Miguel Angel Pesce: Closing remarks - 2021 Money and Banking Conference

Closing remarks by Mr Miguel Angel Pesce, Governor of the Central Bank of Argentina, of the 2021 Money and Banking Conference "Macroeconomic conditions, growth and income distribution. Underlying problems of the global economy and lessons from the pandemic", online seminars, 24 November 2021.

Central bank speech  | 
08 December 2021

It is time to close the 2021 edition of the BCRA's Money and Banking Conference, which consisted in online seminars, as in 2020, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The presentations delivered these past few weeks have been stimulating indeed. Speakers have discussed the lessons learned from the pandemic, the problems that still exist, and the structural challenges in relation to the macroeconomy, distribution and growth from different viewpoints and based on various experiences.

A significant part of the discussion focused on the relationship between fiscal policy, growth and inequality. Speakers have highlighted how the exceptional conditions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic have led to some kind of "change of eras", evidencing both the inability of purely neoliberal policies to solve the crisis, and the need for structural reforms aiming at inclusive, sustainable growth. Although the pandemic has globally pushed the tolerance threshold for fiscal deficit to new levels, following this agenda of economic recovery in the medium and long term without compromising fiscal sustainability poses some challenges. Moreover, it has been stated that the increase in public spending, which has turned out to be effective amid the economic emergency, should be reconsidered in terms of composition in the long term. In this regard, the importance of channeling public spending into education, childcare, health and social assistance has been highlighted, given the long-term benefits for society as a whole, along with a potential, positive impact on productivity.