Exclusive: Outsider tapped for Mexico central bank says has 'balanced' stance

Exclusive: Outsider tapped for Mexico central bank says has ‘balanced’ stance

(Reuters) – Jonathan Heath, an economist and self-proclaimed outsider whom Mexico’s President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has tapped as a future deputy governor at the Bank of Mexico, said on Friday that he has a “balanced” view on monetary policy.

Earlier on Friday, incoming Finance Minister Carlos Urzua said that Lopez Obrador will propose Heath as a deputy governor of the Bank of Mexico starting in 2019.

Heath, a well-known private economist who was previously chief economist for HSBC bank in Mexico, is set to replace board member Manuel Ramos Francia whose term ends this year. The Senate, where Lopez Obrador’s party and its allies have a majority, must approve his nomination.

Leftist Lopez Obrador, who won a landslide victory earlier this year and will take office in December, is more nationalist than the current government, and his populist instincts stirred concerns that he could steer Mexico away from its orthodox economic policy in recent decades.

Heath, however, is widely respected by market watchers.

Asked if he was a hawk who prioritizes fighting inflation in monetary policy or a dove who tends to back policy that favors growth, Heath said, “I consider myself balanced, middle of the road.”

Heath told Reuters in an interview that he would provide a fresh perspective at the bank, where most appointees have risen from within the ranks of the institution.“My perspective is of an outsider, not someone who grew in the Bank of Mexico,” said Heath, whose likely nomination was first reported by the Wall Street Journal earlier this […]

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