Bolivia’s Faded Star

By Rich Brown

Finance Minister Marcelo Montenegro received accolades for an impressive pandemic recovery, but his recent missteps may have exacerbated Bolivia’s crisis of uncertainty.

It wasn’t long ago that Marcelo Montenegro was still the toast of the town. In January, The Banker, a storied international publication, named Montenegro its 2023 “Finance Minister of the Year” for the Americas, citing Bolivia’s “faster than expected” economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation of just 2.6%, one of the lowest rates in the world. It was the latest accolade for a country that over the past 17 years of mostly leftist rule sometimes seemed to defy gravity, combining unorthodox policies like nationalizations with economic growth above 4% and an...

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