Sturzenegger, the guarantor of crises – Canal Abierto

Sturzenegger, the guarantor of crises – Canal Abierto
Sturzenegger, the guarantor of crises – Canal Abierto

Open Channel Editorial Team | “After having raised the issue of Leliqs as a central issue to resolve the economic problems we have, Milei seems to want to bring the creator of the Leliqs to his cabinet: Federico Sturzenegger”The phrase uttered by the former director of Banco Nación, Claudio Lozano, dates back to the end of November 2023 in a talk with Canal Abierto, when the current President had not yet assumed office but already seemed to be backtracking.

And it is that for Javier Milei, as he had stated in journalistic interviews during his campaign, the IMF agreement “was slipped up by the Central Bank to save those who wanted to hide the disaster of December 28, 2017.”

By mentioning that date he was referring to the press conference in which Federico Sturzeneggerthen president of the Central Bank; Mauricio Macri’s chief of staff, Marcos Peña; his finance minister, Luis “Toto” Caputo; and the former Minister of Economy, Nicolas Dujovne, They explained how they would regulate the exchange rate, free until then, which the libertarian in chief described as an advance “on the independence of the BCRA”.

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Six months after those statements by Lozano – while the Argentine soccer team beat Ecuador and advanced to the semifinals of the Copa América – the Official Gazette announced that A new Ministry, the Ministry of Deregulation and Transformation of the State, had been tailor-made for Sturzenegger to lead.

However, the first appearance of this character in the decisions of the La Libertad Avanza government was very early: in the drafting of the mega-decree, which Milei announced on December 20, 2023 with him located to her right.

But his presence at the head of a portfolio is not very auspicious, since The surname Sturzenegger is associated with all of Argentina’s recent crises.

The handbook

To trace his beginnings in politics We have to go back to 1995, when, in the midst of the Menem era and before turning 30, he took over as chief economist of the partially privatized YPF.

It dates back to that time his admiration for the liberal guru Domingo Cavallowhose team he joined when the bald economist was called by the former president Fernando de la Rua.

Thus, from March to November 2001 he was Secretary of Economic Policy of the Nation, mthose in which he announced the “shield” –for which the IMF asked Argentina for an adjustment under a “zero deficit” program in exchange for a US$ 40 billion loan–, which cost workers and retirees a 13% cut in their salaries, and the “mega-swap” –bond swap to kick the debt payment down the road at the cost of higher interest and an increase in the capital owed. A month after his departure, the country would explode into pieces.

By the hand of Mauricio Macri –another self-confessed admirer of Carlos Saúl Menem y Cavallo–, as head of the Government of the City of Buenos Aires, He was president of Banco Ciudad until he was elected as a deputy on the PRO list.

The rise of Macri to the Presidency in 2015 made him president of the Central Bank, where he devised the Central Bank Letters (Lebacs) that later became Liquidity Letters (Leliqs).which Milei of the campaign described as a “bomb” that had to be disarmed.

By then He was seen in photos with Cavallo, who stated in press statements that he wrote the Government “a report every month.”

According to a CEPA report, The monetary policy of the BCRA led by Sturzenegger cost the State more than $419 billion. Added to the stock of Treasury Bills (Letes), this would be about $1.2 trillion.

By June 2018, Sturzenegger had left public office, but not before having brought the 2017 fiscal deficit to be the third highest in history.

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