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Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been raising eyebrows for his quotes. (Photo: Mexican Government)
Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Latin America Business: Quotes of the Year

The best quotes of the year in Latin America business.



The editorial staff of Latinvex selects the best quotes of the year relating to Latin America business.



"We're overplaying the IMF program, because at most it's going to be a temporary Band-Aid to hold the expectations and delay the run on banks for four months. Then everything will play out because you look at these guys ... What are you going to expect from this government?"
Alejandro Werner, who was the head of the IMF’s Western Hemisphere Department for nearly a decade before he left in August, as quoted by Reuters, October 29, 2021.

“To lose market share when it takes so much time to open up new export markets, and to begin to lose jobs in a sector that’s working well, this measure is really inexplicable.”
María Castiglioni, director of consulting firm C&T Asesores in Buenos Aires, on the Argentine government's new ban on exports of beef, as quoted by Bloomberg, May 20, 2021. 

“Argentina is in a real mess. They just restructured their debt, and yet the reality is they can’t afford to service it.”
Chris Marsh, a former IMF economist who’s now a senior adviser at Exante Data in London, as quoted by Bloomberg, March 8, 2021.


“Nobody believed in Bolsonaro’s liberalism anymore. But there were still those who believed that he would make room for the so-called liberal agenda. It’s over. The king is naked.”
Jose Francisco Gonçalves, chief economist at Brazil's Banco Fator, on President Jair Bolsonaro's firing of Petrobras CEO after a dispute over fuel prices, as quoted by Bloomberg, February 19, 2021.

“I want to tell those who want to make me unelectable in Brazil: Only God removes me from there.”
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, at a rally in Sao Paulo as he again threatened to not respect next year's presidential elections, as quoted by Ap, September 7, 2021.

“If people go to the supermarket and only see two products on the shelves, both products may be bad but they will have to pick one of them. We need to introduce more products.”
Sergio Moro, anti-corruption crusader and Brazilian presidential candidate who hopes to be third alternative to Lula and Bolsonaro, as quoted by Bloomberg, November 18, 2021.

“A good reputation is hard to earn and easy to lose.”
BTG bank analyst Thiago Duarte said in a note to clients, after Brazil President Bolsonaro fired Petrobras CEO in shock move, as quoted by Reuters, February 22, 2021.

"If you only read the papers, you'd think we're all dying in the streets or on our way to burn the Amazon."
Roberto Sallouti, CEO of Banco BTG Pactual, as quoted by Bloomberg, June 30, 2021.

“Despite being part of the financial system, these people are fed up with Bolsonaro, with the way he has conducted the pandemic, with the way he conducts his government. It is a disaster. He has been a disaster."
Mailson da Nobrega, a former Brazilian finance minister, on an open letter from Brazilian businesspeople regarding Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, as quoted by the Financial Times, March 25, 2021.

“Roberto Castello Branco’s removal is one small step for President Jair Bolsonaro’s re-election in 2022, and one giant leap for Brazil’s zany populism."
Mark Langevin, senior advisor to Horizon Client Access, as quoted by the Inter-American Dialogue's weekly Energy Advisor, March 5, 2021.


“It’s one thing for an American to bet his stimulus cheque on cryptocurrency in the hope of big returns, but this is Yolo [you only live once] investing elevated to the national level.”
Daniel Munevar, a Colombian economist focused on debt justice, on El Salvador implementing bitcoin as official currency, as quoted by The Guardian, August 30, 2021.

“If this is the way the United States Congress wants to battle corruption in Honduras, it’s like wanting to cure cancer with aspirin.”
Honduras analyst Raúl Pineda Alvarado, on a new US blacklist of Central American officials and ex-officials, as quoted by AP, July 1, 2021.

"This may just reflect a long-term initiative or maybe even just a flashy PR tactic; however it shows lack of coordination with impulsive announcements that contradict a cohesive economic plan.”
Siobhan Morden, head of Latin America fixed income strategy at Amherst Pierpoint Securities, on El Salvador President Nayib Bukele’s initiative to make his country the world’s first to adopt bitcoin as legal tender, as quoted by Reuters, June 8, 2021.



"I wasn't afraid of Pablo Escobar. Much less so of Carrasquilla."
Cesar Gaviria, Colombia's president 1990-94 and current head of its Liberal Party, on his opposition against Alberto Carrasquilla and his tax reform before Carrasquilla resigned as finance minister and the reform withdrawn, as quoted by Semana, April 27, 2021.



“Perhaps the top exponent in Latin America of what I call ‘ideological necrophilia’ — a passionate attraction to ideas and ideologies which have been tried and tested, and failed, an infinite number of times in Mexico and Latin America. He is deeply in love with bad ideas.”
Moisés Naím, a fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, on Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, as quoted by the Financial Times, March 23, 2021.

“He’s like Rip Van Winkle. He comes from the past and he is stuck in the past.”
Enrique Krauze, a Mexican historian, comparing Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to the fictional character who falls asleep for 20 years and reawakens to a vastly changed world, as quoted by the Financial Times, March 23, 2021.

“He has firmly oriented the Mexican economic ship towards the 20th century.”
Ernesto Revilla, head of Latin American economics at Citigroup and a former Mexican finance ministry official, on Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, as quoted by the Financial Times, March 23, 2021.

“It's a shame that Mexican lawyers are employed by foreign companies that want to continue looting Mexico; of course they are free [to do so], but hopefully they will understand  that this is treason."
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, February 22, 2021.

“It’s going to take more than a powerpoint slide in their quarterly presentation to say that they're handling ESG issues.”
John Padilla, managing director at energy consultancy IPD Latin America, on Pemex ESG reporting amidst two major fires, as quoted by Bloomberg, August 27, 2021.

“If you want to make money, then you are by definition corrupt.”
Duncan Wood, Senior Advisor to the Mexico Institute at the Wilson Center, on Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador, as quoted by The Wall Street Journal, June 4, 2021. 

“We are going backwards. We are losing what we gained in the last 30 years.”
José Antonio Crespo, a political analyst at the CIDE university in Mexico City, on Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador's reforms, as quoted by The Wall Street Journal, June 4, 2021. 



"Latin American leaders like [Colombia's Ivan] Duque, Alberto Fernández of Argentina and Sebastián Piñera of Chile, who have made ambitious pledges to cut emissions, don’t need attaboys from the Biden administration, but rather big-ticket investments in renewable energy and energy storage and transmission projects."
Benjamin N. Gedan, deputy director of the Wilson Center’s Latin American Program, in The New York Times, October 20, 2021.




CEO of the Year: David Velez, Nubank

Leader of the Year: Luis Abinader, Dominican Republic

Latin America Business: Best in 2021

Latin America Business: Worst in 2021

Latin America Business: Quotes of the Year