1 thought on “Obituary – Professor Sir Alan Walters”

  1. Posted 16/02/2016 at 03:04 | Permalink

    One small but characteristically influential role of “spine-stiffening” type” was a “confidential”, if not secret, field-mission by Sir Alan and Paddie to Chile. They arrived as first class tourists on BA. There was no press at either end of the trip, neither before nor after the visit; it did not “happen”, although it was to the eventual great benefit of the whole population of a country of about 20 million people.
    After the Falklands war, there had been a hiccup in the economic transformation of Chile and voices were rushing to claim economic policy failure. Doubts were prevalent and the Chilean Ambassador to London requested the assistance of the UK Government on behalf of his Government. Ms. Thatcher ask Sir Alan to go to Chile.
    At the beginning of the ten days visit, there was a meeting with the President followed by sessions with the economic team. Sir Alan requested macro Central Bank and sector data. Since collection of this would take a few days, this meant that the field mission had five days to fill, and as guests of the Chilean Air Force they visited southern National Parks. Upon return, data was ready, discussions with the economic team continued. A last meeting with the President closed the visit.
    Sir Alan description was, as closely as I can remember, as follows:

    “When we arrived I was asked: what is going on here? Could you tell me? And I did.”

    Chile went on to have thirty plus years of sustainable economic growth.

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