September 30, 2022

Argentina’s finance minister makes a sudden departure

Martin Guzman

Argentina’s Economy Minister Martin Guzmán has resigned as the country’s economic crisis intensifies.

Mr. Guzman had been in office since late 2019 and was leading negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the restructuring of Argentina’s debt.

He called for “a political agreement within the government coalition” to choose his successor.

Argentina struggles with 60% inflation and a weak currency, as well as rising global food and energy prices.

Mr Guzmán resigned after a week of economic turbulence, with the Argentine peso slipping against the dollar.

His departure leaves a big question mark on Argentina’s future economic policy.

In a letter to President Alberto Fernandez, Guzmán alluded to internal divisions within the government.

But it’s no secret that President Fernandez disagrees with his deputy, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, over how to solve the country’s economic problems.

In fact, Mr. Guzmán announced his resignation as Ms. Fernández gave the latest in a series of high-profile speeches lambasting her own government’s economic policies.

Ms. Fernandez, who herself served as president from 2007 to 2015, criticizes what she sees as the government’s failure to ease the financial burden of ordinary Argentines.

She and her supporters viewed Mr. Guzmán as excessive in his efforts to reduce the budget deficit and tighten monetary policy.

If Ms. Fernandez gets what she wants, the next finance minister will go easy on fiscal discipline and increase the level of state intervention in the economy.

But that could prove a bitter pill for the IMF to swallow, with some financial analysts already criticizing the Fund for failing to set stringent enough conditions in its latest $44 billion debt deal with Argentina.