The Eternal Mediocrity of Mexico

By Ricardo Valenzuela

At the beginning of the 80s I was taking a training with the Bank of America in its different offices in California, Chicago, New York. In one of my stays in Los Angeles, I was invited to a talk that would offer the Nobel laureate, Milton Friedman, one of the men I have admired the most and, above all, the guide which shaped my ideas of economic freedom. The event took place in one of the elegant lounges of the bank that was crowded with people from early on. A crowd that included the famous actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who years later would become governor of California. But my big surprise was the arrival of Ronald Reagan who a year later would be president of the United States.

The theme of the conference was the critical situation that world banking system was going through, listing motives from the misbehavior of the world economy, the novel currency flotation system, the absence of political leaders with real ideas of what economic development is etc. At a certain point of his talk, this wise character made the venue vibrate when he said: “This situation is so serious that the main banks of the world have lent more of their capital and reserves to countries that can be considered bankrupt.” Before a gloomy murmur of the assistants, Milton Friedman makes a long pause that is taken advantage of by someone who, breaking the protocol, almost screaming question. “Countries in bankruptcy How, where?” The … Read the rest