MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s new finance minister Arturo Herrera is a pragmatic and respected policy maker who says he was inspired to study economics by the Latin American debt crisis that wrought financial chaos and wrecked livelihoods in his country.
Now, he must boost investor confidence in a shrinking economy buffeted by what his predecessor and former boss Carlos Urzua called “extremism” that led him to resign on Tuesday with a strongly worded letter.
President - Andres - Manuel - Lopez - Obrador
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Tuesday named former World Bank executive and long-time ally Herrera to succeed Urzua, who blamed meddling in the finance ministry and ill-thought-out economic policies for his abrupt resignation.
Straight-talking Herrera is well-regarded among investors who have become accustomed to seeing him at high profile events representing Latin America’s second-largest economy. He had already been put in charge of policies close to the president’s heart, such as bringing banking to more people.
Mexico - Resources - Country - Lot - Poverty
Mexico was rich in resources “but is a country with a lot of poverty,” he told Reuters in an interview shortly after he was named deputy finance minister last year.
He spoke of the importance of focusing on growth without spurring the runaway inflation and currency crises that stunted Mexico in the 1980s and 1990s.
Task - Finance - Minister - Economy - Quarter
His task will not be easy. He takes over as finance minister after the economy contracted in the first quarter, with economists warning of a looming recession. Investors are increasingly concerned that Lopez Obrador will drive through his favorite development projects regardless of what the finance ministry says.
“The one calling the shots is Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador,” said Ricardo Adrogue, head of Barings’ global sovereign debt and currencies group.
Urzua - Policy - Steps - Decisions - Lopez
Urzua did not elaborate on what policy steps led him to resign, but decisions by Lopez Obrador to cancel a partially built $13 billion airport, designate scarce funds to a new...
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