Money is worth nothing. The affirmation of the street on the bills in Argentina slipped into conversations at the highest level in Together for Change. The end of that concern could lead to a new twist: that the country has a new currency, with fewer zeros , if next year an alternative other than the Frente de Todos comes to power .
The currency exchange is a secondary derivation of a more complex plan. It is still an invertebrate constellation of ideas that grow in discussions about the future. Mauricio Macri , Patricia Bullrich , Horacio Rodríguez Larreta and some radicals participate, together or separately . But those who work on the structural lines are his advisers.
There are three names that stand out. The former Minister of Economy, Hernán Lacunza , close to Larreta and María Eugenia Vidal ; the deputy Luciano Laspina , a key adviser to Bullrich and Carlos Melconian , an old acquaintance of the macrismo who dialogues with all the political signs from his place in the Mediterranean Foundation and is drafting an economic plan for the next president, whatever the partisan extraction of the.
Behind them stands a second line of historical officials now revalued by phone calls, WhatsApp messages and meeting requests. The most important is Domingo Cavallo , who met twice with Macri and speaks with almost everyone. One at his home in Acassuso, the other on the second floor of Mercado de Liniers, a restaurant in Palermo. But also with Horacio Liendo , collaborator of the former minister in the 90s and editor of the convertibility plan based on the ideas of Carlos Pellegrini.
There is another consensus that seems to germinate among opponents. The next government should implement a change in the monetary regime within the framework of a stabilization and growth program . In addition to the PRO economists, it is a line of work that Javier Milei and the radical deputy Alejandro Cacace also follow , to give extreme examples.
A new regime implies structural and profound reforms, such as streamlining State regulations, eliminating the distortion of relative prices (rises in electricity and gas) and quickly eliminating the fiscal deficit to gain confidence. But also other measures that would even change the way things are bought and sold in Argentina.
An example. Roberto Cachanosky met last year with Mauricio Macri. Among the five ideas that it brought him, was the possibility of moving towards a bi-monetary system. That is, that people can pay with pesos, but also with dollars, what they buy. Patricia Bullrich thinks something similar, inspired by Laspina. The deputy, together with his colleagues Ricardo López Murphy (Republicans), Martín Tetaz (Radical Evolution), José Luis Espert (Avanza Libertad) and Waldo Wolff (PRO), presented this week a bill that is a requirement of any monetary reform.
Lacunza, who manages the Fundación Pensar teams, raised it in private meetings at the Buenos Aires government headquarters. He was heard by different partners of Together for Change.
Second and third lines of the previous administration began to study an even more irreverent case. They seek to determine how the Venezuelan “miracle” occurred and what could happen in Argentina, bridging important structural distances, if the recipe used by Nicolás Maduro is applied in the country.
Prisoner of a very high inflation, the Bolivarian regime applied a strong adjustment and authorized the de facto dollarization, by turning a blind eye to the operations that are carried out with the North American currency. The effect so far is luminous: inflation has dropped and the country that was a record now has better results than Argentina.
The assumption behind that idea is that coexistence with the dollar will make the peso better , because if the local currency is not up to par, no one will want to use it.
For the peso, or its successor, to work, the Central Bank would have to be handled with prudence. It is the dream of Macri, but also of many others. That is why Bullrich threatens to imagine his worst enemy, Javier Milei , at the head of the monetary entity . That could only happen after the libertarian runs for the presidency. Nobody today dares to interfere with the dreams of a provocative deputy encouraged by the polls.
Together for Change seeks to take advantage of the mistakes of 2015. Today shock occupies the place that gradualism used to have. Bullrich’s team commissioned Orlando Ferreres ‘ team to carry out econometric exercises to anticipate how Argentina’s sons might react in the future to certain changes. For example, if taxes that are considered unproductive are lowered (Gross Income and the check are being targeted), as well as what is the necessary reduction in the deficit to generate a blow to confidence.
The opposition swords have a concern that might be curious. Others are added to the names mentioned above, such as María Eugenia Vidal , Facundo Manes , Alfredo Cornejo and the leaders of the Civic Coalition . It happens that the increase in public debt during the management of Alberto Fernández will generate additional stress on the management of whoever succeeds him. It is the same lament that was heard from the president when he was only a candidate and whose echo returns in almost every public appearance of the ruling party.
The total red of the Treasury for the first quarter, an official figure that was released last Monday night, shows that the Front of All increased it by 16.47%. That negative figure, which is added to the growing debt accumulated by Cristina Kirchner and Mauricio Macri, will stretch during the remainder of Alberto Fernández’s government, to the point that it could even exceed Macri’s increase. The flag of deleveraging that Kirchnerism raises is an increasingly worn rag.
There are more paradoxes. The opposition drafts seek to drastically reduce emissions, the main reason for inflation. Some only want to limit it to what is necessary to buy Leliqs. They are the letters of the Central Bank that Alberto Fernández had promised to eliminate so that retirees do not pay for medicines. That didn’t happen, not at all. He grew a financial snowball capable of crushing any sprout of economic recovery.
There is another curious fact. Kirchnerism accused the IMF of playing in favor of Cambiemos, but now the heirs of that force maintain that the Fund was very understanding of the needs of Martín Guzmán, who traveled to Washington this week to see its head, Kristalina Georgieva.
At the same time, the teams of an opposition presidential candidate were contacting their informants at the IMF to obtain an estimate of the weight of the debt in December 2023. Washington will continue to be a terminal station for any route Argentina takes.
The country had five currencies in its history. The loss of their value forced zeros to be removed. The first, and the longest, was the national currency peso, which was born in 1881. It lasted until 1969 and fell into the hands of an accumulated inflation of 50,230%. Then came the 18,188 peso law, which subtracted two zeros from the previous one, came into force on the first day of 1970 and was replaced by the Argentine peso, in 1983. There were four more zeros left along the way.
The southern one arrived in 1985 and took another three zeros from its predecessor. He wore himself out with inflation above five million percent and the peso was born, which crossed out another four zeros on the papers. The discussions in the opposition propose to remove at least one from the next ticket, in case he prospers.