Saturday, January 27, 2007

Interview with Chilean finance minister Andres Velasco

On a Sunday evening two weeks ago we visited Chilean finance minister Andres Velasco and his wife at their home in Santiago. In a quiet neighborhood, their 1960s low-slung modern was furnished with Saarinen furniture, abstract paintings, and an overflow of books.

JSL: Can a country's natural resources be a curse?

AV: It’s a problem when your economy is held hostage to their price cycles. Taking account of the effects of commodity cycles has been a key to our policy. When your commodity income is high, you save. When your income is low, because the economy is low, because the price of copper is low, you spend more than you would otherwise to move against the cycle. It's known as a counter-cyclical fiscal policy.

…the entirety of this interview with Andres Velasco will run in the debut issue of Monocle magazine, available February…

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