Do Ratings Matter?

The role of Credit Rating Agencies has come to the forefront of the policy debate in recent months. The sudden collapse of complex structured financial instruments that were once categorized as safe “investment grade” products has cast doubts on the way rating agencies do their business, the structure of incentives they face, and the appropriateness of the existing regulatory framework and surveillance mechanisms.

The Crane Test

Last week I was visiting Rio and I had a blast when Brazil was granted the 2014 world cup. Of course, after some short spree of happiness, my Venezuelan genes started to kick in, and started to complain. In particular, I started whining about how expensive Rio was, and was going to get. Students in […]

“Too Depreciated” Dollar, or Underappreciated Dollar

I just returned from Colombia, and I was ready to start bashing Latin American countries (and Brazil in particular), when I read that European Ministers are talking about a Dollar that is “too depreciated”. I mean, I comprehend that the US slow down, and the current pace of depreciation, are hurting the tradable sector in […]

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 […]

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 – […]

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, […]

The un-Whining road of Fiscal Policy

Nouriel in his response to my “Worried, Whining, and un-Willing” blog asks several interesting questions. First, how fiscal policy can help with real exchange rate appreciation in general, and with capital inflows in particular? Second, can this be used elsewhere, such as in Brazil and Argentina? Third, what are the implications to the political economy […]

Worried, Whining, and un-Willing.

A couple of weeks ago I went to Colombia, and I found several things that were “business as usual”, but some others that were very unusual. It was not surprising that the cab driver knew the exchange rate up to the third decimal. It was surprising that he spent half an hour talking about the […]