Patacones & Lecop
I wouldn't translate them either. I would give an explanation in English in brackets or a footnote. Here are some articles about these bonds, which I hope will be of some use.
Todos los planes de alojamiento se encuentran en Pesos y el servicio puede ser abonado en efectivo, cheque o con bonos Patacones o Lecop.
Part of the excitement of traveling is the money. Every time you change countries, there are new bills and colors and the process of learning to recognize them and tell which ones are fake. Argentina has made this international experience a local one. The federal government and many of the provinces are printing their own currencies. Locally we see signs for two national currency (Patacones and LECOR) and Cordoba's local LECOP, but there are nearly twenty in the country. Perhaps a sign of a very unstable financial system, it is a strategy to avoid using the official currency, the peso, since the government must match every peso in circulation with a US greenback. These new currencies are called bonds, and supposedly have a 7% interest rate (if you have confidence in the government to last that long…). So now, there is lots of funny money around. Employees of the courts and other government institutions have had salaries cut and up to seventy-five percent paid in funny monies.
There are no firm estimates of how many parallel bonds are circulating,
the International Monetary Fund let Economy Minister Domingo Cavallo
it didn't like the proliferation.
In response, the Central Bank started printing the ``lecop,'' a federal
bond that is supposed to substitute for patacones and other provincial
It's used in the same way, just that it's issued by the central bank and
is more controllable if all 23 provinces go round printing as many bonds
they like, it's a sure recipe for chaos.
``Lecops are the government weapon to try and stop profligate printing
money,'' said Aracama.
Naturally, the State is in no condition to reach "zero deficit" from now till the end of the year, with tax collections in a free-fall and the public budget already spent in its entirety. Cavallo has "hidden" the budget for 2002, which would include the suppression of the Incentivo Docente" [Teacher’s Incentive, a bonus in their monthly salary], charging tuition at state universities and a war plan against government workers and the provinces. The only alternative the government has is issuing Lecop [national State’s bond in public circulation], but this is about to go beyond a tolerable level of issuance that leads to devaluation, which is where Patacón and Quebracho [provincial bonds of the same type] are. Behind these measures and the impossibility of "zero deficit" is the silent devaluation that Juan Alemann is currently calling for through Ambito: "If Lecop is used, and because of its abundance it drops to a parity of 90%, that 10% would be equivalent to a camouflaged devaluation (in which) the exporter would benefit because internally he pays providers and workers with the same devaluated parallel and inconvertible currency. From there to dollarization with prior devaluation there’s but a step and there might not even be a need to dollarize" (Ambito, 5/11).