Andres Arauz, best known for nearly becoming Ecuador’s new president earlier this year, makes up a new generation of leftist Latin American leaders who oppose free market orthodoxy and are open to experimentation with digital monetary systems to wean their economies off US dollar dependencies.
Arauz’s open-mindedness stems from his days as a director at the Central Bank of Ecuador, where he investigated complementary monetary systems, as well as from his time serving as Minister of Knowledge and Human Talent (!) during the leftwing presidency of Rafael Correa.
Arauz’s hostility towards the IMF and its domestic programmes over the course of his presidential run, however, spooked many Ecuadorian creditors.
Since losing out to former banker Guillermo Lasso in the presidential run-offs, Arauz has turned his attention to CBDCs, authoring a recent paper advocating the mechanism as a pathway to Ecuador regaining monetary sovereignty. He has also been investigating whether it might be possible to leverage the IMF’s own Special Drawing Rights (SDR) for fiscal purposes by incorporating them into government budgets instead of central bank balance sheets.
Whether you agree with Arauz’s monetary views or not, what is clear is that he offers a unique insight into the perspectives of dollar-dependent emerging economies that have very different needs to more established Western ones.
On that basis, we are excited to confirm Arauz will be joining FT Alphaville this Friday, July 23, at 4pm UK time (11am EST) for our latest Twitter Spaces session.
To join the conversation click here, or follow @izakaminska, @jemimajoanna or @senoj_erialc and wait for the link to pop up. We will be running the conversation for one hour and taking questions at the end.