Inside Redrado’s battle for Argentina’s central bank
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Inside Redrado’s battle for Argentina’s central bank

When Argentine president Cristina Kirchner tried to grab $6.6 billion of reserves from the country’s central bank, its governor Martin Redrado refused to play ball. A stand-off ensued that threatened a full-scale constitutional crisis. This exclusive account reveals the political tensions and the dirty tricks as Redrado struggled to maintain the independence of the central bank, eventually at the cost of his own job.

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When president Kirchner issued a decree in December requesting $6.6 billion of central bank reserves to pay outstanding debts, more than money was at stake. The bank’s very independence was under threat. Its governor, Martin Redrado, refused to play ball.

The ensuing stand-off between Argentina’s most powerful person and its most important financial official threatened to snowball into a full-blown constitutional crisis. Luckily it didn’t as Redrado managed to stave off the government’s attempts to grab the reserves, although at a cost to his own career.

In an exclusive interview with Euromoney he gives the inside story of those tumultuous weeks when his credibility and that of his institution were on the line. It’s a riveting insight into one of the toughest jobs in the financial markets and details the machinations of Argentine politics under the leadership of Cristina Kirchner. Sudip Roy and Chloe Hayward report.

MARTIN REDRADO, PRESIDENT of Argentina’s central bank, looked at his computer screen. A news story had flashed up. Its headline was ‘Argentine president signs decree to fire Redrado’.

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