Who is Javier Milei, Argentina’s market-friendly president?

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Argentina welcomed a new president on Dec. 10, pledging profound economic reforms in the country, including the dissolution of the central bank along with a number of other measures aimed at reducing government size and spending.

President Javier Gerardo Milei is also known as “El Loco” (the crazy one), a nickname he earned at school due to his explosive personality. During his campaign, Milei pushed his “crazy” persona onto the stage, proposing disruptive measures to a population heavily burdened with a 161% annual inflation rate as of November.

His economic proposals are based on his decades of experience as an economist, ranging from advising politicians to working on private pension funds and banks, and as a professor of macroeconomics and microeconomics, having published several papers about economic growth.

Milei decided to become an economist at 12 when the peso’s exchange rate collapsed, sparking the country’s first debt crisis in the 1980s. According to local media reports, Milei observed people fighting over groceries due to the situation. He then delved into the law of supply and demand, which says that demand for a product declines when the price rises and increases when the price drops — a key concept to understanding inflation.

The new president describes himself as a “minarchist,” a form of libertarianism that advocates for a minimal state and free markets. But Milei had been on the other side of the economic spectrum during his initial career. In a recent interview with The Economist, Milei said he was trained as a Keynesian in college — a reference to John Maynard Keynes’ economic theories about the importance of the government in creating jobs and economic growth.

A few years later, after completing his two master’s degrees, Milei found himself more aligned with neoclassical ideals and a devotee of “real business cycle theory,” a significant shift from traditional Keynesian views on the business cycle. Nowadays, he sees the government as a “criminal organization” and blames Argentina’s central bank for the peso’s devaluation over the past years.

“The state is a criminal organization that lives off a coercive source of income called taxes.” 

What is Javier Milei’s real take on cryptocurrencies?

Although Milei is not formally acknowledged as a pro-crypto advocate, his ideologies align closely with several traditionally core crypto principles. Milei believes that “as time goes by, technology will allow us to move towards a free society” in which contracts between individuals govern everything. 

“Contracts between individuals are the basis of the market. The market is a process of social cooperation where individuals voluntarily exchange property rights,” he told The Economist.

His proposals for resolving Argentina’s prolonged economic crisis do not explicitly include using Bitcoin (BTC) or other cryptocurrencies. However, he previously hinted at Bitcoin as an alternative to monetary authorities.

”We have to understand that the Central Bank is a scam. What Bitcoin represents is the return of money to its original creation, the private sector.”

Milei promised to dollarize Argentina’s economy, making the country’s monetary system still under the eyes of a central bank — but in this case, the eyes of the United States Federal Reserve.

“What I do see that has become popular is that Javier Milei is recognized as a Bitcoiner candidate when, in fact, he is not. In fact, he has mentioned on some occasions not being a specialist in cryptocurrencies and has mentioned that they will not be the focus of his government,” Hernán González, press officer of the nongovernmental organization Bitcoin Argentina, told Cointelegraph.

Fernando Nikolić, an Argentine Bitcoin advocate and founder of Bitcoin Perception, shares a similar view. According to Nikolić, while Milei has praised Bitcoin in interviews, his official program lacks any specific Bitcoin-friendly proposal.

Magazine: How to protect your crypto in a volatile market — Bitcoin OGs and experts weigh in

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