Is Brazil underperforming?

Recently I posted a blog titled Underperforming Latinos where I asked the question whether Latin American countries were growing at par, or where just not growing fast enough. Several of the comments and emails asked me to explain my rationale regarding Brazil…. So, here it is. First, and foremost, thanks for all your comments – […]

Best of Times?

We all have heard, more than once, that these are great times for developing countries: world growth and commodity prices are at record highs, while interest rates are at record lows. China is supposed to be behind all that. Usually this assertion is accompanied, at least in LAC, by immediate concerns about the fact that […]

Inflation Targeting in Brazil

The National Monetary Council (CMN) has decided today (6/26) to keep the inflation target for 2009 in Brazil at the current level, 4.5% +/- 2.0%. This target is at the upper extreme of inflation targeters, even emerging market ones. As the Table shows, the current inflation forecasts for the next 2 1/2 years are below […]

Peru: Mid-Year Update

Once mired in poverty, Peru is one of the shining stars of Latin America. The Peruvian economy expanded 7.3% y/y in April, and it should finish the year with a GDP growth rate of 7.5% y/y. In addition to strong export growth, domestic demand is coming on line. Construction and retail sales are expected to […]

Peru: Country Risk Is Not Just An EMBI+ Number

“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” (Bill Gates) Last week in my adopted home town of Arequipa, Peru, there was a 24 hour strike by transport workers. You probably didn’t hear much about it, but all the same it happened. The modus operandi of strikers was a […]

Latin America and the New Misalignment Politics

On June 13, U.S. Senators Baucus, Grassley, Schumer, and Graham introduced the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act of 2007. The Act would require the Treasury to identify twice a year those countries whose currencies are “fundamentally misaligned”, of which a few ones would be given priority status if misalignment is deemed to be “caused […]

Chavez´s Bank

President Hugo Chavez’s initiative to create the Banco del Sur (Southern Bank) is the in process of being implemented. In the next few weeks, the presidents of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay and Venezuela will sign a document establishing the Banco del Sur with a initial capital of $7 bn. These funds would come primarily […]

Is Latin America Blowing It? The Case of Chile

The present period could be called the best of times for Latin America. The China-commodity boom since 2003, the overall strength of global trade, and the reduced cost of foreign loans are a welcome respite from the late 1990s patterns of “sudden stops” and attendant turmoil. Despite the external improvements, a feeling is widespread in […]

Underperforming Latinos

Last week I was visiting Japan, and having almost a continuum of meetings with the private sector, public sector, and academics. I had more than 20 something face-to-face meetings, which was an un-valuable experience. I learned a lot, and several things struck me tremendously. First, they had an extremely negative view about their future. Second, […]

Fair Play

Brazil has been known around the world for its carnival. In particular, Rio de Janeiro’s annual parade of “samba schools” competing for the title of carnival’s champion is an impressive display of cooperation and competition, built from the bottom-up through many years, to generate a large scale production with outstanding results. About a week ago, […]