Mexico: Frightening Specter of Bankruptcy

An ailing neighbor looks to Tio Sam for a helping hand

Finance Secretary Jesús Silva Herzog exuded a somewhat forced air of confidence as he addressed his countrymen last week. Like a terminal-ward doctor polishing his bedside man ner, he likened Mexico's economy to a "sick patient" who required different treatments as his condition fluctuated.

With an unemployment rate of more than 50% and inflation that threatens to reach 100% by year's end, Mexico's economy is certainly ailing. In fact, the economic cri sis was widely viewed as Mexico's worst since the 19 10 revolution.

But to many Mexicans, the govern ment's drastic...

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