Cold comfort

sovereign debt

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The good times are back in Buenos Aires. Thanks to a surge in tourism, hotels are overbooked and restaurants are filling up on normally slow Monday nights. Despite a construction boom, real-estate prices in tiny neighborhoods are rising by as much as 50% annually.

Nor is the spending frenzy limited to the country’s traditional, export-linked elites, for whom the mega-devaluation of the peso in 2001 was a windfall. In March, new car sales soared 30% from the previous month and for all of 2004 the

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