Ministro Pistarini Airport, Ezeiza 9:32 a.m., 13 minutes ahead of schedule, American Airlines Flight 997 has arrived in the country from Dallas. It would be a further downfall were it not for a remarkable fact: the $301 million that came from the US Federal Reserve unit in that Texas city could have been moved to its warehouse.
At about 11:40 am, three trucks of cash that had left Ezeiza entered the vault of the Central Bank located on Reconquista Street. The monetary entity plans to incorporate this millionaire amount of cash into its accounting records today. It will be used as of next Monday to protect the banking system from possible shocks that it may be exposed to after the outcome of Sunday’s elections.
The logistics seen today at Ezeiza Air Station, expressed in schematic terms, were as follows. Shortly after Flight 997 touched down, large silver boxes were lowered from the plane. Two trucks, one white and one black, escorted them to the hangar. After that, the trucks transporting the money to the central bank left the airport.
Planning a monetary object for a long time thought about money income. According to internal documents seen by La Nación, at the end of last week the central bank planned to receive resources from the Federal Reserve. In this way, Reconquista Street’s Treasury bond holdings will increase from $472 million to $773 million.
In practice, it is as if the Central Bank of Argentina has withdrawn the money in cash: it extracts from its account in the United States the bills it needs to bring to Argentina.
This is the normal behavior of a monetary entity. In the face of situations that may represent greater pressure on the banking sector, the availability of banknotes increases in case someone wants to withdraw them. With the consolidation coming from the north, BCRA Bank is in a better position to meet the demands of retail banks.
Shielding the banking system reissues the plan implemented by Hernán Lacunza (Economics Minister) and Guido Sandler (BCRA) during the end of Mauricio Macri’s administration. They filled the city of Buenos Aires with truckloads of cash and extended the opening hours of banks days after the election in which Alberto Fernandez defeated former President Mauricio Macri, in order to overreact to a glut of foreign currency.
In practice, banks have been running for the day after the election for quite a while. It is estimated that its coffers contain at least US$3 billion.
According to internal central bank documents, a new flight from Dallas is expected to arrive at the end of next week with another $301 million to supply dollars to banks if needed.
The reserved information, then, shows that the government will speed up the arrival of dollars to be prepared in the event that banks increase requests. It is an antidote to bank runs. The last dollar plane that arrived in the country dates back to July 13.
The device was validated against difficulties by Sergio Massa, commissioned by Miguel Pesce (President of BCRA) and requested by Fabián Sgarbi, Deputy Director General for Operations of the Central Bank. The latter, who reports directly to Pesce – whom he brought to him from his time at Banco de Tierra del Fuego – has recently shown himself to be more collaborative with Lisandro Cleri, one of the most senior men on Massa’s team and his manager at Central Bank.
Argentina usually imports dollars from Dallas. It’s also common to hire American Airlines and Brinks to carry cash, which is the only company that can enter FED offices. In this case, the trucks La Nación saw had the Loomis brand. It is likely that it was a subcontract.
Choosing an airline has a curiosity on the other side. American Airlines has its own ramp service at the air terminal due to a feature it took advantage of in 1994. This allows it to avoid eventual strikes by workers at Intercargo, the public company that provides the service, which could delay landing tickets. /Nation
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