Updated 05/04/2021 8:56 PM
It is evident that Minister
did not take into account one of the proverbs of
"The Art of War"
, by Sun Tzu, a Chinese general and philosopher of antiquity who is unknown if it was real or fictitious.
One of those principles is that
"whoever knows when to fight and when not to fight will win"
and it serves as a framework for Guzmán's decision to try to fire the undersecretary of Electric Power who opposed the electricity rate rising more than 9% this anus.
Guzmán advanced with the request to resign endorsed by the Chief of Staff, Santiago Cafiero, and by the President
who says that such request never existed, continues in his position under the umbrella of Máximo Kirchner, Axel Kicillof and Vice President Cristina Kirchner.
In the new equilibrium, unstable by the way,
the minister appears losing 2-0
since he would not have achieved
raise rates 15% in the year to reduce the subsidies that act as compensation for the freezing of electricity, gas and transportation rates since 2018, or fire Basualdo.
Guzmán has strong chips
to play and not only from the support he can receive from the business sector (economic officials are distancing themselves, for now, from any photo with the minister), but also
because of the role he plays in the negotiation against to external creditors
Federico Basualdo continues as Undersecretary of Electric Power, backed by Cristina Kirchner.
A setback for Martín Guzmán.
Across the street is Vice President
and her insistent message that
the rate increases are "piantavotos"
because they hit people's pockets squarely.
And inside and outside the Government it is known the importance that it assigns to the ruling party achieving a victory in the legislative elections at the end of the year.
A recent report by the consulting firm EcoGo focuses on
the relationship between electricity rates and wages,
concluding that during Mauricio Macri's government the weight of the bill increased 10 times and that
since the freeze it has been reduced by half.
Perhaps that graph will help the vice president to refuse to raise rates more than 9%, but the truth is that in an economy with
inflation higher than 40% per year,
arguing for 6 points of increase in electricity is irrelevant from the economic point of view but it was enough to unleash a
major crisis for expectations about the economy's performance.
One fact that plays in favor of Guzmán's stability - in reality the entire government should be grateful on its knees - is that the
Soybeans continue to rise and this Tuesday closed in Chicago at
US $ 579 a ton
in an upward race since November that the Central Bank considers "mana".
foreign exchange settlement of
grain and oil exporters
reached US $ 9.7 billion
in the first four months, while the average from 2003 to 2019 was US $ 5.7 billion.
Soybeans and corn soared, exporters rushed to liquidate shipments and the Central Bank
managed to strengthen
also in the heat of the tightening of the exchange rate.
The Labyrinth of Vaccines
There are spokesmen for La Cámpora who insist that
"with more vaccines and a backward dollar, we win the elections
The lack of vaccines keeps the population in suspense and the short-term horizon is
Alberto Fernández went to Ezeiza last week to receive a shipment of Chinese Sinopharm vaccines.
No one knows when more doses against the coronavirus will arrive.
Financial stabilization, due to the official dollar rising at a rate notably lower than inflation, raises a sensitive question in the midst of the Guzmán-Basualdo crisis: are
soy dollars enough
to reach the end of the year without some kind of agreement with the IMF?
, say a good part of the experts.
Although the Government expects US $ 4,500 million from the capitalization of the International Monetary Fund
Due to the pandemic for August, the expectation that
after the elections the rate of devaluation would accelerate
is increasing its weight.
On the 28th of this month, US $ 2.4 billion of the Paris Club loan will expire (there are 60 more days to not be declared in default) and although the minister has already requested the extension, the issue will be analyzed on the trip with President Fernández to Italy and France.
In general, the Paris Club agrees to reschedule maturities as long as there is an OK from the IMF.
, in turn, may contemplate exceptions in terms of exchange or inflationary targets, but what they have never resigned is having a signed commitment to lower the fiscal deficit or achieve a surplus.
And, in addition
, now they ask that it be approved by Congress.
Andrés Larroque, head of La Cámpora, demanded that the IFE return, while Governor Axel Kicillof also plays his game against Martín Guzmán.
Doubts that disturb
And it is at that point where Guzmán
was left out in the open
: if he cannot displace a subordinate, will he be able to control public accounts in the midst of a pandemic and when defenders of Basualdo such as Andrés Larroque, the Cámpora capo, claim as indispensable to return to the Emergency Family Income (IFE) that was implemented in 2020?
The Guzmán-Basualdo rift adds tension to the question of whether they will reach the dollars to finance the economy until the end of the year and another very expensive one for the population:
will wages win the race against inflation?
A survey by Giacobbe and Associates asked: How do you think 2021 will be compared to 2020?
57% responded worse.
Another from Managment & Fit asked about how they consider the economic situation of the country in the coming months and
60.9% said they believe it will be worse.
The two polls concluded hours before the emergence of the Guzmán-Basualdo crisis, but the new status does little to improve the results.
Alberto Fernández shortens the European tour and takes him to Martín Guzmán to resume the debt negotiation
Daniel Arroyo assured that this "is not the time" to re-implement the IFE