West Wing Continuity Guide
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Would an International Relations professor consult on macroeconomic policy?
Laura Ritchie-Dawson, Research Associate, Centre for Trade Policy and Law, Carleton University, Ottawa writes:
"Donna's friend says she is a professor of International Relations at the Maxwell School and she is in town consulting on macroeconomic policy issues for a trade forum. This episode was nice because of the technical detail it tried to include on trade issues, but it is highly unlikely that an IR professor would consult on macroeconomic policy. This is rather like calling an electrician to fix your plumbing. They're in the same ballpark but... Although trade overlaps both IR and economics, IR tends to deal with political relations among states (real world and theoretical) while macroeconomics deals with largely theoretical models of trade and financial relations."

Mexico's Economy
There are no indications that we have heard of that suggest that in our world the economy of Mexico is about to collapse and need a bail-out from the U.S.as happened in the West Wing World around the spring of 2001(? or whatever year it is in that world ?).

Here is the information from Ministry of Finance of Mexico on the latest quarter available. This was published February 14, 2001
  • "During the fourth quarter of 2000 the Mexican economy reached, with certainty, twenty straight quarters of economic growth.
  • In 2000 the inflation rate decreased to 8.96 percent, the lowest since 1994.
  • The public sector registered a deficit of 1.10 percent of GDP in 2000, slightly lower than the comparable for 1999.
  • However, the fiscal deficit was higher than the target set at the beginning of the year. The deviation is mainly due to: the allocation of resources towards a reserve for extraordinary tax returns; higher than authorized expenditures by public entities; higher extraordinary expenditures and lower deferred payments, as well as the increase in the subsidy to electricity rates as a result of higher energy prices.
  • During 2000 the net public sector debt to GDP ratio decreased 1.9 percentage points and reached 22.9 percent of GDP, its lowest level since 1971."
For further information see: http://www.shcp.gob.mx/english/docs/qr00/qr400.html or http://www.shcp.gob.mx/english/docs/qr00/qr400.pdf You can also see other articles from this Ministry at: http://www.shcp.gob.mx/english/docs/index.html

For additional information on the current economy of Mexico see:

Mexico Consensus Economic Forecast
United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce-MACROECONOMY

It didn't sound to us like this plot devise has any relevance to the real world at this place in time or any time in the near future.
However, Brian Esteip did find a real world connection and wrote:
"In 'Bad Moon Rising,' Mexico may be an equivalent of Argentina, which had been approaching a debt default since this time last year. The equivalent of what happened to Mexico in the show happened to Argentina in early July 2001."

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