They stopped Rubinstein’s appointment as Deputy Minister of Economy

The economist Gabriel Rubinstein worked with Roberto Lavagna / Web

When it seemed that the appointment of Gabriel Rubinstein as Vice Minister of Economy was res judicata, last night from the Treasury Palace they came out to clarify that the election of the official who will accompany Sergio Massa is still under analysis. The news raised questions about what happened in the middle and made the selection process less clear.

From Economy they noted that the definition of who will be the deputy minister remains “pending”, a position that “is still under study” and for which an economist specialized in macroeconomics with experience in relations with multilateral banks is sought.

In the early hours of the day, the idea of ​​incorporating the aforementioned Rubinstein, executive director of the GRA consulting firm, who worked at the Central Bank during Roberto Lavagna’s term as minister (2002-2005), in that role, was advanced, sources from the Treasury Palace.

However, with the passing of the hours, priority was given to advancing in the search for another profile and the resolution of who will be the new deputy minister was still under analysis at the close of this edition, the sources added.

Rubinstein is abroad and will return to Argentina on Tuesday. And despite what was stated by sources from the Treasury Palace last night, the possibility that Rubinstein will finally land in the ministry is not ruled out either. In fact, amid rumours, it was assured that the situation would be evaluated over the weekend and his arrival could be confirmed on Tuesday.

The position of deputy minister is very important for the coordination of the different secretariats and the definition of economic policy. And in the midst of the comings and goings, there was no lack of those who remembered the criticism that Rubinstein made against Kirchnerism at the time. Also, it was mentioned that he has a different view on economic issues with respect to the Instituto Patria.

Rubinstein points out that the policy of maximum prices generates shortages, stresses that the fiscal deficit must be reduced to lower inflation and warns that it is “complicated” to live with very high exchange rate gaps, because it makes it difficult for the Central Bank to buy reserves, as it is happening.

PROFILE OF THE ECONOMIST

Rubinstein is an economist with extensive experience who accompanied Roberto Lavagna in the negotiations with the IMF at the beginning of the century and who was later his technical representative at the Central Bank.

The economist has been warning for a long time about reserve requirements, predicting the critical shortage of reserves that was going to occur as of June and projected 90 percent annual inflation in 2022, according to Iprofesional.

He is a technical expert in monetary programming who, for example, said a few days ago on the TN news channel that if this continues, “there is a risk of hyperinflation.”

ROUTE

For 8 years he was at Duff & Phelps, the risk rating agency based in Chicago, he was executive director in Argentina and a member of the sovereign risk committee based in New York, until the company was sold to its competitor Fitch.

After the mega devaluation of Brazil in 1999, he warned of important risks for the Argentine economy and at that time he joined the local economists who proposed dollarizing. He wrote a book on the subject, entitled “Dollarization, Argentina in the global village.”

In 2004 he was appointed executive director of the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange and in 2006 he created his own consulting firm, Gabriel Rubinstein & Asociados.

In March of this year when the possibility of a dollarization of the Argentine economy sounded strong.

In this regard, the economist said that his book “Dollarization, Argentina in the Global Village” was written when “there was a basic idea that dollarization could contribute a lot to avoid default, and avoid a collapse of the economy.” Put in context, Rubinstein clarified that “it made sense at that time and in that way.” “Now to dollarize you have to have reserves, something that there are not today,” he warned. And he added: “Before facing a process of these characteristics, it is necessary to see what objective is being pursued. If what you want is to lower inflation to 5% per year, you don’t need to dollarize.”

“In essence, although it is a guiding rule that can be useful, I do not see that it is an appropriate time to think about it. All energy must be put into eliminating the fiscal deficit in order to eliminate inflation”, he concluded. In his opinion, that is the essential objective at this time.

On the other hand, it is expected that Massa, when he completes the team of officials that will accompany him in the Palacio de Hacienda, will focus on establishing the bonus to compensate retirees for high inflation.

For this reason, the new head of the economic portfolio will also focus on Darío Martínez’s successor at the head of the Energy Secretariat.

The Neuquén leader resigned from his position and in the next few hours it will be known who will be in charge of the process of new segmentation of subsidies to electricity and gas rates (see separate).

In addition, it is expected to know who will occupy the secretaries and undersecretaries of Knowledge Economy and Economic Programming.

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