IADB’s Arturo Jose Galindo Joins Colombia’s Central Bank Board

(Bloomberg) -- President Ivan Duque named a University of Illinois-trained economist with policy-making experience to take a seat on the board of Colombia’s central bank.

Arturo Jose Galindo was chief of the Inter-American Development Bank’s strategy development division. He previously worked as an economist at the Colombian central bank and as an adviser to the nation’s banking association.

He will replace Jose Antonio Ocampo, who resigned last week to return as a professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs in New York. Ocampo was considered by several analysts, including Scotiabank Colpatria’s Sergio Olarte, as one of the most dovish on the bank’s seven-member policy committee -- or one of the first expected to favor a looser monetary policy stance.

“Galindo has a technical background,” Olarte said. “That’s a good thing in terms of monetary policy.”

Colombia’s central bank is holding out against the Latin American trend for interest rate cuts as the nation’s economy grows faster than those of its neighbors. The bank’s board left the policy rate at 4.25% for a 20th straight month in its December meeting.

President Duque has so far named two of the central bank’s five co-directors, who have a place on the board. The other two members are Finance Minister Alberto Carrasquilla and the bank’s Governor Juan Jose Echavarria.

Carrasquilla has been a mentor to Galindo, according to Jorge Restrepo, an economics professor at Bogota’s Javeriana University.

“Galindo is a macroeconomist with experience in central banking,” said Restrepo. “He replaces an economics historian. It’s a good change.”

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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