Newly appointed Finance Minister Lin Chuan (
Before joining then Taipei mayor Chen Shui-bian's (
As a successful investor himself, Lin accumulated his personal wealth by making profitable stock investments while becoming popular as a private lecturer specializing in the analysis of the development of the local stock market.
Recommended by colleagues who were close to Chen, Lin began serving the nation's first DPP Taipei City mayor and built up mutual trust and close ties with him after serving as director of Taipei's Bureau of Finance. Never a supporter of the DPP, Lin told Chen that he had voted for New Party mayoral candidate Jaw Shau-kong (
Aiming to turn rigid economic theories into practical knowledge, Lin accepted Chen's offer and stepped out of the ivory tower. After that he managed the city's annual budget of some NT$180 billion and NT$3.6 trillion worth of assets for three years.
"As the city's treasurer, Lin's performance was highly regarded by Chen since he managed to pay the city's debts left over by Chen's predecessor," said DPP legislator Luo Wen-jia (羅文嘉), once a top aide to Chen.
Besides issuing bonds to raise funds, Lin blueprinted the city's first build-operate-transfer (BOT) project -- the yet to-be-completed 101-storey Taipei Financial Center -- after having generated over NT$20 billion from the bond issue, Luo said.
Lin's mainlander ethnic background and alienation from the opposition camp once stood out in Chen's administration, but later he mingled very well with other city officials, Luo said.
"He has set up his working style by formulating a system, following through with the rules and dismissing the opposition with reason and convincing numbers," Luo said.
Lin often sticks to his idealistic perspectives, speaking stubbornly and freely to politicians across all party lines during his entire political career.
Tseng Chu-wei (
His stubbornness, however, can sometimes get him into trouble. During Chen's presidential campaign in early 2000, Lin helped formulate and present the presidential white paper of finance policies, which included one controversial proposal of levying a securities income tax (
Despite the controversy, Lin was appointed as head of the Director-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) after Chen won the presidential bid in 2000, managing central government's annual budgets.
As the nation's top statistician, Lin has successfully won legislative support and re-allocated the central government's Tax Redistribution Fund (