Staying the Course

Sep 1, 2004

Mexico's director of public credit, responsible for managing the country's debt issuance, embodies Mexico's culture of continuity in economic policy.

Vicente Fox's ascension to the presidency not only ended seven uninterrupted decades of rule by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), it also led to sweeping changes in the federal government. With one exception. The technocrats at the Finance Ministry, known as Hacienda, were scarcely touched. Fox chose Francisco Gil Díaz, who had served as a minister in PRI governments, to direct Hacienda. Gil Díaz, who insisted on picking his own people, chose Andrés Conesa as head of budget and planning. Family ties posed no obstacle to Conesa's ascent as he subsequently won promotion to director of public credit, despite the fact that he is the nephew of Francisco Labastida, the PRI candidate Fox defeated in 2000. Like many members of the Hacienda team, Conesa holds brilliant credentials as an academic economist, with a doctorate from...

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