Andrés Manuel López Obrador has proposed this Wednesday the Undersecretary of Finance Victoria Rodríguez Ceja as governor of the Bank of Mexico. The president proposed in June the then head of that Secretariat, Arturo Herrera, but a week ago he finally ruled out his appointment. Yesterday it was confirmed by the former official himself, who had been waiting for months for his appointment to be sent to Congress to formally take over the reins of the central bank in January. The president will finally send the name of Rodríguez Ceja, responsible for the Department of Expenditures. “We want women to participate, for this change to take place, recognizing the work that the Undersecretary of Expenditures has done, who has been acting very well with exemplary management. He has acted with great responsibility not to spend to spend. It is due to her that we have financial stability, that additional debt has not been resorted to ”, he stressed before ensuring that the agency’s autonomy is guaranteed.
The president has described Rodríguez Ceja, who trained as an economist at the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey, as “a very good public servant.” “For the first time, a woman is going to head the Bank of Mexico. There is no problem according to the requirements, that he has financial experience or that he has held a high position in the Government linked to the Treasury ”, he added. The senior official has been linked to the president’s project for years and has a public career in the Treasury sector. She was already undersecretary of the Finance department in the Government of Mexico City.
Today the president has not offered additional arguments, but has denied, when asked about it, having lost confidence in Herrera. When he proposed it after the federal elections last June, he praised his work at the head of the Ministry of Finance, he resorted precisely to the solvency of the economist to launch a message to the markets. “There is no nervousness, there is no uncertainty,” he said, introducing him as a professional in monetary policy. López Obrador’s openly declared purpose is to promote a position committed to his political project in the Bank of Mexico. “He will be an economist with a social dimension, very in favor of moral economy,” he defended then.
But beyond the speech of the so-called Fourth Transformation, the president has been installed for months in the mantra of stability. By nominating Herrera and his replacement in the Treasury, Rogelio Ramírez de la O, he justified those changes precisely by virtue of the image of his economic project. “Despite the pandemic, the crisis has been overcome. We are going out, we have done better than other countries and we have not got into debt, ”said the president, who has been showing his management for months. “The peso has strengthened and we have balance in other variables of the economy.”
After leaving the Treasury, Herrera maintained a very discreet profile waiting for his appointment to pass through Congress and thus be able to relieve the current governor in January 2022. However, he hinted at a disparity of criteria regarding the mission of the Bank of Mexico. López Obrador wants the central bank to have a dual mandate, that is, to be in charge of inflation, which in the first half of November exceeded 7%, and of economic growth. Herrera defended instead that the entity must have a single mandate, that is, maintain stable inflation. “If you want the economy to grow, you can give a series of stimuli that may create bottlenecks that translate into inflation. So, you have two goals that are moving in the opposite direction. In countries like ours, this is still very important, “he said days before leaving office in a conversation with EL PAÍS.
The president has insisted, in any case, that the autonomy of the Bank of Mexico will be guaranteed with Victoria Rodríguez. “She is going to act in accordance with the rules and from the beginning we have demonstrated with actions to be respectful of the autonomy of the Bank of Mexico. There is not a single interference of the Government, of the Ministry of Finance in the Bank of Mexico, not a single one, and we will not do it. Now there is the rule of law. Before there was no, it was a state of bribery ”, he has settled. “She is a professional woman with criteria, autonomous, independent, she is not a technocrat who receives instructions as she was before.”
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