Boosting financial inclusion has long been essential in Latin America and the Caribbean, where more than 200 million people lack access to financial services and large numbers of citizens are unable to open a bank account because of poverty, geography, discrimination, and lack of proper identification. Alternative systems, however, could be transformative. They could be … [Read more...] about Is There a Future for Digital Currencies Issued by Central Banks in Latin America and the Caribbean?
Inflation has become a growing concern for central banks in Latin America and the Caribbean. The recovery in economic activity was stronger than expected in the first months of 2021, reflecting the stimulus that governments deployed to mitigate the effects of the pandemic and higher mobility and lower containment measures. However, inflation and inflation expectations in the … [Read more...] about Inflation and Its Impact on the Poor in the Era of COVID-19
Central banks in Latin America and the Caribbean have undoubtedly been part of the solution to our current crisis. Their prompt and effective reactions were made possible by the hard-won credibility that they gained in recent years. Behind those gains is the autonomy delegated to them to formulate and implement monetary policy to achieve their primary objective of maintaining … [Read more...] about A Critical Moment for Central Bank Autonomy
As the chair of the United States Federal Reserve from 2006-2014, Ben Bernanke liked to say that monetary policy is 98% talk and only two percent action. In other words, what the central bank says is hugely important. It can affect households, firms, and market expectations, and, in turn, impact the economy. That message could not be more important when considering inflation … [Read more...] about Fighting Inflation With Better Communication
For much of the 1980s and early 1990s, Latin America and the Caribbean was in the throes of hyperinflation. In 1990, for example, 16 of 20 countries in the region had inflation rates above 20%, while in 2018 only three of those countries had inflation above 8%, according to IMF figures. The main ingredients to that success were fiscal reforms, debt negotiations that allowed … [Read more...] about What Brazil Can Teach About Fighting Inflation