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Latin America Debt Crisis

Latin America Debt Crisis

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Latin America Debt Crisis

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  1. Latin America Debt Crisis

  2. Prelude • To finance ISI Latin American countries borrowed from international markets • Nations were betting on investment projects that, unfortunately, did not pay off • Borrowing continued in the late 1970’s • Oil prices generated current account deficits for Latin American countries • To finance the deficit they borrowed

  3. What went wrong? • Unsustainable domestic policies • Populism: promoted growth and income distribution but ignored risks of increasing debt, inflation, and external constraints. Corruption • i.e. Juan and Eva Peron in Argentina • Overcapacity • Budget deficits • Low interest rates discouraged saving

  4. External shocks • Latin American countries borrowed at historically low rates, but then interest rates increased sharply • Most of the debt was US dollar denominated. Hence, to pay for the debt, LA nations needed US dollars. They could have obtained them from exports, but they currencies were overvalued. • As capital began leaving the countries domestic interest rates were increased, decreasing investment. • Central Banks engaged in seignorage, creating inflation

  5. The Crisis • High global interest rates • Global recession • Drop in commodity prices • Borrowing to cover interest payment stopped. • August 1982, the Mexican Finance Minister announce a payment moratorium

  6. The Scope

  7. Intervention • IMF • Absortion approach: decrease personal and government consumption and increase exports • Decrease government spending • Privatize industries • Eliminate subsidies • Contractionary monetary policy • Indexed wages • Devaluate the currency

  8. The Baker Plan • Long-term structural change • The Brady Plan • Decrease the debt value of debt • Restructuring time period • New money • Long-term Brady bonds were consistent with the Baker idea • IMF and World bank raised funds • From 1989 to 1994 about 32% of the debt was forgiven