May 24, 2013
The Economist, 5/24/2013
Investors who were starry eyed about Mexico’s economic potential at the start of the year are now having misgivings. From a record high then, the stockmarket fell to an eight-month low on May 21st. Just to rub it in, stocks in Brazil, which Mexico views as its main regional rival, have recently been performing much better.
The immediate catalyst for the change of mood is the economy. In December, just as President Enrique Peña Nieto came to power promising to increase Mexico’s growth potential, the country’s strong recovery from the 2008-09 global financial crisis hit the skids. In the first quarter of 2013 sluggish sales to the United States, by far Mexico’s largest export market, helped reduce growth to a modest 0.8% compared with the same period in 2012. A fall in public spending as a new party took power contributed to the dip.
May 17, 2013
Global Post, 5/17/2013
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto vows big changes with the economic reforms he’s pushing and they’ve already taken more than a little change from the pockets of mega-mogul Carlos Slim. With stock in his flagship phone company America Movil slipping because of telecommunications reforms about to become law, Slim lost the title of world’s richest man Thursday to Microsoft founder Bill Gates for the first time in six years.
Peña Nieto seems on a roll with his campaign to shift the chatter about his country from drug war violence to economic possibility. Since taking office in December, he has worked with political opponents to push constitutional fixes aimed at breaking the choke hold interest groups have around Mexico’s economy.
May 10, 2013
The Economist, 5/9/2013
On May 7th Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexico’s president, showed off some of the fancy political footwork that days before had earned him the gushing endorsement of his first visiting head of state, Barack Obama. Flanked in the National Palace by leaders of Mexico’s three main political parties, he resurrected an ambitious reform programme that a scandal in his Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) had threatened to derail.
Notwithstanding finger-wagging by opposition leaders, Mr Peña persuaded them to restart a tri-party political pact that is the crown jewel of his five-month-old administration. On May 8th the pact was put into action when the government sent a package of bills to Congress to increase bank lending and competition. Next it hopes to liberalise the state-strangled oil industry and raise taxes broadly. Eventually, as Mr Obama succinctly put it, the aim is for Mexicans to make it through each day without paying a bribe.
May 1, 2013
A multi-party alliance to modernize Mexico’s economy will not discuss pending energy and tax reforms until an electoral spat between the opposition and the government is resolved, the head of the main leftist party said on Tuesday. Jesus Zambrano, chairman of the opposition Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), said there could be no talks on these reforms until the government had taken clear steps to punish those responsible for a vote-buying scandal in the Gulf state of Veracruz that was exposed this month.
“There won’t be (talks) about anything that is not to do with the political and legal … structure that will enable us to get out of this impasse,” he told Reuters in an interview. President Enrique Pena Nieto’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, has been forced on the defensive since the conservative National Action Party (PAN) put out recordings of PRI officials advocating the use of government funds to secure votes in Veracruz in elections due on July 7.
April 25, 2013
The Christian Science Monitor, 4/24/13
China, India, and Brazil are out. Mexico is in – at least according to international observers who have been cooing over Mexico’s rise in recent months. With a new year and a new government, the way the world views Mexico has already changed dramatically. Mexico has enviable economic stability and a forecast for growth, improved social mobility, and an emerging middle class, Mexico is competing with Brazil to become the economic darling of Latin America and is challenging China in manufacturing prowess. The drug war rages on in many regions, but optimism for Mexico’s future is trumping the dark prognoses of the recent past.
But is all the optimism for Mexico’s future warranted? There are two sides to the coin when comes to Mexico’s future as a global economic force. The new government inherited an economy rebounding from the impact of the economic crisis, but how the administration approaches deep-rooted challenges like poverty and inequality will determine whether the current optimism gains momentum or peters out.
April 25, 2013
Financial Times, 4/24/13
Mexico’s four-month-old administration on Wednesday appeared to overcome its first political crisis after opposition leaders said that they had largely settled their differences with the government. The agreement, which came after an emergency meeting of party heads, appears to put the government’s economic reform back on track in a turnaround that will doubtless ease investor concerns.
Billions of dollars have flowed into Mexico in recent months on hopes that centrist President Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party will push a series of reforms aimed at transforming Latin America’s second-largest economy into a more vibrant emerging market.
April 24, 2013
Los Angeles Times, 4/23/13
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Tuesday faced the most serious political crisis of his young government, an explosive dispute with rival parties over electoral dirty tricks that could imperil his ambitious reform plans. Peña Nieto’s highly touted Pact for Mexico, a kind of blueprint for his administration’s agenda that had seemed to have won consensus from most major political groups, was on the verge of collapse after fresh reports of vote-buying by the president’s Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI.
The government was forced to cancel a series of public events under the auspices of the Pact for Mexico to avoid the embarrassment of a boycott by the main opposition factions. The first casualty would appear to be a broad reform to overhaul Mexico’s financial sector, which was scheduled to be unveiled Tuesday.
April 22, 2013
Mexico’s government wants to boost lending by making it easier for banks to collect on guarantees for bad loans and by giving new powers to regulators to punish firms that do not lend enough, according to a draft of a new banking reform. The proposal, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, is due to be announced next week, and is part of a raft of measures designed to ramp up growth in Latin America’s second biggest economy.
Thrashed out within a pact made between President Enrique Pena Nieto and the leaders of the main opposition parties, the banking reform targets Mexico’s conservative banks, which boast high capital levels but lend much less than their foreign peers.
March 26, 2013
Council on Foreign Relations, 3/25/2013
Mexico’s president Enrique Peña Nieto, who assumed office in December 2012, is pushing through a major package of reforms targeting some of the country’s most powerful economic interests, including those in the telecommunications and energy sectors. CFR’s Shannon O’Neil says “these are changes that Mexico’s economy desperately needs,” even if only some of the measures take hold. Successful reforms could significantly improve the country’s image, she says, especially in the eyes of international investors asking: “Is Mexico for real this time.” Meanwhile, she notes that while economic ties between Mexico and the United States are already strong, Washington should leverage this moment as an opportunity to expand bilateral trade further.