Over the last 15 years, Latin America and the Caribbean has made substantial progress in expanding the reach of its infrastructure. Tens of millions of people were connected to clean water grids for the first time, and access to electricity became nearly universal, with low-income and peri-urban areas able to experience the novel pleasure of turning on the lights or running a … [Read more...] about From Structures to Services: A New Vision for Infrastructure
The Financial Times recently reported a sharp drop of lending from US banks to European countries. But this is best characterized as part of a wider deglobalization process. As national authorities urge banks to lend to firms within their borders and provide liquidity and guarantees for them to do so, global players are becoming less global. The syndicated loan market is … [Read more...] about Covid-19 and the Deglobalization of Banking
“Oil is at a negative price, -US$37 a barrel.” Those were the headlines on April 20. A negative price for oil? That makes no sense many friends told me. To understand this, let’s take a few steps back. There are two standard prices for the global oil market. In the United States, a futures market on a blend known as WTI (or West Texas Intermediate) is an important reference … [Read more...] about Negative Oil: What Is behind the Negative Oil Price?
The unprecedented conditions created by the spread of the coronavirus call for exceptional policy responses from the regional monetary authorities. Besides traditional tools such as interest rate reductions, central banks have been pursuing unconventional measures to avoid permanent consequences from a transitory, but potentially severe, negative shock. Since the 2008 global … [Read more...] about What Can Central Banks Do to Mitigate the Effects of the Coronavirus?
The novel coronavirus and the disease it causes, Covid-19, have imposed severe human and economic costs around the world. Cases are growing in Latin America and the Caribbean and if there is one lesson from other countries it is that early action to stop the spread of the virus is key. A recent analysis suggests that there would have been around 3.3 million deaths in the region … [Read more...] about Policies and Projections for Latin America and the Caribbean in the Time of Covid-19