Romulo Lopez Cordero


Comments on Economics, Technology and Current affairs, because Freedom matters.

When Ecuador Elected a Free Market President

Atlas’s president, Alex Chafuen, has a
story about when he first met my father, Romulo Lopez-Sabando,  in
1985. Alex asked him what the biggest challenge for free markets in
Ecuador was. My dad replied, “Winning the country’s presidency”.

My father was president of the Chamber of Industries of Guayaquil,
where he fought alongside Leon Febres- Cordero,( former president of
the Chamber and a Congressman) for free market reforms. Their efforts
were so successful that in 1984, Febres-Cordero won the presidency. Not
only did he win, he won while preaching a free market message. The left
called him “the most insolent oligarchy’s messenger ” for being so
straightforward in his arguments for free markets.

Ecuador talked about free market reforms in Latin America  before
Argentina, Peru, Brazil or Venezuela; on a continent where the only
other free market option was Chile under Pinochet’s dictatorship. As is
always the way, Ecuadoreans have been the first ones to talk about
many reforms, like dollarization and privatization, but the last ones
to actually implement these reforms. No free market reforms or
privatizations were ever accomplished (except for a bank
privatization) under Febres-Cordero’s government. Their only success
was fighting against the guerrillas, and literally wiping them out. His
government became the favorite whipping boy of the Ecuadorean left.

Later on, as mayor of his hometown Guayaquil, he recovered his
political image by transforming the city from an ” American Calcutta”
(no offense to Calcutta)  into a decent and livable place. I had the
chance to ask Febres-Cordero (thanks to my dad’s friendship with him)
why he never implemented any free market reforms during his presidency,
given his admiration for Ludwig Earhart’s reforms in Germany. His only
response was that the special interest groups made reforms impossible.

You can view Leon Febres-Cordero’s obituary in the Washington Post.
I might add, that due to his failure to implement the reforms he  so
ardently called for, it has been difficult to promote free markets in
Ecuador. He was a great leader for Ecuador, but his great opportunity
to implement lasting reform was squandered. His is a classic example of
Hayek’s warning to Atlas’s founder, Antony Fisher against getting
involved with politics in order to advance reforms.

It was not until recently, thanks to the steady work of Dora Ampuero (Instituto Ecuatoriano de Economia Politica established in 1991) and others (too many to name here) like my father, university students, Movimiento Libertario in Quito (Juan Fernando Carpio) and most recently Fundacion Ecuador Libre (winner of a 2008 Fisher Venture Grant),
that the bad reputation left by Febres-Cordero has slowly been cleared
away.  Little by litte the people of Ecuador are coming to appreciate
the need for free market reforms, especially after the
Pro-Chavez-Castro regime of Rafael Correa.

Originally posted here


Filed under: Ecuador, ,

Attention ecuadoreans reading this Blog

This is a message for Ecuadoreans living abroad:

Filed under: Ecuador

Delfin en Guayaquil

The king of Tecnocumbia Andina.

Filed under: Ecuador, Latin America, Music

What is going on in my country

I have not updated this blog in a long time, but for those who are wondering what is going on in my home country this days I recommend 3 interesting links that might allow you to follow the current crisis in real time (spanish):

I have also made my comments (spanish) on the crisis in the other blog that I help manage Cambiemos Ecuador. To make a long story short there is no fix to the president’s problems, he should quit and let the vicepresident take the post.

And on a less serious note, thanks to Eduardo from Li-1 the new political campaign of the current president (Via Foxcorp)

Filed under: Ecuador

The resurrection of Guayaquil

The webpage of the Hispanic American Center for Economic Research, on its weekly bulletin makes reference to a article published by Cuban American essayist Carlos Alberto Montaner in Firmas Press about The resurrection of Guayaquil Cheers for my home town.

Filed under: Ecuador

Investment in Ecuador

Today Hernan Pérez Loose of El Universo has an op-ed piece titled “El costo de la inseguridad” The op-ed is interesting because it reveals what is wrong in my country.
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Filed under: Ecuador

Blogging and good news from Ecuador

One of the reasons why I started this blog was to force myself to write after 3 year hiatus of not doing it. I have to admit that after a trial period of 1 month I am satisfied with it although the discipline of trying to write everyday is harsh.
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Filed under: Ecuador, Weblogs

Congratulations Dad!!

Congratulations Dad. He was recently elected a member of the Comité de Control Cívico de la Corrupción (Civic Committe for the corruption control) in Ecuador, as a representative of the universities.
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Filed under: Current Affairs, Ecuador, Personal