A Freeze Play at the Banks

The Mexican government nationalizes its faltering financial system

Wearing the green, red and white sash that symbolizes Mexico's highest office, a somber President José López Portillo took the podium in the Chamber of Deputies of the Mexican Congress last week to give his final state of the union address before retiring in December. Few political leaders have ever had to deliver a valedictory under such grim and humbling circumstances. Mexico's economy is staggering in a profound crisis that threatens the country's political and social stability. Inflation is running at 60%. More than half the...

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