Todesca, Who Restored Trust in Argentina’s Stats, Dies at 73
(Bloomberg) -- Jorge Todesca, the man who restored the credibility of Argentina’s statistics after years of data manipulation, has died. He was 73.
The event was confirmed in a release by Argentina’s statistics agency, known as Indec. No details were provided.
Todesca was appointed as head of the agency in December 2015 after President Mauricio Macri declared a “statistics emergency.” Government manipulation of economic data under the prior presidency of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner became so pronounced that in 2013 Argentina became the first nation to be censured by the International Monetary Fund for inaccurate statistics.
Last August, Todesca questioned whether the agency he was leading would be able to remain independent and free of political interference after the change in government. Peronist leader Alberto Fernandez beat Macri in an election in October, becoming president Dec. 10.
“Macri guaranteed the independence of the institute,” Todesca wrote in a press release at the time.
In 2011, Argentina’s commerce secretariat fined Todesca 500,000 pesos (about $120,000 at the time) for publishing his own inflation index due to the lack of credibility of official data. The fine was overturned in court.
Todesca, also a Peronist, held a variety of roles in government, including as Economy vice-minister during the presidency of Eduardo Duhalde. His daughter Cecilia is currently one of Fernandez’ top economic advisers.
He also had an active academic career and was a consultant for the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, and founded his own consulting firm, Finsoport.
Todesca was “fundamental to returning integrity” to the statistics agency, Macri tweeted Friday.
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