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IMF says monetary policy needs of “independent central banks”

Friday, February 5th 2010 - 03:19 UTC
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Caroline Atkinson, Director of the External Relations Department at the IMF Caroline Atkinson, Director of the External Relations Department at the IMF

The International Monetary Fund, IMF, made a public veiled reference to Argentina’s Central bank institutional crisis underlining the importance of having independent central banks for monetary policy all over the world.

“Of course, we believe that the independence of central banks is very important for monetary policy all over the world” said Caroline Atkinson, Director of the External Relations Department at the IMF during a press conference in Washington when she was asked about the Argentine situation.

As to whether an IMF mission was planning to visit Argentina for a routine check as is the rule for all members, Ms Atkinson she had no new information on the issue.

“Of course, as you know and as I've said many times, we have a very strong resident representative in Argentina on the ground in touch with the authorities, Gaston Gelos, and that continues to be the case”, she said.

Argentina is the only G20 member country that since 2006 has not received any IMF mission. In 2006 Argentina cancelled all pending debts with the IMF.

However over the last twelve months Argentina has been warming up to the IMF as part of its strategy to return to voluntary international money markets in search of fresh funds.

But before that Argentina must conclude negotiations over pending debts with (defaulted) sovereign bond holders (20 billion USD) and the Club of Paris, 7 billion USD.

Meantime in Buenos Aires newly appointed head of the central bank, Mercedes Marcó del Pont said she will maintain current policies of the institution.

“I want to transmit calm to markets”, said Marcó del Pont on leaving home for her first day at the central bank.

“We are thinking of maintaining the monetary and exchange rate policy with regards to the type of competitive managed float [of the currency] which has provided benefits in terms of the fiscal surplus and the external sector surplus.”

She added that “there are no objective conditions for there to be any impact and adjustment in the type of exchange rate”.

Regarding the role of the central bank in Argentina’s economy, Ms Marcó del Pont said that “everyone knows that I am convinced that the central bank and the monetary, exchange rate and financial policy are fundamental for deepening the development model currently being implemented in Argentina”

Categories: Economy, Politics, Argentina.

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