Risk contributor Blejer steps down as Argentine central bank governor

Mario Blejer, a former senior adviser to the International Monetary fund (IMF), has resigned as governor of the Argentine central bank. The move could prove to be a blow to Argentine president Eduardo Duhalde's efforts to restore the country's battered economy following its default late last year on $141 billion of debt.

Blejer was made governor in January this year. His appointment was seen as a counterbalance to the drastic economic reforms being made by Duhalde and his economics team. "The new economic administration lacks well-known names," rating agency Standard & Poor's credit analyst in Buenos Aires, Juan Pablo de Mollein, told RiskNews at the time of Blejer's appointment. "Blejer knows the [central] bank and has strong international experience."

Blejer had encountered problems working with Duhalde's economy minister, Roberto Lavagna, reports said. The two were said to have had differences over the central bank's policies to end the economic crisis in Argentina.

Blejer is not the first central bank governor to have resigned following clashes with the ministry of the economy. His predecessor, Roque Maccarone, resigned after only months in the top job.

Blejer's exit comes as the government is struggling to restore emergency IMF aid.

Blejer co-authored an article, 'VAR for central banks', in Risk magazine in October 1998 with Liliana Schumacher, assistant professor at George Washington University. In that paper, he discussed the use of value-at-risk methodology in assessing the commitments of central banks and identifying their vulnerability.

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