Argentine President-elect Javier Milei is in the U.S. today for a two-day visit. He will first visit New York on a personal “spiritual” matter, and then go to Washington to meet with Biden administration officials, including Biden himself and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, and then with IMF and World Bank officials. Arranged by current U.S. Ambassador to Argentina Marc Stanley, the meetings are intended to be of an introductory nature—not in depth—in which Milei and his team will present a roadmap of his planned economic “shock” program.
Since Argentina owes $44 billion to the IMF and under the Alberto Fernández government didn’t implement the Fund’s harsh conditionalities, Milei can’t ask for more money, and will have to renegotiate the existing Extended Fund Facility under new terms. Whether Wall Street bankers are willing to lend any more money to Argentina remains unclear. Notably, one of the people accompanying Milei is Luis Caputo, who is considered his choice for finance minister, although he hasn’t yet been confirmed for that post. Milei asked him to come to Washington because he said he needed his “expertise.” A former JPMorgan executive, Caputo served both as finance minister and Central Bank governor in the 2015-19 Mauricio Macri government that wrecked the productive economy with the neoliberal policies that Caputo helped implement.