Eduardo Eurnekian was angry. None of the economists who surrounded him that day in 2012 can remember the reasons. But they have not forgotten the moment when the businessman stunned them with a question: “Tell me, what is the origin of the economic progress of mankind?” The majority answered that it was the industrial revolution. The founder of Corporación América increased his bad mood and left the board meeting. But he came back to the matter later.
-And what do you think? – he asked the newest economist on the staff.
“Gutenberg’s printing press,” answered the man, who had a strange hairstyle.
-Why are you saying that? – Eurnekian insisted, having finally heard what he wanted to hear. His interlocutor told him that it was based on the thesis of the Israeli Oded Galor, who suggests that growth is generated by human capital. He also wanted to allude to the ideas of the British Thomas Malthus, but before he could complete the analysis, his boss interrupted him and asked Sandra, his secretary, to leave her alone. “Let’s discuss history,” he suggested. The interview lasted three and a half hours in his office, a classic European-style office with a mahogany-colored wood setting and dim lighting.
The economist was Javier Milei. From then on, the businessman began to make him a kind of student that he would soon encourage and argue with while having a lot of fun. He could kick him out of a meeting or reward him with a wad of dollars that he gave him on the spot. The years passed and after a stunning nightly appearance on the América channel, Milei went from anonymity to becoming a sought-after guest in television studios. It provided the cocktail that excited the producers: show, ratings and likes and hates on social networks. So much so that on several occasions there have been strong reactions, rudeness and sometimes unfounded criticism of journalists who are part of these cycles.
Everything changed in this connection between the businessman and the economist before the 2021 general elections, when Milei indicated that he would be a candidate for the post of city deputy and announced that he had a presidential project that would eliminate caste and the Dollarizing the population would suggest economy. Eurnekian then distanced himself and they ended their collaboration. This distance has become clear in the last two weeks. Miserable. The executive declared that the libertarian was not up to the task of “judging Pope Francis and expressing his opinion” and last Wednesday he ended the dagger: he assured that Argentina is not fit to be ruled by a dictator to become.
In doing so, he joined large sections of the red circle questioning the leader of La Libertad Avanza and worried about his possible arrival at the Casa Rosada. Because of his style, because of his intransigence and because they see him as emotionally unstable. Not all. There are politicians who no longer view him with contempt, others who want to benefit from his recent success (like Omar De Marchi, who left Together for Change and is now fighting for the governorship in Mendoza) and even trade unionists seemed to help him or On the contrary, to see if they can take part in an eventual government. The most notorious case is that of Luis Barrionuevo, who offered prosecutors and others forms of cooperation. Until recently, he had provided the same to Eduardo De Pedro. From Pedro, from La Campora.
Although they are in the minority, there are representatives in the business world who have made or could make a difference the day after the election. Two pieces of information. First: At a private business lunch two weeks ago, a vote was simulated among the 42 participants, with a dark room and all the trimmings. Patricia Bullrich won with 21 votes, but Milei received 10. As they ate dessert, attendees noted that the libertarian would not have received even a vote in the same place a year ago.
Second fact: A politician from this caste – he has been a councilor, mayor and minister – gave a talk three days ago to executives who were eager to get a hint of what was to come. The majority distrusted Milei and in conversation several asked what they could do about it; But there were two or three voices that caught the speaker’s attention with expressions like: “Let Milei come and blow everything up once and for all, and we’ll start again.” This message was also reflected in the focus groups contrary.
However, the pressure on Milei remains unceasing. On the 10th of this month, more than 200 economists came together to issue a document warning of the dangers of their plan. The next day, the Catholic Church accused him of creating a climate of violence and untruths. Just three days later, a group of intellectuals warned that he was a candidate who “threatened democracy.” And in the last hours, more than 3,000 citizens of the Jewish community distributed a letter expressing concern about their “expressions of hatred” and the positioning of Judaism.
The big question is: Will it be enough to stop it or will it be counterproductive? Although Bullrich and Massa aren’t saying it, and despite the fact that the result of the primaries – viewed from another planet – points to a technical tie between the three, they are happy about moving into the runoff against him. As if the first location was already defined. His campaign fears, without saying so, that October’s surprise could dwarf the August setback as the libertarian wave expands. The lack of reliable polls and the associated manipulation to position candidates higher and lower, as if voters were puppets, increase the uncertainty of the market and the nerves of candidates.
In “Together for Change” they consider to what extent Bullrich will succeed in retaining its own voices and those of Rodríguez Larreta and how much it can grow. Mauricio Macri jumped in to help him. He criticized Milei – albeit in a cautious tone – and walked through Córdoba, the district where he received 70% of the vote in the 2015 runoff and where Milei won in August. The votes are counted individually. Bullrich faces the challenge of not dropping any of them. It would be fatal for her if that happened. The history of Cambiemos shows that the number of candidates has always increased between the primaries and the general elections. In 2015 the group reached 30.12% and in 2019 32.08%. In the parliamentary elections, there were 1.8 million votes in the “President” category in 2015 and 2.6 million in 2019.
On the other hand, Kirchnerism has always had difficulty evolving from one competition to another. Massa is committed to maintaining the hard vote. The series of advertisements and Cristina’s reappearance suggest this. The minimum objective would be achieved: the economy minister would secure the votes of Juan Grabois, as shown by polls in sectors where the figure of the vice president is sacred.
The Tigrense is moving forward with his increasingly clear strategy aimed at demoting the functions of the minister in order to try to make the candidate grow. Massa was right when he said that the two roles were incompatible.
“One announcement per day until the end,” they promise the minister. Until a few days ago there was talk of “setting fire to the prairie.” They have changed. Now it says: “Burn the ships.” These are metaphors that don’t require much explanation. The risk, the risks, are visible in the inflation rate of 12.4% in August, the highest level since 1991. Nevertheless, Massa advocates putting money on the street so that consumption, which had slowed, increases again. In August, the Argentine Chamber of Commerce and Services (CAC) Consumption Indicator (IC) showed a year-on-year decline of 0.9%.
The Platita plan has changed its name. Now they call it “Plan platota”. And the uncontrolled emissions? And the deficit? And the specter of inflation that is even higher than current? And the agreement with the IMF? There are different speculations on this last point. In November there will be a maturity of $831 million and for the same month the review of the organization’s technicians will be agreed. It remains to be seen which skin Massa will be released with on this date. The primary budget deficit in 2023 could be twice as high as promised to the IMF, which was pegged at 1.9% of GDP.
As always, Cristina watches the scene and speculates. She stayed away from the photos and the campaign with Massa for two months. Yesterday he resurfaced to criticize Macri, Milei and Alberto Fernández.
These are fateful days for the vice president. She can’t help but be uneasy. The first shock came when the Supreme Court unanimously ordered that Judge Ana María Figueroa resign from her post in the Chamber of Cassation because she had reached the age limit of 75. Later, the same Chamber reopened the Hotesur and Los Sauces cases by revoking the dismissals of 25 defendants, including Máximo Kirchner. His only consolation is that Florencia Kirchner was fired.
The former president’s legal nightmare is getting worse. The judge also ruled that she will face an oral trial over the signing of the memorandum with Iran, in which she is accused of covering up the attack on AMIA. The latest bad news came from the court on Tuesday when it upheld the constitutionality of the fine law, a fact that is important in corruption cases. Especially for the bribery notebooks.
Maybe Alberto Fernández is right. The files become more burdensome for the mentor of your candidacy. House arrest might get a little closer come December 10th. On this day, Cristina will say goodbye to power and will no longer have the privileges to protect it.