Guillermo Ortiz

Mexico’s equivalent of the chairmen of the Federal Reserve has been invited to join a new think tank on globalization created by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

Guillermo Ortiz, the governor of the Banco de Mexico since 1998, has joined the advisory board for the Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, according to a press release issued by the Fed last Thursday.

The Dallas Fed created the Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute in 2007 “for the purpose of better understanding how the process of deepening economic integration between the countries of the world, or globalization, alters the environment in which U.S. monetary policy decisions are being made.”

Initially, the Stanford-educated Ortiz served Mexico’s President Ernesto Zedillo as telecommunications and transportation secretary, but when the peso crashed during Zedillo’s first month in office, Ortiz was shifted to serve as Mexican secretary of finance and public credit, where he helped manage the resulting devaluation of the peso.

He has also served as an executive director of the International Monetary Fund.

He opposed Mexico’s President Vicente Fox by arguing Mexico should secure the border with the United States and create jobs in Mexico, to reduce the economic incentive for illegal immigration.

Still, with remittances from Mexican nationals working in the United States sending dollars back to Mexico reach an annual total exceeding $25 billion, economists such as Steven Hanke at Johns Hopkins University have been arguing since 2003 that Ortiz and the Banco of Mexico should “dollarize,” by abandoning the peso to adopt the U.S. dollar as the official currency.

In 2007, the U.S. ran a $74 billion negative balance of trade with Mexico, up from a negative trade balance of $64 billion in 2006 and $49.7 billion in 2005.

In recent years, Ortiz has directed Banco de Mexico monetary policy to fight the continued threat of inflation.

The U.S. Department of State notes Mexico’s economy is heavily dependent upon the U.S. with the U.S. buying 86 percents of Mexican exports in 2005.

This year, Ortiz has expressed concern the slowdown in the U.S. economy will cause an economic downturn in Mexico.

Others on the Dallas Fed’s globalization advisory board include Charles R. Bean, chief economist and executive director, Bank of England; Martin Feldstein, president and CEO, National Bureau of Economic Research; George F. Baker, Professor of Economics, Harvard; R. Glenn Hubbard, dean, Columbia Business School; Otmar Issing, president Center for Financial Studies, Frankfurt, Germany; Finn Kydland, 2004 Nobel Laureate in Economics and Professor of Economics, University of California, Santa Barbara; Kenneth S. Rogoff, Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy, Harvard; and William White, Bank of International Settlements.

Media wishing to interview the author of this article, please e-mail Tim Bueler.


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