Argentina’s Milei taps Bausili as new central bank chief – sources

By Jorgelina do Rosario

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) -Argentine economist Santiago Bausili is set to become the governor of the country’s central bank after President-elect Javier Milei takes office on Dec. 10, according to three people with direct knowledge.

Bausili – a close ally of the incoming Economy Minister Luis Caputo – was undersecretary of finance under Mauricio Macri’s administration between 2016 and 2017, and he later became the finance secretary until Dec. 2019.

His selection for the central bank will create a strong front of mainstream conservative economists alongside market-friendly Caputo, that could help moderate President-elect Milei’s more radical libertarian propositions.

Bausili’s latest role was as a partner of Anker, a Buenos-Aires based consultancy firm, alongside Caputo, which he joined in Oct. 2020.

Bausili previously worked for Deutsche Bank as a debt origination director, first in New York and then in Buenos Aires. He worked for over a decade at JPMorgan focused on capital markets and derivatives marketing covering Argentina, Chile and Peru.

Caputo and Bausili were pictured earlier on Tuesday arriving at the hotel where Milei is staying in downtown Buenos Aires.

Milei pledged during the campaign, and reiterated recently, that he would eventually shut the central bank and dollarize the economy, a move he says would help slay the country’s painful triple-digit inflation.

Just a couple of months ago, before winning the election, Milei had appeared to favor his main dollarization adviser Emilio Ocampo to lead – and close – the central bank.

However, since winning a run-off election last month he has shifted towards a more pragmatic stance, focusing more on reducing the fiscal deficit and putting dollarization on the back burner.

Milei’s team did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Bausili.

(Reporting by Jorgelina do Rosario; Editing by Isabel Woodford and Jacqueline Wong)