In June 2018, the International Monetary Fund approved a loan to Argentina that involved disbursements until June 2021. In October of that same year, 2018, the standby
credit (one of the
types of programs that the organization offers to countries in trouble financial) was increased.
The IMF approved US$57 billion, the largest operation in the agency's history.
Of the US$57 billion,
it disbursed US$45 billion
The last spin was on July 16, 2019, almost a month before the PASO.
Almost a year later, with the money pre-approved but with no movements in the account for twelve months, the government of Alberto Fernández
canceled the program (July 24, 2020)
Three years later, the Government requests the IMF to advance an amount that is very similar to the one that it dismissed in 2019. It does so to ensure that it reaches the STEP this year without a scare.
Specifically, what the Economy would be negotiating is US$ 10.640 million that are pre-approved, but that the schedule stipulates that they be sent in
(June, September and December).
Sergio Massa, the Minister of Economy, could even go further and request US$ 3,238 million that the next government should already receive (2024).
This means that between the money that the IMF should transfer this year and next, Argentina would receive some US$ 13,878 million, a
figure similar to that rejected by Fernández in 2019.
Days before taking office in December of that year, the President thus announced that he would not ask the IMF for the money.
“An agreement that says that they are going to send Argentina around US$57,000 million and they have given it up to now US$45,000 million, US$12,000 million remain.
Do I have a problem and am I going to ask for 11 billion more?
I want to stop asking and let me pay
," he told Radio con Vos.
The strategy had been decided by Martín Guzmán, Minister of Economy who would assume days later, and that the economist had advanced the proposal to Fernández, Cristina Kirchner and Massa himself.
Guzmán "played" to dispense with the Fund's help by restructuring the debt in dollars with private parties (US$ 80.5 billion)
and calculated that if he later agreed with the IMF, he would arrive with gasoline in the tank until 2023
It didn't happen that way and
now the government is asking the IMF for money.
84% of the money lent by the agency in 2018-2019 was used
to largely pay off maturing debts.
The rest to cover the fiscal deficit
The net reserves when the government began were about US$ 38,000 million.
Today they are negative.
Massa is negotiating against the clock with the IMF to get at least US$10.64 billion.
He thinks a move by the agency would send a signal to the market strong enough to reverse expectations.
The Central Bank sold US$ 470 million in just six rounds in May and the average daily drop in private dollar deposits with Massa exceeds that with Silvina Batakis in July 2022, in the worst of the run after the Guzman's resignation.
The US would support Argentina's request.
as reported by the Bloomberg agency this week.
But only if the staff and the Board approve the move.
According to sources familiar with the negotiation, there are countries on the Fund's board that would not be in favor of pouring more money
into a program that failed to lower inflation and does not meet one of the Fund's requirements: having the support of the government itself
Kirchnerism voted against the current agreement and although it is true that it did not object to the rate increase -which it had done in 2019-2022-, it does not approve a correction in the dollar.
The consultancy 1816 risks in its latest report that the US$ 10.640 million
could not even reach
"We insist that unless this comes with new financing, things will not change much for a simple reason: from now until the end of the year, Argentina has to pay the IMF US$11.3 billion."
To convince the staff, Massa has been complying with three requirements of the agency: increase the price of the dollar -at least at the rate of inflation-, adjust the rates and raise interest rates.
But he is not enough.
Then the Government resorts, at the end of its mandate, to that resource that it rejected at the beginning of it.
Like a circular structure.
Of US$10,000 million.