Economic crises have repeatedly shaken the world in recent years, causing havoc in global and regional markets. Latin America has experimented with policies designed to insulate itself from these economic shocks, and it’s having some success. Will it continue to successfully weather international economic storms and remain an attractive investment opportunity?
Rubens V. Amaral Jr.
CEO, BLADEX (Foreign Trade Bank of Latin America)
Rubens V. Amaral Jr. of BLADEX was in Taiwan in 2008 when he received the news about the collapse of Lehman. While he immediately convened a board meeting by conference call to shore up the bank’s liquidity, he and other regional bankers were quietly confident that they would come through the crisis. The oil shock and debt crisis of the 1980s led to the imposition of economic safeguards in many Latin American countries, and those safeguards would stand them in good stead in 2008. These countries had healthy levels of dollar reserves that provided liquidity to banks, which were ready for the crisis. Amaral sees an admirable maturity in their preparedness, noting, “It is my view that the Argentine crisis in 2001 was far worse for Latin America than the one in 2008. Who would have guessed it? Fiscal discipline and prudent management of public finances pay off.”