Joaquim Levy, a member of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business Global Advisory Board, has been named Brazil's new finance minister.
President Dilma Rousseff chose Levy — who, according to news reports, earned the nickname "Scissorhands" because of his willingness to cut public spending when he served as treasury secretary under Rousseff's predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, from 2003 to 2006 — to help revive Brazil's slumping economy and lessen its growing debt.
"I wholeheartedly applaud President Dilma Rousseff's decision to name Joaquim Levy as the country's next finance minister. Mr. Levy is the right man at the right place to bolster Brazil’s credibility amid slowing growth and rising inflation in falling markets," said George Constantinides, Chicago Booth finance professor. "Mr. Levy brings to the job a deep understanding of capital markets, banking, and economic policy gained at the University of Chicago's Ph.D. program, the IMF, the Inter-American Development Bank, the European Central Bank, Bradesco Asset Management, and several high-level government appointments, most recently as Brazil’s Treasury Secretary." said
Levy, director and chief strategy officer at Bradesco Asset Management, also previously held several other government posts, including secretary of finance for Rio de Janeiro state from 2007 to 2010.
"I am particularly pleased that I had the privilege to get to know Mr. Levy as my student at the University of Chicago and I wish him great success," Constantinides said.
He received a doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago in 1993 and joined Chicago Booth's Global Advisory Board-Americas Cabinet in 2010. He has remained heavily involved with the University and Chicago Booth.
"This is a tremendous achievement for Mr. Levy. Additionally, this bodes very well for the future success of the government of Brazil," said Chicago Booth Dean Sunil Kumar.
Levy was a visiting economist at the European Central Bank from 1999 to 2000, and held positions in the International Monetary Fund's Western Hemisphere, European I, and Research departments from 1992 to 1998.
Levy's tenure is to begin at the start of Rousseff's second term in January, according to news reports.