Argentine President Cristina Fernandez met with Thomas Piketty at the Olivos official residence for two hours on Saturday as part of the French economist's tour of Latin America.
Piketty, who has been credited with reviving the international debate on wealth inequality, also met with Economy Minister Axel Kicillof to discuss the country and the region on Friday, and answered questions ranging from debt restructuring to the possibility of creating a tax union in Latin America during a conference.
Much like other prominent politicians in the region before him during Piketty’s Latin American tour, Central Bank Governor Alejandro Vanoli had warm words about the Frenchman’s work before the meeting, while also adding that politics were indispensable to achieve the improved equality that Piketty yearns for.
“Most official inequality reports in the region are based on surveys in which people self-report their income, and those tend to underestimate inequality,” Piketty said then.
This is especially a problem in a country such as Argentina, he argued, as he sees it “full of tension over the question of distribution.”
Piketty also defined the court decisions in the United States against Argentina and in favor of “vulture funds” as “incredibly arbitrary, selfish and unacceptable.”
The president, on a wheel chair according to the official photo, reportedly addressed various topics with the celebrity economist.
On Tuesday, former Chilean president Ricardo Lagos was also full of praise for Piketty, stating that he transcended the work of others in his field, who “disguise their narrow views in economic theory to end up defending the status quo.”