An Intellectual Oasis in Guatemala

Cris Lingle: Universidad Francisco Marroquín and the Evils of Central Banking

Cris Lingle, an economics professor with Universidad Francisco Marroquín (pictured above), was in Atlanta in late November, and I traveled to interview him and hear him speak. I’ve already examined UFM as a pro-liberty haven within higher education, and we went into greater detail at his presentation, “Love & Money & the Whole Damn Thing,” with the Atlanta chapter of the America’s Future Foundation.

The interview was in a public setting, so the audio quality is limited, but the content is valuable, particularly if you would consider studying or teaching at UFM. Listen to it here or below (19 minutes). The final nine minutes cover central banking and Lingle’s concern that we are in uncharted territory of universally fiat currencies with no backing and enormous private and governmental debt burdens.


Lingle (pictured right) shared why he calls UFM his intellectual home and one of the most collegial places he’s ever been. He is “deeply committed” to the university’s mission, which is to foster ideas to create a community of free and responsible individuals. A distinctive university with a “very large footprint in Latin America,” it has scholars who specialize in the Austrian school of economics, including the work of Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises.

While Lingle lectures in English, he does advise that anyone considering a degree program to be close to fluent in Spanish—at least very conversant. Consider this lecture from him, “Tax Policy, As If People Mattered,” to get a sense for the material he covers within the economics department of the UFM business school (61 minutes).

Regarding safety in Guatemala, he admits that it has been worsening since his first arrival in 1998—largely on account of violence associated with drug trafficking. However, he says the university is very secure and that most people live well there. He chooses to walk about five blocks to work each day.

One program that is very new to UFM is its Acton MBA, which began in September of 2011. It functions with the same curriculum as the Acton MBA program based in Austin, Texas, which receives its accreditation from Hardin Simmons University. This is an intensive one-year program for aspiring entrepreneurs, and it conveys three key lessons: how to learn, how to make money, and how to live a life of meaning.

Lingle mentioned that members of the business school are seeking to start a business degree program in English, perhaps even a Ph.D. However, the UFM Acton MBA lectures remain in Spanish, and all students need professional bilingual proficiency. To affirm their bilingual proficiency, the approximately 20 students enrolled can elect to complete a semester of their studies in Austin.

For more on UFM, please consider my earlier article, “Educating Yourself in Economics,” which features interviews with Walter Block and Antonie Ewing.

Fergus Hodgson About Fergus Hodgson

Fergus Hodgson is an economic consultant, financial editor, athlete, and traveler. He holds degrees in economics, finance, and political science from the United States and New Zealand, and he has lived in eight countries. Follow @FergHodgson.


  1. AJ Curtis says:

    Congratulations on your next adventure!!

  2. Tony Escobar says:

    Great news!

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