Nicolás Eyzaguirre, Chile's finance minister, is a gifted amateur musician and a seriously orthodox economist. He also is living proof that a socialist can make free market economics work.
is Latin America's most successful finance minister, and not
just because he has kept Chile, the region's most successful
economy, on a firm footing through the worst economic crisis to
hit Latin America in 20 years. He also deserves considerable
credit for the country's new bilateral free trade agreement
with the United States. Eyzaguirre's lastminute trip to
Washington in December was crucial in dealing with the final
sticking points of the landmark agreement that had taken almost
10 years to negotiate.
And as a lifelong socialist, Eyzaguirre is living proof that
it is possible, indeed vital, to reconcile sound money policies
with social reform. He is showing the rest of Latin America and
the developing world as a whole that many of the increasingly
discredited ideas of the 1990s - deregulation, trade
liberalization and strong public finances - can in fact improve
the lot of poorest,...
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