With a long history of recurrent and costly debt crises, Latin American governments have long sought to find a way to curb the fiscal deficits that stoke the debt problem. Those efforts gathered steam over the course of the 2000s when numerous governments in the region began adopting fiscal rules, which seek to curb politicians' ability to increase spending under political and … [Read more...] about Fiscal Rules for a Debt-Plagued Region
Dealing with Debt
The Rise in Debt Total debt in Latin America and the Caribbean has risen to 5.8 trillion US dollars from under 3 trillion in 2008, or to 117% from around 60% of GDP. Total debt in the five largest economies is around 140% of GDP. While this is lower than in many advanced economies, emerging economies face higher interest rates, greater risks and a larger drag on growth from … [Read more...] about Dealing with Debt
Avoiding a New Lost Decade for Latin America and the Caribbean
The Covid-19 pandemic has unleashed a health and economic crisis. Countries are providing exceptional support to families and firms and suffering significant losses in public revenues. Debt ratios are rising. Getting fiscal policy right and maintaining financial stability will be key to ensuring a return to growth and avoid a lost decade in Latin America and the Caribbean. A … [Read more...] about Avoiding a New Lost Decade for Latin America and the Caribbean
How Can Latin America and the Caribbean Avoid the Next Financial Crisis?
The crash on the New York stock exchange in 1929 brought depression to the world. That is probably why when the global financial crisis broke in 2008, some observers thought the contagion originating in New York would again spread south, causing a collapse in Latin America and the Caribbean. But that didn't happen. Why? The region's internal situation in 2008 was "lean and … [Read more...] about How Can Latin America and the Caribbean Avoid the Next Financial Crisis?
Banks and the Global Financial Crisis 10 Years On: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean
On Sept. 15 2008, Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy heralding the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression. A couple of years after, I was at a conference and a senior (European) official gave a presentation entitled The Global Financial Crisis, Lessons for Latin America. I asked whether there was a typo. Shouldn’t that be lessons from Latin America?, I … [Read more...] about Banks and the Global Financial Crisis 10 Years On: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean