Adjustment to balance-of-payments disequilibria in Latin America, and in the 1980s, followed the International Monetary Fund's monetaristic approach, as the Fund became the central actor in confronting the concurrent external debt predicaments of almost all of the countries of the region.

The protracted debt crisis, and the repetedly staved-off payments crises, endangered the world's major financial mechanisms, which reacted accordingly.

Being adjustment a process of apportioning limited financial means and the ensuing limitations, it became a major issue in domestic and international politics.

After analyzing the causes of indebtedness, the study concludes that, the resulting convergence of interests of the international actors with those of the domestic dominant groups, convergence which was assured by sparing the latter of any sacrifice, made it so that the groups that bore the burden of adjustment were those that least benefitted from indebtedness.

The end result was a profound social debt with the population.