Argentina: Bank independence at stake as Redrado exits
Governor leaves after stand off; $6.6bln transfer at root of conflict
Locked out: Martin Redrado leaves his home in Buenos Aires on January 25. He left the central bank four days later after announcing his resignation
Martin Redrado’s resignation as governor of the Argentine central bank marks the end of a period of relative stability at the monetary authority. His departure following a bitter struggle with the country’s president, Cristina Kirchner, over the use of the bank’s reserves, has led to fears that the central bank’s independence could become compromised with Kirchner and her husband, former president, Nestor pulling the strings. Redrado’s exit can be traced back to December 14, when Kirchner passed an emergency decree to set up a Bicentennial Stability and Reduced Indebtedness Fund to finance public debt that matures this year. This involved the transfer of $6.6 billion in bank reserves to the national treasury. Controversially, she said that the central bank had $18 billion in "excess reserves".