“Retenciones,” Argentina’s Agricultural Production and World Food Markets

Export taxes (‘retenciones”) have been criticized inside and outside Argentina for its potential negative impact on incentives for agricultural production, which would negate growth opportunities for the country and would have contributed to the global food crisis. Here I am not going to focus on the current situation, which, I think most of us hope, […]

Recessions: Past and Future

Since the 1960s the world went through 4 “recessions” (see Chart; I use quotation marks, because in no case there was negative growth at the world level, although the cycles are clear): in 1974/75, 1980/82, 1991/93, and 2001/02. Each one of those was associated with a recession in the US (but there were two US […]

Argentina’s Recent Growth Episode

On September 14 Argentina growth data for the 2nd quarter of 2007 was released, showing again a strong performance: 8.7% yoy. Since 2003 Argentina has been growing at an annual average growth close to 9%. If you add the quarters in 2002 since growth started and the data for 2007 it has been about five […]

Best of Times 2?

In a previous blog I argued that the common perception about developing countries being the beneficiaries of record commodity prices (“the best in generations”) had to be significantly qualified: world real prices for food, beverages and agricultural raw materials do not look that great in real terms; fuels and metals, however, are a very different […]

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 […]