PUYO, Ecuador (Reuters) - Leftist Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa welcomed Wall Street investment analysts losing jobs in the financial crisis, calling them lazy yuppies who criticized governments without doing research.
“One of the few good things to come out of this crisis is that we don’t have to put up with those yuppies of Lehman Brothers, Standard & Poors and JP Morgan,” the ex-economy minister said on Tuesday.
“When I was minister, it was unbearable to have a line of those kids asking for an appointment so that I could do their job. They’d ask you for your analysis and then present it in a report as if were their own,” he added as he hosted fellow South American socialist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
After years of being criticized by Wall St. analysts for avoiding some free-market policies, leftists in Latin America have crowed in recent weeks about the implosion of financial companies in a worldwide crisis that is bleeding jobs.
Lehman Brothers has collapsed, but JP Morgan and credit rating agency S&P remain in business.
Some Wall Street researchers study emerging market economies by monitoring policy moves in detail from afar and sometimes visit countries on fact-finding missions.
But leaders such as Correa and Chavez often complain the reports they produce advising investors where to put their money lack on-the-ground knowledge.
Correa and Chavez said Latin America needed to create its own regional solutions to the crisis rather than follow U.S.-prescribed policies.
“For years, they said we were about to sink, sink, sink,” Chavez said, giggling. “Now they have sunk.”
Reporting by Alonso Soto; Writing by Saul Hudson; Editing by Kim Coghill