Can Brazil Sustain a 5% Growth Rate?

Brazil’s growth rate will approach 5% in 2007. What about 2008? Too dependent on the external demand for commodities, Brazil will suffer from a downturn in the U.S. It has become a cliché to compare Brazil’s mediocre GDP growth (around 2.5% a year over the last 25 years) to the resounding growth of China (10% […]

Getting Ready for the Next Catastrophe

In the past week, the volatility in financial markets was not the only storm to hit the region: Hurricane Dean, a category 5 wind-storm (the strongest in the scale) wiped through the Caribbean region leaving a trail of human and economic losses across Haití, Dominica, Santa Lucía, República Dominicana, Jamaica and Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. And […]

Overview: Brace for Snapback

Latin America is booming. Government officials across the region are boosting their 2007 GDP growth forecasts. The Chileans are projecting 6%+ growth. The Colombians are talking about an annual growth rate of almost 8%. President Kirchner recently announced that Argentina’s growth rate would be in the 8% range, and Brazil’s level of economic activity is […]

Not As Bad As It Seems

The sudden shifts in financial markets with the decrease in some asset prices and liquidity crunches are always painful and tend to reduce, on a transitory basis, income and employment. However, financial crises should be seen as an unavoidable consequence of the development and evolution of the markets and not as symptom of their inefficiency. […]

Brazil, China and India – Comparative Advantages

Having abandoned barbarism, humanity embraced Classical Antiquity, invented the Enlightenment and embarked on Globalization. Is that progress? If we consider that the transformation of the ape into “homo sapiens” took millions of years, the period from Antiquity to our present day is far too short to allow for evolution. No wonder our 21st century still […]

Are you ready for the NFL?

I am back from a great varacion and ready for a new NFL season. Excitement, competition, injuries, scandals, and crises are just around the corner. Yes, you read correctly, crises. I’m talking about the real NFL; the tough one; the extremely popular one. Yes, the Not Financially Liquid league, not the other one where hits […]

The Trouble With Venezuela, Part One

“Formula for success: Rise early, work hard, strike oil.” (John Paul Getty) This is the first of a two part look at aspects of the Venezuelan economy. Your author would like to point out that this is not a case of criticizing just for the sake of it, as we have been among the first […]

Latin America and the Global Turbulence

At the start of an important week in the markets which will test the Fed’s bold move to lower the discount rate, the risks to Latin America are starting to come into focus.  These would seem to involve, in the short-run, the risk of considerable financial volatility even if we accept (as I do) that […]

Unashamedly Not an Economics or Finance Post

“People in financial markets always think they are more important than the real world.” (Julian Jessop of Capital Economics)  Your correspondent was sitting at his desk Wednesday evening when a large earthquake rolled through his house. It was easily powerful enough to get him and his family quickly but calmly out of the house. After […]