From Charisma:
In 1998 and 1999, a serious financial crisis shocked Ecuadorians. Over the course of two years, more than a dozen banks failed, including the country’s largest, and a series of bailouts left more than half of Ecuador’s financial system in the hands of the central government deposit insurance agency, created in the midst of the crisis. After a surprise bank holiday and the freezing of savings accounts; escalating inflation and devaluation of Ecuador’s currency, the sucre; sharp increases in impoverishment and political instability; and the near-paralysis of the economy, government officials decided—controversially, apparently as a last resort, and with little (if any) outside consultation—to abandon the sucre and officially adopt the US dollar as Ecuador’s national currency. [About the author: Taylor Nelms is a PhD candidate in Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine, and is currently in Quito, Ecuador conducting fieldwork for his dissertation. His research focuses on the sociocultural impacts of the official adoption of the US dollar in Ecuador; the intersections of money, race, and the middle class in Quito, especially in particular patterns of consumption; and the "solidarity economy" of the city (especially retail vendors' associations and family or neighborhood savings and credit cooperatives).

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