Wednesday, April 17, 2024

ECONOMY | 06-12-2023 15:48

Who is Santiago Bausili, the new head of Argentina's Central Bank?

Finance secretary in the Mauricio Macri 2015-2019 administration, Santiago Bausili is a close friend of Luis 'Toto' Caputo. Hours before he was confirmed as the next governor of Argentina's Central Bank, the courts dropped charges against him.

Santiago Bausili, the next governor of Argentina’s Central Bank, is no stranger to working with the nation’s new economy minister – he is one of his closest friends.

Bausili, 49, has even been working with Luis ‘Toto’ Caputo of late – the two are partners at the Anker Latinoamerica consultancy firm that has been drawing up reform plans for the economy. 

The incoming governor even has government experience – he served as finance secretary in former president Mauricio Macri’s administration, as did Caputo.

The parallels don’t end there. Like Macri and Caputo, Bausili was educated at Cardenal Newman – the same school they attended.

The new head of the Central Bank earned a degree in Economics from the University of San Andrés, but has spent much of his professional career in the United States.

Before going into public office, Bausili worked at JP Morgan for 11 years, where he gained experience in the financing of capital markets and financial risk management.

He then spent nearly nine years at Deutsche Bank (where Caputo also worked), six out of which were based in New York, where he handled debt from Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Peru, He later worked as a director of the institution in Buenos Aires, also in relation to South American indebtedness.

As a public official, Bausili accompanied Caputo in office, starting in January 2016 in the Finance portfolio, first as undersecretary and then as secretary. When his colleague was made head of the Central Bank in mid-June 2018, Bausili was left in charge of the area. 



The official’s appointment has shone light on previous controversies, not least as Bausili was cleared by a federal appeals court on Tuesday of charges related to “negotiations incompatible with public office.” The allegations have to do with his former employer, Deutsche Bank, and a contentious decision to contract the financial heavyweight to place Argentina’s foreign debt bonds, benefitting it with a compensation which amounted to some US$8.4 million.

Bausili was accused of favouring his former employer, a charge he denies.

In 2019, the 49-year-old caused controversy on social networks after sharing a video in which a man complained about the waste scattered about the streets after a mass demonstration of the Ni Una Menos anti-gender violence movement.

“Look man, those green scarf girls on Avenida de Mayo, it’s a pigsty, it’s all filthy and nobody does anything, the city being so pretty.” he said, while filming a man kicking a discarded plastic cup. 

The former official’s tweet was challenge by many users on social media and the material was subsequently deleted,

Earlier this week, the Federal Court of Appeals revoked his indictment and cleared him of charges.

The former official had been accused of “incompatible negotiations” in the issuance of foreign debt securities between 2015 and 2019, when Caputo was the head of finance and then, later, of the Central Bank.

Bausili was indicted twice by Federal Judge Sebastián Casanello, and in both cases the Court of Appeals, with the majority vote of Martín Irurzun and Eduardo Farah (plus the dissenting vote of Roberto Boico), revoked the charges for lack of evidence.


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