The result of a survey on who could win the PASO on August 13 reflects quite faithfully the flip side of uncertainty in the financial market.
Dollar, stocks, bonds and interest rates move to the rhythm of doubts about the present and future of the exchange rate trap, which plays an increasingly prominent role in the "endure" plan of Minister Sergio Massa.
The poll in question, prepared by Federico Aurelio's Aresco, maintains that the internal elections will be won by Together for Change and that in second place there could be a tie between the Frente de Todos and Javier Milei's Libertad Avanza.
The intentions to vote for president are: Patricia Bullrich, 14.7%; Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, 14.4%, with which JxC would obtain 29.1%.
In the Frente de Todos (obviously assuming that there is a STEP to define the candidate and, therefore, Sergio Massa decides not to be a candidate) Wado de Pedro would have 15.8% and Daniel Scioli, 11.6%, which together would give 27.4%.
Javier Milei would be the most voted individual candidate, with 27.6%, in a virtual tie with the FdT.
Patricia Bullrich has been saying that in the case of winning, the exchange market will unfold (controlled commercial dollar and another free financial dollar) and that the elimination of the exchange rate trap must be immediate to allow the entry of capital.
On Milei's side, the messages on the exchange issue are two: "we are going to set fire to the Central Bank" and implement an intensive dollarization of the economy as a way to combat inflation.
From the Frente de Todos the proposal of Wado de Pedro goes through the expansion of domestic consumption based on the fact that consumption represents 71% of the economy and that the State will get the dollars to finance the consumption of the increase in exports.
Splitting the exchange market, eliminating the trap, dollarizing, increasing exports in a context characterized by inflation above 100% raises the need to have a higher exchange rate that allows reducing the exchange rate gap that today acts as a great brake for the market.
With the wholesale dollar at $ 245 and the cash with settlement at $ 500 it is easy to guess which dollar importers would prefer to pay – if the Central Bank sold them – and which one exporters would receive, with the aggravating factor that, on top of that, the withholdings are applied on the lowest exchange rate.
Economists say that a devaluation of the peso of a certain magnitude against the official dollar will be inexorable when the next government applies some sustainable anti-inflationary plan, but they also recognize that Sergio Massa must avoid a jump in the exchange rate until the change of government so as not to fall into hyperinflation.
The trap tightens practically every week (the provinces must refinance 60% of their external obligations on their own, arrears accumulate in payments, etc.) and the only breath of financing would be coming from the use of China's swap to pay in yuan for imports from that country.
On June 21 and 22 the government must pay US $ 2,682 million to the IMF and Massa still negotiates with the agency the advance of the funds to be able to do so without having to resort to reserves, where would they come from?
The latest Eco Go report by economist Marina dal Poggetto argues that since the end of April the Central Bank has used US $ 980 million of reserves to buy bonds "and, simultaneously, sell bonds in pesos for almost US $ 4,000 million nominal to intervene in free dollars."
In addition, he says, "since they began to leave on March 7, private deposits in dollars accumulate a fall of US $ 1,100 million on a stock of US $ 15,280 million. Of these, there are US $ 11,000 million embedded in the BCRA that are part of the gross reserves. "
65% of private deposits are from individuals and 30% from companies. In turn, among retail deposits, 31% correspond to accounts less than US $ 10,000 and 52% to deposits less than US $ 30,000.
In a context in which the BCRA's net reserves are negative at US$1.200 billion, the evolution of deposits in dollars becomes a fact to follow closely.