Alfonso Prat-Gay

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Alfonso Prat-Gay
Alfonso Prat Gay y Luis Caputo (cropped).jpg
Minister of the Economy
In office
10 December 2015 – 2 January 2017[1]
President Mauricio Macri
Preceded by Axel Kicillof
Succeeded by Luis Caputo (Finance)
Nicolás Dujovne (Treasury)
President of the Central Bank
In office
11 December 2002 – 24 September 2004
Preceded by Aldo Pignanelli
Succeeded by Martín Redrado
Personal details
Born (1965-11-24) 24 November 1965 (age 51)
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Political party Civic Coalition ARI
Other political
affiliations
Cambiemos (2015–present)
Alma mater Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina
University of Pennsylvania
Signature

Alfonso Prat-Gay (born November 24, 1965) is an Argentine economist and politician. Following the election of Mauricio Macri to the presidency on November 22, 2015, he became the Minister of the Economy of Argentina.[2] He was also President of the Central Bank of Argentina from December 2002 to September 2004, and was elected Congressman for the Civic Coalition in the 2009 elections.

His work earned him Euromoney's Central Bank Governor of the Year award.[3] A decade later, as Minister of the Economy of Mauricio Macri, he lifted 4-year-old government controls on the Argentine currency ("the clamp"), a mere 4 days after taking office.[4]

Career[edit]

Politics[edit]

In December 2002, Prat-Gay was named President of the Central Bank of Argentina, at only 37 years of age, and served until September 24, 2004.[5] He won the 2004 Euromoney Central Bank Governor of the Year award for his work for having reduced the inflation from 40% to 5% while maintaining an economic growth of 8%.[6] He completed his term and rejected President Néstor Kirchner's offer to renew his position for another six-year term, due to disagreements with the president on the independence of the Central Bank, anti-inflationary policies, and on negotiations on defaulted bonds.[7]

He joined the Civic Coalition, led at the time by Elisa Carrió, and was named as Carrió's choice for Minister of the Economy had she won the 2007 presidential election.[8]

Prat-Gay led the Civic Coalition's party list for the city of Buenos Aires in the 2009 congressional elections, and was handily elected.[9] As a Congressman, he worked on projects such as increasing banking security, preventing money laundering and drug trafficking, and an extensive deregulation of the Argentine financial system. He was a main voice of the opposition in Congress on economic issues. He was named head of the Civic Coalition caucus in the Lower House following Elisa Carrió's poor showing in the 2011 presidential election.

Prat-Gay co-founded the Juntos UNEN ('Together They Unite') alliance with centrist UCR Congressional caucus leader Ricardo Gil Lavedra, and Victoria Donda of the leftist Freemen of the South Movement in January 2013. He declared his candidacy in July for a seat in the Argentine Senate ahead of the 2013 mid-term elections.[10]

Finances[edit]

Prat-Gay was born in Buenos Aires in 1965, the son of Jorge Prat-Gay, a director of the Central Bank of Argentina under the dictatorship of Jorge Videla. He earned a degree in economics from the Universidad Católica Argentina in 1989, and obtained his master's degree in 1994 at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a PhD candidate.[8]

In 1994, Prat-Gay joined JP Morgan in New York City and went on to work for the bank in its Buenos Aires and London branches until 2001. He co-founded APL Economía, an economic consulting firm.

Prat-Gay is Chairman of Tilton Capital, an asset management company he co-founded in 2005 with Pedro Lacoste.[11] He is president of Fundación Andares para el desarrollo de las Microfinanzas ("Andares Foundation for the Development of Microfinances").[12] His clients at Tilton Capital included the late María Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat, former chairperson of Argentina's largest concrete manufacturer, Loma Negra. Prat-Gay's work for Mrs. Fortabat came under scrutiny after revelations that Tilton Capital facilitated tax evasion and capital flight for Fortabat and other clients, including the entirety of Mrs. Fortabat's billion-dollar payout for her sale of Loma Negra in 2005.[11] The vice president of JP Morgan Argentina at the time, Hernán Arbizu, declared that Prat-Gay managed much of this wealth in an offshore hedge fund of his creation with put options against the Argentine peso.[13] He was appointed executor of the Lacroze de Fortabat estate following Mrs. Fortabat's death in 2012.[11]

Minister of economy[edit]

Minister Alfonso Prat-Gay takes part in meetings with the IMF and the World Bank, shortly after the end of the Argentine default.

Prat-Gay was appointed minister of financed in 2015, by president Mauricio Macri. In that capacity, he successfully ended the currency controls established by Cristina Kirchner and the sovereign default declared in 2001. He also helped to restore international relations, and the update of the figures of the wealth tax, which had not been updated in previous years in line with inflation. He had conflicting views of the economy with Federico Sturzenegger, president of the Central Bank of Argentina. By demand of president Macri, he resigned on December 26, 2016,[14] and was succeeded by Nicolás Dujovne.[15]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Civic offices
Preceded by
Aldo Pignanelli
President of the Central Bank
2002–2004
Succeeded by
Martín Redrado
Political offices
Preceded by
Axel Kicillof
Minister of the Economy
2015–2016
Succeeded by
Luis Caputo
as Minister of Finance
Succeeded by
Nicolás Dujovne
as Minister of the Treasury