The economist began on Monday to work in the agency’s offices located in downtown Buenos Aires. The orthodox magazine The Economist and the prestigious Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz questioned the procedure of the International Monetary Fund with Argentina.
The British Economist of the International Monetary Fund Ben kelmanson He is already in Buenos Aires and has inaugurated his position as permanent representative of the organization in the country, confirmed sources close to him.
Kelmanson, who replaced the Jamaican Trevor Alleyne, began Monday to work in the agency’s offices located in the center of the city, on Paraguay Street.
The economist is married to Elise Shae Goede and has just stepped down as representative of the Fund in Turkey.
The IMF official was accredited to the Foreign Ministry as a permanent representative in the country on December 25 and, before embarking on his trip to Argentina, he met with the Argentine ambassador in Washington, Jorge Argüello.
Kelmanson is a University of Leeds graduate economist with 22 years of experience at the Fund, and has worked “on a variety of global and regional issues and institution policy for advanced, low-income and emerging economies”, as detailed by the IMF after the appointment.
The Monetary Fund official arrives in a critical moment in the negotiations between Argentina and the IMF to reach a new agreement, and is from now on the eyes of the multilateral organization in the country.
The British economist will report directly to the Brazilian-Israeli economist Ilan Goldfajn, who last week took over as the new director for the Western Hemisphere at the International Monetary Fund, the position left vacant by Mexican Alejandro Werner.
Goldfajn, for his part, already had a first virtual chat with the Argentine Minister of Economy, Martin Guzman, In the past week.
The technical person in charge of supervising the agreement to be negotiated with Argentina was former president of the Central Bank of Brazil during the terms of Dilma Rousseff and Michel Temer; He is an orthodox economist and adherent to policies such as inflation targeting.
Criticism of the IMF
Meanwhile, Argentina continues to work to unlock negotiations at the highest level among shareholders at the IMF, and different voices, orthodox and heterodox, were raised against the agency’s actions with the country, in putting up resistance to reach an agreement.
One is the one referring to the latest publication of the British magazine The Economist.
“The loan was the largest in the history of the IMF. It has left Argentina so committed to the fund that the country will need a new, longer-term loan to help pay off the current one. Despite its size, the rescue failed to save Argentina from default and despair “, says one of the paragraphs of the note.
The other voice is that of the Nobel Prize Joseph stiglitz, who lashed out at the member countries of the Fund’s board of directors who promote a greater adjustment to reach an agreement with Argentina.
“While everyone should know by now that austerity is counterproductive, some influential IMF member states may still defend it,” said the Columbia University economist.
After praising the country’s “surprising” recovery, which he called an “economic miracle,” Stiglitz also considered that a typical Extended Facilities agreement, the IMF’s tool for negotiating with the country, is not enough to ease the burden of debt maturities.
“An agreement that simply extends the repayment term from 4.5 to ten years is not enough to alleviate concerns about Argentina’s debt,” said Stiglitz, after recalling on the other hand that “the IMF now recognizes that its program (stand -by) did not achieve the financial goals it had set. The “Ex-Post Evaluation” of the Fund attributes much of the blame to the government of (Mauricio) Macri ”.
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The British representative of the IMF arrived in the country amid severe criticism of the agency – AgenHoy Florencio Varela’s News Portal