Argentina’s coin crisis

Had it not been for this sign posted at one of the kiosks along the street in Buenos Aires, the whole Argentine coin crisis may have gone without my mentioning it, but it was so amusing I couldn’t resist… There is a major coin shortage in Argentina, which helps to explain why Barack Obama is pictured here pointing out that “there are no coins”.  Businesses never have enough of them and are constantly asking for exact change from customers.  Even when they do have it they hate to part with it.  Apparently, it’s impossible to walk into a bank and get a roll of coins because there is an actual shortage of coins in the country.  I’ve been told two stories as to why there are not enough coins in circulation.  The first is that the government does not produce enough of them and the second is that the metal used to make the coins is worth more than the value of the coin… Which, if either of these, is true I can’t be sure, but we recently met an American couple who told a funny story of being asked to accept candy in place of their change when the grocery store claimed to be out of coins.  They, somewhat jokingly, replied by questioning whether they could return to the store later and use the candy to pay for future purchases…

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