Citi’s consumer banking head plans to leave: WSJ

October 15, 2014

10/14/14 Reuters

citigroupManuel Medina-Mora, head of Citigroup Inc’s (C.N) consumer banking and chairman of the company’s troubled Mexico unit, is preparing to leave in the coming months, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people with knowledge of the situation. Details of Medina-Mora’s departure were not finalized and could change, but he is expected to leave or announce his departure by early next year, the Journal reported.

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The Opening of Mexico’s Energy Sector

October 14, 2014

By Duncan Woodgas pipeline and gauge

When considering why the Mexican energy reform, which was signed into law in August, is such an important development, there are a large number of reasons to see this as a momentous change for Mexico and for North America. The reasons range from the political to the economic to the psychological, and include elements of both scale and content. What we are witnessing in Mexico is nothing more than both a paradigm shift in energy policy, and a revolution in the energy sector that rivals the nationalization of 1938 in terms of impact.

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Oceanografia Mediator Said to Deny Some Citigroup Claims

October 14, 2014

10/13/14 Bloomberg

The Mexican mediator in oil-services company Oceanografia SA’s bankruptcy has rejected at least 2 billion pesos ($150 million) of claims sought by Citigroup Inc. (C), said a person with knowledge of the matter. Citigroup had sought about 7.7 billion pesos of claims in the case, said the person, who asked not to be named because the findings aren’t public. The government-appointed mediator, Jose Antonio de Anda Turati, excluded some of the New York-based bank’s claims because it didn’t provide sufficient documentation to support them, the person said.

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Missing students and murders eclipse reforms push in Mexico

October 14, 2014

10/10/14 Reuters

Enrique Pena NietoFor nearly two years, President Enrique Pena Nieto has sought to direct the Mexican public’s gaze onto his efforts to open the economy and away from the brutal gang violence that blighted his predecessor’s government. But shocking abuses by security forces are overshadowing his economic reforms and threaten to ruin his efforts to recast Mexico as a country of progress and promise for investors. Two recent atrocities and a brace of political murders have torn the veneer of calm Pena Nieto had carefully built around his economic agenda since he took office in December 2012.

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Mexico’s Secretary of Economy visit to the Woodrow Wilson Center (Next 10/14)

October 10, 2014

In advance of the distinguished visit of lldefonso Guajardo Villarreal, Mexico’s Secretary of Economy, it is a good opportunity to highlight some of his thoughts and reflections on the accomplishments and challenges that the Mexican economy has:

  • On October 3, during a press conference, Secretary Guajardo highlighted the benefits from the recent strategy whose objective is to raise productivity and competitiveness in Mexico (You can read more here).
  • On October 2, Secretary Guajardo with Secretary Videgaray talked about the development and economic planning for the next 20 years (You can view the video in Spanish here, courtesy of Business Week).
  • On September 30, Secretary Guajardo introduced a public trust fund to promote the development of national energy industry providers and contractors (You can read more here).
  • On July 2014, during an interview with The Business Year, he highlighted the role of technology and increased trade as tools to boost productivity and economic growth. At the same time, he established that among the key challenges that Mexico is facing today is the informal economy. You can read the complete interview here.
  • On May 2014, Guajardo discussed the medium- and long-term implications of the major constitutional reforms that have taken place in the country. Regarding NAFTA, the Secretary highlighted the potential that the region has to become a global manufacturing power and furthermore, there are important challenges in facilitating border crossings and improving infrastructure. These remarks were during the AS-COA Latin American Cities Conferences 2014, you can read and view more information here.
  • On November 2013, during a tour around Texas, Guajardo highlighted that the tax changes enacted in 2014 were needed because “competitiveness is not dependent on the tax structure.” At the same time, he said that it is important to start a process of effectively tie the salaries with productivity in Mexico. Interview with the Texas Tribune, you can read more here.

If you want to hear Secretary Guajardo remarks, join us next Tuesday, October 14th at 9:00 RSVP: http://bit.ly/1vO9jkY

Ildefonso Guajardo. He has previously held the posts of chief of the Executive Office of the Governorship of Nuevo León; technical secretary of Planning, Communication, and liaison with the Secretariat of Commerce and Industrial Development; senior official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1994 to 1997; and undersecretary of tourism development in the Secretariat of Tourism. Guajardo also was a congressman beginning in 2000. He received a Bachelor’s degree in economics from the Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon; a Master’s degree in economics from Arizona State University where he was a visiting professor; and a doctorate in public finance and economics from Pennsylvania University.


Mexico says 14 of 57 missing students found

October 1, 2014

09/30/14 The Washington Post

protest -- stroke -- resistanceFourteen of the 57 students reported missing after weekend shootings that killed six people in the southern state of Guerrero have been located, officials said Tuesday. Some were found in their homes or at school, and a search was continuing for the 43 teachers college students still unaccounted for, state Prosecutor Inaky Blanco said. Earlier, the head of the state human rights commission, Ramon Navarrete, said some of the students had fled the shooting in the municipality of Iguala, and some were detained and then released. He added that there were high hopes of finding the rest. Student activists linked to the Ayotzinapa normal school are known for their radical protests.

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NYC Park to Singapore Labs Go Underground in Space Hunt

September 24, 2014

09/23/14 Bloomberg 

businessCities from arctic Helsinki to equatorial Singapore are exploring the benefits of expanding toward the center of the earth. Crowds, weather, expensive real estate and vulnerability to climate change are prompting urban planners to turn their eye to the potential of usable spaces below street level. From an underground park in a forgotten century-old trolley terminal in Manhattan to Mexico City’s inverted 300-meter underground pyramid — called the Earthscraper — architects are re-imagining spaces for people and not just infrastructure in cities of the future.

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