Javier Milei appointed Santiago Bausili to preside over the Central Bank, the president-elect’s official account on X confirmed on Wednesday. Bausili, former finance secretary during the Macri administration, will take on the role originally earmarked for Emilio Ocampo, a dollarization advocate whom Milei had announced as the next and “last” president of the Central Bank in September.
Before being appointed, Bausili was working at Anker Latinoamérica, a consulting firm founded by future Economy Minister Luis “Toto” Caputo that has since been dissolved as most of its members will become part of the incoming government.
Speaking to the media assembled outside Milei’s de facto headquarters at the Libertador Hotel, Caputo said on Wednesday that the economic team was “almost” complete. “It’s an enormous effort because we all know that the [economic] inheritance we are receiving, as the president said, is the worst in history,” he added.
A revoked indictment
Following his tenure in the Macri administration, Bausili was indicted for allegedly favoring certain banks through which the government placed debt in 2016 and 2017.
He was being investigated for choosing Deutsche Bank to issue U.S. dollar-nominated bonds, an operation that carries a commission for the intervening bank. Before becoming Macri’s finance secretary, he was Head of Debt Origination at that bank for eight years.
On Wednesday, a Buenos Aires City federal court revoked that indictment.
Bausili studied economics at San Andrés University. Between 1996 and 2007, he was JP Morgan’s director of capital markets and derivatives marketing for Argentina, Chile, and Peru. He also founded a financial services firm called Bunker and worked in Invernea, a business focusing on livestock investments.
Bausili’s appointment and Ocampo’s scrapping seem to indicate that dollarization is no longer on the immediate agenda. A report by Bull Market, a brokerage firm belonging to La Libertad Avanza member Ramiro Marra’s family, has another take on the so-called “Caputo plan.”
According to the document, Caputo would devalue the peso to a value between AR$640 and AR$650 in December and then devalue again in February. The report posits that although Caputo’s plan has “no clear horizon,” dollarization is Milei’s “final destination” and that the future economy minister could be “preparing the ground” for that.
It concludes that, with Bausili’s appointment, the independence of the Central Bank is no longer on the table.
Wednesday’s communiqué appointed other members of Milei’s cabinet — Daniel Tillard and Darío Wasserman will serve as president and vice-president of the Banco Nación, respectively. Belén Stettler will be Communications Secretary.