Central Bank Governor of the year 1999: Fraga's quiet revolution
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Central Bank Governor of the year 1999: Fraga's quiet revolution

When Armínio Fraga quit his job at Soros Fund Management to become Brazil's central banker he was dubbed a "poacher turned gamekeeper". But he is no stranger to the public sector. With stability restored he is now modernizing Brazil's finance sector. Brian Caplen reports

Finance minister of the year: Staying tough in a crisis


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Armínio Fraga Neto is famous for being parachuted into Brazil at the time of the currency crisis, for getting quickly to grips with urgent policy decisions and for soothing investors' nerves with his market-friendly language. With Brazil now in a much better macroeconomic position than was expected six months ago, these are all good reasons for making Fraga Euromoney's central bank governor of the year.

But Fraga also deserves the award for the revolution in Brazilian finance that is taking place under his direction. The changes encompass everything from removing capital controls to overhauling the payments system to improving bank supervision.

Among the great assets that Fraga brings to the job are his strong working relationships with president Fernando Henrique Cardoso and finance minister Pedro Malan - Fraga is an old student of Malan's - and his long experience in the private sector. He came to the post from Soros Fund Management in New York, an association that did not amuse some sections of the Brazilian press. To them George Soros is a speculator who has little regard for national sovereignty.


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