Privatization in Latin America: New Roles for the Public and Private Sectors

By Werner Baer; Melissa H. Birch | Go to book overview

2
Privatization and the Role of the State in Post-ISI Mexico

Miguel D. Ramirez

The nationalization of Mexico's banking system in September of 1982 by the outgoing and beleaguered Lopez Portillo administration was the culmination of a decades-long process of state-led intervention in the economy and represented a desperate attempt to place the state firmly in control of the economic and financial crisis gripping the nation. In one bold stroke, Jose Lopez Portillo sought to legitimize the modern interventionist state to the Mexican peasant, worker, and intellectual, while holding in check the pretensions and political machinations of large and powerful financial and industrial grupos (groups). The social pact between the state and the business elites of the country had been dramatically and unexpectedly altered to the detriment of the latter--a lesson that would not be lost on this powerful and influential sector of Mexican society.

Looking back at that tumultuous and eventful period in Mexico's modern- day history, it is hard to imagine that within a few years, the subsequent administrations of De la Madrid ( 1982-1988) and Carlos Salinas de Gortari ( 1988-1994) would take drastic and unprecedented steps to reduce the role of the state--not only in the investment process, but also in the areas of production, distribution, marketing, and regulation. What is even more surprising, and ironic, is that this massive withdrawal of the state from the Mexican economy has been undertaken under the auspices of the government itself. This is so much that case that the current administration of Salinas de Gortari is in the process of amending the venerable Constitution of 1917 in order to further circumscribe the state's interventionist role, thereby giving further impetus to the government's privatization program.

In view of what some analysts have called a "new Mexican revolution," this chapter examines the economic and political impact of the country's ongoing liberalization and privatization program. Given its fluid, complex, and unfolding aspects, some of our factual information, analysis, and conclusions reached in

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Privatization in Latin America: New Roles for the Public and Private Sectors
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Figures and Tables vii
  • Preface xi
  • Notes xiii
  • 1 - Privatization and the Changing Role Of The State in Brazil 1
  • References 18
  • 2 - Privatization and the Role of the State In Post-Isi Mexico 21
  • Notes 41
  • 3 - The Regulation of Newly Privatized Firms: an Illustration from Argentina 45
  • References 68
  • 4 - Privatization: the Role of Domestic Business Elites 71
  • Notes 91
  • 5 - Foreign Direct Investment in Latin America During the 1990s 95
  • Conclusion 112
  • Notes 113
  • References 114
  • 6 - The Financial Sector in Latin American Restructuring 117
  • Notes 131
  • Notes 132
  • 7 - Privatization with Share Diffusion: Popular Capitalism in Chile, 1985-1988 135
  • Conclusion 153
  • Appendix 155
  • Acknowledgements 158
  • Notes 159
  • Refferences 160
  • 8 - Liquid Equity Markets as an Engine For Long-Term Growth in Latin America 163
  • Notes 177
  • Notes 180
  • 9 - Privatization in Spain 183
  • References 200
  • Selected Bibliography 201
  • Index 207
  • About the Contributors 213
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