollars as a safety net.
Tough government restrictions on exchanging pesos for dollars have backfired by pushing many people to buy greenbacks on the black market, driving down the peso’s value.