Chile Proposes IMF Economist Garcia as Central Bank Director

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera proposed Pablo Garcia, an executive director at the International Monetary Fund, as one of five voting members of the central bank’s rate-setting board.

Garcia, IMF executive director for the Southern Cone since November 2012, would replace central bank Vice President Manuel Marfan, who’s 10-year term of office expired Dec. 18, Finance Minister Felipe Larrain said. Garcia would also serve for a decade if Congress approves his nomination.

“He is a very respected economist and we expect his ratification,” Larrain said at a press conference today, saying he expected Congress to approve the appointment this week.

Before joining the IMF as alternate executive director in November 2010, Garcia, 43, was chief economist and research director at the central bank, according to a profile on LinkedIn Corp.’s website. Prior to 2007, he was financial policy director and financial stability manager at the bank.

“He is a great economist and, if nominated, the problem would be that he couldn’t become finance minister in the next 10 years,” said central bank Vice President Marfan in December. “That’s how good of a professional he is.”

President Pinera and Larrain also need to sign a supreme decree to appoint Garcia, which “will hopefully” happen before the next rate decision on Jan. 16, the finance minister said.

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