Chilean president Michelle Bachelet on Monday named economist José De Gregorio as the new president of Chile's Central Bank (BC). De Gregorio, currently the BC's vice president, will replace Vittorio Corbo, whose term expires on December 6.
In announcing De Gregorio's designation, the Bachelet administration also recommended 35-year-old Sebastián Claro to the Central Bank's three-person advisory council. The conservative daily El Mercurio described Claro's nomination as a "surprise." Sebastián Claro, currently a professor at Universidad Católica, holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California in Los Angeles. Soon to be BC President De Gregorio earned his Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He has also worked as a professor at both the Universidad de Chile and the Universidad Católica. His tenure as the head of the BC is expected to last 10 years. The man he will replace, Corbo, held the position for just four years. Corbo was nominated in 2003 to take over for Carlos Massad Abud. Massud, who first took the position in 1996, resigned in the wake of the so-called CORFO-Inverlink fraud scandal. The resignation followed revelations that Massud's personal secretary used his computer to leak classified BC information to a lover in the now-defunct holding company called Inverlink. "The administration values and is thankful for the work that Vittorio Corbo carried out during his time as president of the Central Bank. He contributed decidedly to strengthening the prestige and independence of the entity," said Finance Minister Andrés Velasco. The Santiago Times