Grupo Cruzat-Larraín

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Grupo Cruzat-Larraín

The Grupo Cruzat-Larraín was one of the largest of the grupos económicos (economic conglomerates) that came to dominate the Chilean financial system under the neoliberal economic policies implemented in the mid-1970s. Led by financiers Manuel Cruzat Infante and Fernando Larraín Peña, the group purchased controlling interests in virtually every sector of the Chilean economy during the privatization of public enterprises in the early years of the Pinochet regime. Liberalization of the domestic financial markets, an absence of government regulation, and easy access to international credit allowed for their spectacular growth. Their growth was also facilitated by close relations with key economic policymakers, some of whom periodically took positions with the groups. At its peak the Grupo Cruzat-Larraín had a virtual monopoly in petroleum distribution and owned at least 109 companies. The free-market policies of the Chicago Boys seemed to encourage this extreme economic concentration, further exacerbating the uneven distribution of wealth. The economic crisis of 1981–1982 resulted in the bankruptcy and liquidation of both the Grupo Cruzat-Larraín and the Grupo Vial, and led to a reform of the banking system. Popular discontent and street protests stemming from this economic crisis challenged the survival of the Pinochet regime.

See alsoPinochet Ugarte, Augusto .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Fernando Dahse, El mapa de la extrema riqueza (1979).

Lois Hecht Oppenheim, Politics in Chile: Democracy, Authoritarianism, and the Search for Development (1993).

David E. Hojman, Chile: The Political Economy of Development and Democracy in the 1990s (1993).

Additional Bibliography

Fuentes E., Luis Arturo. Grandes grupos económicos en Chile y los modelos de propiedad en otros países. Santiago: Dolmen Ediciones, 1997.

Mönckeberg, María Olivia. El saqueo de los grupos económicos al Estado chileno. Santiago de Chile: Ediciones B Grupo Zeta, 2001.

                                          J. David Dressing

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Grupo Cruzat-Larraín

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