Central bank governor of the year 2007: Henrique Meirelles
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Central bank governor of the year 2007: Henrique Meirelles

The Brazilian has brought a sense of euphoria back to the country and established it one of the four key emerging nations, as part of the Bric group.

Henrique Meirelles

"We do have some diversification and criteria to diversify a portion of our reserves that are not used for hedges"
Henrique Meirelles

"When I took over as central bank governor, Brazil had annualized inflation of 30%, high interest rates, minimal reserves and a weak currency. There was no fixed-income issuance and there have been times when we felt under siege for being too conservative. Now it’s all euphoria."

The role of Henrique Meirelles has indeed changed, and fast. He has overseen the Banco Central do Brasil in a period when the country has achieved stability that’s unprecedented in living memory for most of its population. He is applauded for holding a steady course on interest rates and facing down powerful critics. But he faces a new test. He has to maintain his record when expectations are high and in an environment with which Brazil is entirely unfamiliar: stability.

When talking about Meirelles, unflattering adjectives like "steely", and "guarded" are often used. A different personality to his more flamboyant economist predecessor, Arminio Fraga, Meirelles came up through the ranks of commercial banking. He has overcome his lack of experience as an economist and has become increasingly savvy during his tenure, say market watchers.

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