Candidate assessment: Chicago boy Agustín Carstens can’t understand the financial crisis by Noemi Levy

imfboss has invited candidate assessments from civil society voices in the home countries of the candidates to head the IMF. Throughout the process we will be posting these here for your benefit.

La versión en español de este artículo está disponible abajo.

By Professor Noemi Levy, Faculty of Economics, UNAM, Mexico City, Mexico

The academic and professional life of Agustín Carstens, is linked with the theoretical current of monetarism, led by Milton Friedman, and his successors Thomas Sargent and Robert Lucas, the initiators of the ‘rational expectations’ school.  Carstens started his studies at a private Mexican university (ITAM, Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Monterrey), and continued on to do his masters and doctoral work at the University of Chicago. In Mexico, he is known as a ‘Chicago Boy’. His working life has been linked with the central bank, the ministry of finance and the IMF.

As a result, Carstens has never been exposed to alternative economic theories, and during the most critical moments in contemporary Mexican history (crises in 1994 and 2008) he has been a central bank bureaucrat. All of his publications concern exchange rate issues; he is a strong advocate of price stability (see selected publications below and his speeches as governor of the Bank of Mexico). Dr. Carstens has little imagination or creativity.

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