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Argentina’s “Dead Cow” Bounce

Argentina’s “Dead Cow” Bounce

Argentina’s economy is on pace for five percent growth in 2013, and the country’s stock market is trading near all-time highs. What happened to the economic basket case that is inching toward sovereign default? It’s still there, but as I argue in a recent piece for Nearshore Americas, …

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Why Albert Hirschman Remains So Popular in Latin America

Why Albert Hirschman Remains So Popular in Latin America

Latin America has the dubious honor of being a testing ground for many economic experiments. In the 1970s Milton Friedman convinced Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet to “cut the tail of the dog” and undertake painful reforms to curb hyperinflation. In the 1980s Harvard wunderkind Jeff Sachs helped the Bolivian government …

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The Missing Context in Coverage of Protests in Brazil

The Missing Context in Coverage of Protests in Brazil

Comparison to Turkey is a bit of stretch: to the extent that the protestors in Brazil have expressed clear objectives, the authoritarianism of their president isn’t one of them.
More importantly, the regional context is different. When it comes to Turkey there is at least some reason to associate protests with …

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The Era of Excuses in Latin America

The Era of Excuses in Latin America

After mostly sidestepping the global financial crisis in 2008, many in Latin America welcomed the 2010s as “Latin America’s decade.” But it’s been quick to fizzle out. Now, with the World Bank and IMF projecting ho-hum growth over the near future, come the excuses.
Brazil stood first in line for comeuppance. …

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Pena Nieto’s Latest Reform

Pena Nieto’s Latest Reform

The flurry of reform continues in Mexico. On Wednesday, President Enrique Pena Nieto announced plans to ease the flow of credit to small businesses.
Mexico’s sky-high interest rates have long kept small businesses from growing, driven entrepreneurs into the informal economy, and pushed many Mexicans to illegally immigrate to the United …

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Latin America’s Economy Projected to Grow 3.5% in 2013

Latin America’s Economy Projected to Grow 3.5% in 2013

Economic Comission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) recently published its growth forecasts for Latin America’s economies in 2013. With a few exceptions, the news is disappointing. The 3.5 percent projected growth for Latin America’s economy is slightly above last year’s rate, but well below the 5 percent clip …

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No News Is Bad News for Brazil

No News Is Bad News for Brazil

Brazil’s economy has turned tepid. Last year growth was one perccent, the lowest rate of any major emerging economy. Mexico is now Latin America’s growth darling. Meanwhile Sao Paulo’s jetsetters are squirreling away their savings in Miami real estate, a trend that perhaps has less to …

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On the Road to Pemex Reform

On the Road to Pemex Reform

President Enrique Peña Nieto has mounted an assault against Mexico’s entrenched monopolies over the past two months. He first took on the teachers union, then the telecoms, explaining his aim was to “transform the country, not just to run it.” Where’s this going? As noted by the Financial Times, the …

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Chavismo can survive, but will it?

Chavismo can survive, but will it?

Among the more important questions to surface in the wake of Hugo Chávez’s death on March 5: Will chavismo survive? The answer, usually given in the affirmative, frequently invokes a previous era of Latin American history.
For example, a column on the London Review of Book’s website, “Chavez Hasta …

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A Quick Primer on Venezuela Post-Chavez

A Quick Primer on Venezuela Post-Chavez

Hugo Chavez should be officially sworn into office on January 10. But with Chavez’s advanced cancer and his recently announced “complications,” it is unclear who will lead the country in 2013.  Here is a brief primer.
As Tim Padgett recently argued, Venezuela’s Bolivarian constitution provides a “murky map” on matters of …

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Argentina Set to Implode in 2013

Argentina Set to Implode in 2013

Last week, a U.N. tribunal ordered the release of an Argentine frigate docked in Ghana since October, when a group of hedge funds succeeded in getting a local court to hold the ship as collateral until the Argentine government made good on a $20 million bond. The bond, …

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Mexico’s Most Important Election

Mexico’s Most Important Election

Barack Obama’s reelection has stirred policy reactions in Mexico in at least two ways. First, voters in the states of Colorado and Washington endorsed ballot measures to legalize recreational use of marijuana. One would expect the next issue up for discussion to be the legal conflicts involving interstate commerce and, …

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The Socialist Origins of Technocratic Chile

The Socialist Origins of Technocratic Chile

In 1971 Stafford Beer, a renowned British academic, proposed to make Chile the world’s first cybernetic country. In essence, this meant that Chile’s entire economy would be run by a centralized computer network; real time data from hundreds of public utilities, banks, and industrial manufacturers would be rendered into optimal …

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Chilicon Valley

Chilicon Valley

A small domestic market and stiff bankruptcy penalties make Chile an unlikely hotspot for aspiring entrepreneurs. Yet “Chilicon Valley” has swelled to more than 500 tech start-ups since 2010, including Kwelia.com, which makes software for landlords, and Kedzoh, which allows employers to send out instructional videos to workers …

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Mexico’s Growing Middle Class

Mexico’s Growing Middle Class

Mexico has come in for positive news of late, thanks in part to a forecast published by Nomura Securities that showed Mexico surpassing Brazil as Latin America’s largest economy by 2022. While that’s certainly possible, a more realistic scenario would involve Mexico growing at the upper end of …

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