Through virtual communication, Carlos Melconian was present in Loose Animals. The impact of the pandemic on the economy, the negotiation of the minister Martín Guzmán for the restructuring of the debt and his vision on the intention of the Government to expropriate Vicentin were some of the topics that he discussed with Luis Novaresio. However, before the first consultation, the former president of Banco Nación left a forceful assessment, which served as a summary of his diagnosis: « Economically speaking, if I have to look strictly at the numbers, it must be the worst moment we have had to live through. »
Faced with such a definition, the host of the program asked: « To be clear, is it the worst moment in Argentine economic history? » “In terms of a crash, yes. In terms of levels, we have been at levels of GDP per capita lower than this, ”explained the economist, referring to the number that had been known in the last hours: in April, the first full month in social isolation, preventive and compulsory, activity fell 26.4%.
“April, May and June are going to be very similar in relation to the numbers. It is clearly the worst time compared to any other crisis. Argentina was tied with wire. The Government had projected something modest for the first 100 days, with exchange controls and an attempt to restructure the debt, and the pandemic just caught hold of it, ”added Melconian, lamenting the influence of the advance of the coronavirus in the country.
And while that negative impact can be seen almost everywhere in the world, the fact of having arrived at the outbreak of COVID-19 with a country that was already « wired », worsened all forecasts. “Argentina is going to take a long time to get to be in the conditions it was in before the pandemic. And so it will be for everyone. The projection of fall for our country is 12 points (of the GDP) and, if that happens, by the end of next year we will not be recovered at all, ”said the former head of the Central Bank.
On the other hand, regardless of how it got there and how the storm unleashed by the coronavirus is being traversed, Melconian showed great concern because, according to his vision, the Government does not express a clear idea of how it will try to leave: « I think not There is no plan to get out of this economic crisis. There is no where to get debt and there are no previous savings. The only thing you have left is the issuance of currency. And the issue of currency has already come. From here to the end of the year we will have to see how to overcome that decision, how to drain that issue, because those pesos will either be withdrawn or will go to the dollar, just as it happened. ”
“The Central Bank itself, seeing such a large mass of money and the impact it was having on the exchange rate and the collapse of the interest rate that made people not even keep their money in deposits, was forced to rescue 800 billion pesos of the billion and a half issued, had to go out and suck what it emitted, ”he continued, with a more technical analysis.
Another of the topics that the economist developed was the restructuring of the Argentine debt, an aspect for which Melconian has already questioned the work of Martín Guzmán on several occasions. “When I saw the minister’s original offer, I knew it wasn’t going to be clubbed. I imagined a scenario where the president tells him: ‘Go and play games, but I came back with the debt settled. This is to go and fix it on the table, without wasting time, « he said.
« While Argentina is watching if it goes into default, the rate in the world is worth 0%. And we are seeing here if it is the fault of San Martín, Bernardino Rivadavia, Macri, Cristina. The antecedents do not play us very in favor, there are mutual mistrusts. We must not forget that those in front also play ”, concluded the economist, faithful to his dialectical style.
Vicentin’s attempted expropriation
At the end was the reflection on Vicentin, the most controversial item in recent weeks and probably the first purely political conflict of Alberto Fernández’s management. After the expropriation attempt, the backtracking and the last initiative that seeks to bring out the cause of Santa Fe justice, Melconian considered: “I do not know in detail the subject of the loans to Vicentin. I spent a year in the Nation (during Mauricio Macri’s presidency) and for me the people who work there are like a family. The issue of a company of this magnitude, with what it generates for producers, must have a solution. I see the involvement of politicians well, but so far. The last word always has to be from Justice, that is what corresponds ”.