BUENOS AIRES –Argentina has defaulted on its external debt seven times and on its domestic debt five times since independence almost 200 years ago, putting it somewhere in the middle of the historical ranks of the world’s serial defaulters. However, a long history of economic booms and busts have scarred the national psyche and left external creditors wary as the country hovers on the edge of  its second default of the 21st century.
Argentina first defaulted on its sovereign debt in 1827, just 11 years after declaring independence from Spain. The agricultural backwater of the Spanish empire had long survived on smuggling contraband to skirt the tight royal restrictions on trade and tax. The lush farmlands across the Pampas provided a steady stream of exports and income for the fledgling nation, but the first economic credit crises was soon to flare.