I'm not sure how strong a connection you have with Argentina, but the points you make about Menem are not entirely true.
First, although the "Convertibility" (backing every
Peso with a US Dollar) was a good way to tackle the hyperinflation of 1989-91, it shouldn't have lasted as long as it did. The Peso became overvalued from about 1996; it was not worth the same as a US Dollar by the turn of the century. The reality was that yes, Argentines were earning dollars and saving them, but through a mixture of corporate theft and the fact that the money was mostly "virtual", there came a point when the banking system realised all this money didn't exist. Again, a few million dollars were shipped out the country in the days before the chaos errupted, but the reason that the banking system froze was simply because one, people began to panic and withdraw money simultaneously (Argentines were still quite unfamiliar with credit cards, remember), and two, it dawned on them that the money was a dream, not reality. From when the Peso became overvalued (no exact date for this), and when Argentines continued to withdraw and spend thousands upon thousands of Dollars, they were effectively bleeding the system and the country dry.
Talk to any Argentine banker, and they will tell you that at least the latter half of the '90s was a total myth. Yes, people had dollars and were holidaying like and with Europeans and North Americans in the Caribbean, but look beyond
that. It was all an illusion, for which everyone paid dearly.
Also, many millions of dollars left the country during the '90s, in keeping with the wealthy Argentine's tradition of keeping their money in Swiss banks.
What I'm telling you isn't axiomatic, and there are no axioms regarding Argentina and its economic crisis. I'm just trying to point out that in spite of Argentina's impressive economic performance during the '90s, the numbers became increasingly detached from reality (few people knew this, others were in denial), and the economic growth was unsustainable (as it was, GDP only went up during 1992-4 and 1996-7; 1989-91 was chaotic, 1995 saw a dip and 1998-2002 were all negative years).
2001-2 was the reality check, and proof that for whatever appearances suggest, Argentina is and always has been in a different kettle of fish to Australia and Canada; the only time these three countries looked as if they might share similar futures (and indeed, Argentina was wealthier than both at one stage) was when Argentina was practically an economic colony of the Bank of England. British investments in Argentina in 1930 amounted to £404 million (unadjusted), against just £200 million in Brazil, for example. However, when the British were sent packing (quite literally) by Juan Domingo Peron* from 1948, Argentina was left to its own devices, and maybe given its Latin nature, it just went a different way to its Anglo-Saxon counterparts, culturally for better perhaps but economically for worse. Asi es!
Maybe the lesson for Argentina, as has been said or hinted at already, is that they shouldn't try to emmulate anyone--not Australia, not Bolivia and certainly not the US. It's the only chance Argentina has at regaining any semblance of respect from the world, as it did over a century ago when it stood up to the US and refused to be a part of the sinister "Monroe Doctrine". A bit of "my way or the highway" might do us some good, as we are notoriously idiosyncratic and hopeless at complying with foreign demands. Argentina is pregnant with personality and there is no reason for us to be ashamed about it.
*To me this was a pyrrhic victory, since like the tyrant Juan Manuel de Rosas a century before, Peron vaingloriously boasted that "hemos hechado a los ingleses"
(we've kicked the English out), but he ham-fistedly bungled attempts at nationalisation, and within 6 months, the railways, tramways, and utilities were in disarray; take a train in Argentina today and you'll see how nothing has changed. Hay que ser boludo...
P.S. Several Italians have told me the same thing in different ways: "In blaming others, you Argentines are Italians to the square power!" Is there a country more Italian than Argentina outside of Italy?