Yellen commends Caputo’s stabilization efforts, warns to ‘protect vulnerable Argentinians’

The US Treasury Secretary met with the Argentine Economy Minister during the G20 Ministerial Meeting in Brazil

Argentine Economy Minister Luis Caputo met on Thursday with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who praised Milei’s efforts to stabilize the economy but warned of the “importance of protecting vulnerable Argentinians.”

The meeting took place at the G20 Ministerial meeting in the Brazilian city of São Paulo. Yellen also said that Milei’s administration “inherited a steep stabilization task.”

“[The government] has already taken some important steps toward restoring fiscal sustainability, adjusting the exchange rate, and combating inflation,” Yellen said in a communiqué. She called Milei’s first months in power “a difficult economic transition period for the Argentine people,” adding that the hardships would remain for the time being.

“Protecting the most vulnerable during this transition will be a challenge, but is vitally important.”

The government inherited a difficult economic situation, with inflation at a three-decade high and 45% of Argentines living under the poverty line. After sweeping reforms including a 54% devaluation of the peso and austerity measures that include halting food aid to soup kitchens, key indicators have worsened — 57% of the population was poor in January and inflation is at its highest since 1991. Milei and his supporters claim the situation will improve over this year after an initial shock as the economy adapts to the measures.

Yellen said the countries shared many areas for possible collaboration, and that she expects “an active and constructive relationship between the U.S. Treasury Department and the Ministry of Economy.”

Milei shared a newswire about the meeting focusing on Yellen’s congratulatory remarks to the administration with the caption “And let the orcs keep on crying…” Last year, former President Mauricio Macri used the term “orc” to describe the previous Peronist administration and its supporters.

On Wednesday, Caputo met with Kristalina Georgieva, head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Georgieva called the encounter “excellent” in a post on X. “I welcomed the sustained efforts of the authorities to restore stability, support the most vulnerable, and build support for reforms,” she wrote.

That day, Bloomberg reported that Argentina was seeking a new program with the IMF to eliminate exchange restrictions. “Incorrect,” Caputo posted on X. “As I said in my last interview, the Fund is open to exploring a new program, but we are not negotiating anything at the moment.”


All Right Reserved.  Buenos Aires Herald