A Talk With Argentina's Domingo Cavallo

`I do not think there will be a backlash against the reforms'

In Latin America's vast shift from statism to freer markets, Domingo Cavallo has played a star role. As Argentina's Economy Minister for five years under President Carlos Saul Menem, he blazed a trail for the region's economic reformers. He also became a lightning rod for resentments and protests by Argentines against the economic and social pain caused by economic austerity. Bowing to such pressures, Menem replaced Cavallo on July 26 with former central banker Roque Fernandez, a less-controversial free-market advocate. But Cavallo, 50, intends to keep a high public profile, from lecturer during the current academic year at New York University's Stern School of Business to free-market adviser, for a $300,000 fee, to Ecuador's newly elected President, Abdala Bucaram. And he may run for President of Argentina in 1999, he has said, if there is no other free-market champion in the race. In his downtown Buenos Aires office, Cavallo discussed the prospects for Argentina and the region in a Sept. 20 interview with Louisa Shepard, BUSINESS WEEK's correspondent in Buenos Aires.

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