Position: President of the Central Bank of Peru
Incumbent: Julio Velarde
Date of Birth: June 30, 1952
Term: Velarde was reappointed to head the central bank by President Ollanta Humala in 2011. He was first named to the post in September 2006 by former President Alan Garcia.
- Velarde has a doctorate in economics from Brown University and has served as head of the economics faculty at Lima’s Pacifico University.
- Velarde first served on the central bank’s board of directors from 1990 to 1992 when conservative Alberto Fujimori was president. He helped slay rampant hyper-inflation at a time of financial chaos in Peru.
- Chairman of the Latin American Reserve Fund from 2004 to 2006, Velarde was also a member of Peru’s central bank board of directors from 2001 to 2003.
- Velarde is credited with helping Peru avoid deflation during the 2009 global economic crisis, cutting interest rates to an all-time low of 1.25 percent.
- Velarde raised the benchmark rate five times in 2011 to 4.25 percent to ward off creeping inflation expectations, but has held the rate steady for the past two years as inflation has been moderate and the economy has expanded near its potential.
- Velarde has led efforts to soften the impacts of heavy capital inflows after stimulus measures abroad in recent years have led investors to seek higher yields in Latin American assets.
- In 2012 the central bank bought a record $13.85 billion on the spot foreign exchange market as the Peruvian sol gained nearly 6 percent to historic levels. The bank has also tightened reserve requirements on banks and raised the foreign investment ceiling for private pension funds several times.
- So far this year Velarde’s central bank has pushed the sol back more than 2 percent.