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Argentine president forces leading banks to lend
Argentina seeks economic boost by forcing leading banks to lend at low rates
By The Associated Press

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) Facing clear signs of a looming recession, Argentina's president is ordering banks to lend $3.3 billion of their clients' savings at rates below what many believe to be the level of inflation.

The requirements taking effect Thursday limit interest on the loans to 15 percent a year. The government says inflation is below 10 percent, but many analysts estimate it at around 25 percent.

President Cristina Fernandez says the government saved the private banks when they were in trouble, and now it's the banks turn to do their part for Argentina by lending 5 percent of their deposits to small and medium-sized businesses.

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