Central Bank Governor of the Year 2008: Guillermo Ortiz, Mexico
Mexico’s central bank governor has achieved rock-star status with his tough line on inflation by standing up to the president’s pressure to reduce interest rates.
Ortiz hits all the right notes
Guillermo Ortiz, Mexico’s central bank governor
Mexicans are accustomed to disappointment on the international stage, losing to the US in the World Cup football preliminary rounds and struggling to win more Olympic gold medals over a century than Michael Phelps won in Beijing. Graft and tax evasion are Mexico’s national sports, Mexicans say. In monetary policy, though, Mexico is considered world-class and Guillermo Ortiz, Mexico’s central bank governor, can take the credit for that.
"It is widely accepted in central banking circles that, under his direction, Banco de México has become one of the most highly regarded central banks in the world," says Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas president Richard Fisher. "In monetary policy circles, Guillermo Ortiz is considered quite the rock star."
As world oil and food prices have driven inflation to alarming levels worldwide and some central bankers are in disarray, Ortiz has shown quiet confidence, taming Mexican consumer price inflation to 5.4% in July, a tad lower than the US at 5.5% and the lowest in Latin America, well below 34% in Venezuela and Argentina’s 9%.