A Monetary and Fiscal History of Latin America, 1960 – 2017

Date: Friday, August 26, 2022
Time: 12:50 p.m. – 2:50 p.m. EDT
Location: Off Campus – Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, Mexico City (11:50 a.m. CDT – 1:40 p.m. CDT) and Online via Zoom/YouTube

What went wrong with the economic development of Latin America over the past half-century? Along with periods of poor economic performance, the region’s countries have been plagued by a wide variety of economic crises. In A Monetary and Fiscal History of Latin America, 1960–2017 (2021), editors Timothy J. Kehoe and Juan Pablo Nicolini bring together leading economists to explore the economic performance of the 10 largest countries in South America and Mexico, with a comprehensive look at six decades of macroeconomic policies. The contributors advance the hypothesis that, despite different manifestations, the disappointing economic performance has been the result of poorly designed or implemented fiscal and monetary policies. 

To further explore the book’s themes, this online event features Kehoe and Nicolini, along with contributor Felipe Meza, in conversation with key scholars, former government officials, and financial industry leaders. The event will be held in Spanish and take place in person in Mexico City; it will also be live-streamed on YouTube with simultaneous translation to English. 

This event is hosted by the Economic Department of Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) with the Georgetown Americas Institute (GAI) and the Center for Economic Research (GCER) at Georgetown University.

Online: For those who wish to join online, please RSVP via Zoom. The event will also be live-streamed on YouTube.

In-person: For those who wish to attend in person, please RSVP via email to fabiola.bustamante@itam.mx. The in-person event will take place at Auditorio Raúl Baillères, Río Hondo #1, Col. Progreso Tizapán, CP. 01080. Alc. Álvaro Obregón, Ciudad de México, Mexico.


12:50 a.m. EDT / 11:50 a.m. CDT | Welcome

1:00 p.m. EDT / 12:00 p.m. CDT | Book Presentation and Discussion: A Monetary and fiscal History of Latin America, 1960-2017

Timothy J. Kehoe, University of Minnesota
Felipe Meza, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México
Juan P. Nicolini, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis / Universidad Torcuato Di Tella
Jaime Serra Puche (moderator), SAI Law and Economics

2:00 p.m. EDT / 1:00 p.m CDT | Current Challenges in Monetary and Fiscal Policy in Latin America

Lorenza Martinez, Actinver
Alexandre Tombini, Bank of International Settlements
Alexander Werner, Georgetown Americas Institute
Ana M. Aguilar (moderator), Bank of International Settlements

2:40 p.m. EDT / 1:40 CDT | Q&A


Ana M. Aguilar joined the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) in January 2019 as a senior economist. Before that, she worked at the Bank of Mexico from 1998 to 2018, and for most of that time, Aguilar oversaw monetary policy analysis as the head of the Directorate of Economic Studies. She holds a Ph.D. in economics (2004) from the University of California, Los Angeles. She has been a lecturer at the Mexico Autonomous Institute of Technology (ITAM), from which she received her bachelor’s degree in economics.

Timothy Kehoe is a Distinguished McKnight University Professor at the University of Minnesota, where he has been a professor in the Department of Economics since 1987. In addition, he is an adviser to the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. His research and teaching focus on the theory and application of general equilibrium models, especially in macroeconomics and international trade. Originally from Newport, Rhode Island, he received his B.A. in economics and mathematics from Providence College in 1975 and his Ph.D. in economics from Yale University in 1979. He has held teaching positions at Wesleyan University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. 

Lorenza Martinez is CEO of Actinver and general manager of its digital unit, one of the few women in Mexico to head a large financial services business. She is spearheading Actinver’s efforts to grow its digital channel’s client base to over 100,000. Previously she worked at Accenture as managing director from 2019 to 2022, she also served as general manager of Banco de Mexico’s payments and corporate services arm for more than five years. Martínez has a doctorate in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Felipe Meza is the director at the Centro de Análisis e Investigación Económica (CAIE) and a professor of economics at ITAM. As director of CAIE he works on analyzing and forecasting the short and medium-term evolution of the Mexican economy. Meza has published in international peer-reviewed academic journals such as the Journal of International Economics, Review of Economic Dynamics, and Economics Letters. His awards include the Kenneth J. Arrow Prize for Junior Economists by the Berkeley Electronic Press (2009) and second place in the Premio Banamex de Economia (2015). He has been a member of the Sistema Nacional de Investigadores of Mexico (2010-2016) and since 2020 a member of México, ¿cómo vamos?, a Mexican think tank. Meza earned his undergraduate degree in economics from ITAM and his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Minnesota.

Juan P. Nicolini is a senior research economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Prior to joining the Fed in 2009, Nicolini taught at ITAM, the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, and the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in Buenos Aires, where he holds a part-time position. In addition, he served as chairman of the Economics Department (1994–1999) and president (2001–2009) of Universidad Torcuato Di Tella. In 2006 and 2007, he was Tinker Visiting Professor in the Economics Department and the Center for Latin-American Studies at the University of Chicago. He has also been a visiting researcher at the Banco de Portugal and in the Monetary Stance Division of the European Central Bank. Nicolini studied economics at the Universidad Nacional de Tucumán in Argentina and earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in economics from the University of Chicago. The focus of his research centers on monetary theory and policy and on bounded rationality in macroeconomics. 

Jaime Serra Puche is a former Mexican government official, having served from 1986 to 1994 in roles including undersecretary of finance, secretary of trade and industry, and secretary of finance. As secretary of trade and industry, he led the negotiation and implementation of NAFTA; headed the negotiations of free-trade agreements with Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Costa Rica; and promoted the creation of the Federal Competition Commission in Mexico. He is currently the chairman of SAI Law and Economics, a Mexican consulting firm. He is also the founder of the Arbitration Center of Mexico, the NAFTA Fund of Mexico, and the electronic auctions company Aklara. Serra is a graduate of Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. He earned a master’s degree in economics at El Colegio de Mexico and a Ph.D. in economics at Yale University. He has been a professor of economics at El Colegio de Mexico, Stanford University, Princeton University, and New York University. 

Alexandre Tombini has served as the chief representative of the Bank of International Settlements Office for the Americas since September 2019. Before joining BIS, he was executive director of the board at the International Monetary Fund for Brazil, Cabo Verde, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guyana, Haiti, Nicaragua, Panama, Suriname, Timor-Leste, and Trinidad and Tobago. Previously, he was with the Central Bank of Brazil, where he served as governor after deputy governor positions in financial system regulation and in economic research. He was also a BIS board member and chairman of the Standing Committee on Budget Resources of the Financial Stability Board. Tombini holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Alejandro Werner is the founding director of the Georgetown Americas Institute and a non-resident senior fellow at the Peterson Institute. He recently completed almost nine years as director of the Western Hemisphere Department at the International Monetary Fund. Prior to that appointment, he rose to undersecretary in Mexico’s Finance Ministry and taught at leading universities in Mexico, Spain, and the United States. He earned his Ph.D. in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994.