Tuesday, October 17, 2006

All posts were moved (11/2006) to http://mexfiles.wordpress.com

Good news or not? I donno

President-elect Felipe Calderón named Agustín Carstens, a deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund, to head his economic transition team Hard to say if this is good or bad. I have the usual "knee-jerk" distrust of the IMF, and expect a conservative adminstation is going to continue the same economic policies as the previous conservative administration -- which haven't been all bad, though they failed to deal with equality and opportunity as well as they should. Inflation is low, investments are up, but there is concern that too many of the investments (and the jobs for younger and unskilled workers) are headed north. And agricultural policy has been a semi-disaster for the small farmer. At worst, Carstens would continue the old policies, but with more confidence from outside investors. Not bad in itself. What struck me though, were some of his statements, which indicate he may be willing to take measures that are decidedly outside the neo-liberal orthodoxy... the same ones recommended by Carlos Slim and Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador during his campaign. From today's Herald:
"The market by itself is not sufficient to create an economy that is truly human," Calderón said. "The sensibility and guidance of the state is needed to correct the terrible inequality that exists in our society - Dr. Carstens knows this." The appointment makes Carstens a likely candidate to become finance secretary under Calderón, Chappell Lawson, a political science professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, said in a telephone interview. "He´s clearly a frontrunner, but these appointments don´t make it a sealed deal," Lawson said. "His name is good for the markets because people know him and trust him." Carstens holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago. From 2000 to 2003, he served as deputy finance secretary under Francisco Gil Díaz before taking the third-highest position at the IMF. He has worked as an economist for Mexico´s central bank. ...Carstens, speaking beside Calderón today, said his experience working with underdeveloped economies in Africa, Asia and Central America gave him insight into solving Mexico´s problems. "What Mexico needs is to foment economic growth and alleviate poverty," he said. "These should not be seen as separate goals."
© 2006 Copyright El Universal Online México, S.A. de C.V.


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