Infographic: The new government’s economic team

12th December 2019

By The Essential Staff

Infographic: The new government’s economic team

Alberto Fernández will not centralize economic decisions in just one person, so getting to know Martín Guzmán will not be enough to understand where his policies in the area could be heading.

</p> <p>Just as powerful as Guzmán will be <strong>Matías Kulfas</strong>, who led Fernández&#8217;s economic advisory team during the campaign and its aftermath, and who was responsible for contacting the President with Guzmán in the first place. Guzmán will lead a strong Productive Development Ministry, with many of the Secretariats that might have otherwise ended under the wing of the Economy Ministry.  Paulo Lanzani in Energy, Paula Español in Trade, Ariel Schale in Industry and Alberto Hensel in Mining and Guillermo Merediz in SMEs, among others, will be part of Kulfas&#8217; team.</p> <p>Kulfas is a Developmentalist economist, one of many in the new cabinet to be strongly critical of mainstream policymakers. Although he worked under Fernández de Kirchner&#8217;s administration, he was never in the best of terms with her former Economy minister and now Buenos Aires Governor Axel Kicillof. When compared to Kicillof, Kulfas is a stronger supporter of a competitive exchange rate, but also not a specialist in finance. He supports industrialization and is a critic of economic concentration, believing that the state can have an influential role in the development on small firms.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <img class="wp-image-6156 aligncenter" src="" alt="Alberto Fernández's economic cabinet" width="536" height="748" srcset=" 215w, 734w, 768w, 1101w, 600w, 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 536px) 100vw, 536px" /> <p>The rest of the ministries linked to the economy will be led by <strong>Claudio Moroni</strong> in Labor, a close friend of Fernández who has also developed ties with unions during his work as a state supervisor of insurance companies, and who will lead efforts for a &#8220;social pact&#8221; between business and labor. <strong>Gabriel Katopodis</strong>, a former mayor in the Buenos Aires province district of San Martín, is the closest ally that Fernández had in the Peronist stronghold, and will lead the Public Works Ministry. <strong>Luis Basterra</strong>, the only ally of the governors in the cabinet, will lead Agriculture, while <strong>Mario Meoni</strong>, close to Sergio Massa, will head the Transport Ministry.</p> <p>Also crucial will be the role of <strong>Miguel Pesce</strong> at the Central Bank. Although he still needs to be confirmed by the Senate (which he likely will), Pesce has a long experience at the monetary authority, having worked under four very different leaderships: Martín Redrado (who was ousted by the Kirchners and remains in poor terms with the Vice-Presidents), <strong>Mercedes Marcó del Pont</strong>, Juan Carlos Fábrega and <strong>Alejandro Vanoli</strong>. Pesce is expected to eliminate the 63 percent interest rate lower bound established by the previous administration over its benchmark 7-day Leliq notes, which he sees as asphyxiating for economic production.</p> <p>Marcó Del Pont, seen by many as the creator of the original &#8220;cepo&#8221; against foreign currency purchases in 2011-2012, will head the AFIP tax bureau. Also a Developmentalist with a strong interventionist bent, Marcó Del Pont worked with Kulfas and Cabinet Undersecretary Todesca in the years following her time in charge of the monetary authority. Vanoli, meanwhile, will head the also very influential ANSES social security agency.</p> <p>The most laissez-faire economist in Fernández&#8217;s team, <strong>Guillermo Nielsen</strong>, will not end up in charge of a Ministry, but will head the YPF state-controlled hydrocarbons firm, which could be crucial for the development of the Vaca Muerta shale oil and gas formations, seen as a potential source of exports. Massa&#8217;s wife <strong>Malena Galmarini</strong> will head water company AYSA and the son of opposition candidate Roberto <strong>Lavagna, Marco</strong>, who came in third in the elections and who has been repeatedly coveted (to no success so far) by Fernández to join his team, will head the INDEC statistics bureau.</p> <p>

Access full content NOW!

The Essential Staff

The Essential is a premium subscription-based news platform that brings you high quality journalism and in-depth coverage in English about the changing face of Argentina’s politics and economy.