Finance minister of the year 1986: James Baker, Secretary, U.S. Treasury
Euromoney Limited, Registered in England & Wales, Company number 15236090
4 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX
Copyright © Euromoney Limited 2024
Accessibility | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Modern Slavery Statement

Finance minister of the year 1986: James Baker, Secretary, U.S. Treasury

James Baker, in contrast to previous Euromoney Finance Ministers of the Year, receives his award as much for his international achievements as for his domestic successes. He has been one of the most internationally assertive US treasury secretaries in recent years. Some bankers even argue that not since the aftermath of the Second World War--the days of the Marshall Plan--has the US so firmly grasped the economic leadership of the world.

Baker does have his critics. Some of them have called him "initiative happy', arguing that, for all the fine phrases and impressive declarations of the Plaza and Tokyo accords, they have achieved practically nothing. Before they can achieve something, much work needs to be done. But what Baker has already achieved is what President Reagan achieved domestically in his 1981 election victory. He's broken the consensus. Baker has changed the climate of international economics and finance.

Before his appointment, it would have been unthinkable to suggest that the international debt crisis could be solved by further large-scale lending to the debtor countries. Nor would anyone have dared to advocate a new international monetary order which in some respects looks to the Bretton Woods agreement for inspiration.

Gift this article