What’s going on in Latin American and Caribbean economies? Growth keeps falling, but unlike the rest of the world, inflation keeps going up (see Figure 1). In this blog I outline two possible views. Policy choices—and what to expect in 2016 and beyond—may depend on the explanation. Some argue that advanced economies have entered a phase of secular stagnation (See Larry … [Read more...] about Latin American and Caribbean Macro: Secular Stagflation or (Just) a Painful Transition?
Commodity prices are very persistent. During booms we seem to forget that they have always (yes, always) been followed by busts (see Figure 1). And during a slump we forget that a boom is surely going to come along— we just have to wait long enough. What determines such booms and busts? Was the last boom exceptional? Where are prices today relative to long-run trends? And the … [Read more...] about Commodity Prices: over 100 Years of Booms and Busts…
The fiscal outlook for Latin America and the Caribbean is reminiscent of the story of Joseph, arguably the first documented fiscal policy advisor in the history of civilization. Asked to interpret the famous Egyptian Pharaoh’s dream, in which seven ugly and gaunt cows devoured seven fine and fat cows, Joseph predicted seven years of abundance to be followed by seven years of … [Read more...] about Joseph and the Seven Cows: A Parable for Latin America and the Caribbean
Most countries in Latin America and the Caribbean are running significant structural fiscal deficits and debt levels are rising. At current rates of growth, the unpleasant arithmetic of debt sustainability indicates that unless something changes the continent will soon lose its much heralded “improved fundamentals” and may even risk becoming the “continent of crises” once … [Read more...] about Time to Adjust: But How, and When?