Wolf Ritcher wrote a nice piece on this. Will just copy my favourite bits here. (For reference, the bonds were sold at 90 cents on the dollar)
So don’t cry for Argentina’s investors that inexplicably bought $2.75 billion of 100-year bonds with a 7.125% coupon in June last year, at the peak of the cheap dollar-debt benightedness.
Everyone knew that Argentina would default on these bonds before they’d mature, as it has defaulted repeatedly on its foreign-currency debts, and that it was only a question of when it would default and how many times.
But the lure was just too juicy to not bite, in an environment where central-bank shenanigans (NIRP) were producing negative bond yields in Europe and Japan. And even in the US, ZIRP was still not fully banished. In the ensuing pandemic chase for yield, which had lasted years, investor brains …