Taming the Beast

Sep 1, 2011

With inflation the main challenge, several banks drew positive reviews for their efforts in the past year, with Colombia narrowly leading the way. However, Brazil continues to frustrate markets

Conditions have been no easier for Latin American officials charged with fighting inflation earlier this year amid worries that many of the region’s economies were overheating. But concerns of a slowdown in global growth quickly reversed such logic late summer and showed just how tricky a central bank’s job can be, as expectations of rate cuts grew in certain countries.

Still, during LatinFinance’s annual poll on the performance of central bankers in the region’s larger economies, we found market participants largely praising monetary authorities from Chile to Mexico as they kept economies on an even keel against an uncertain global backdrop. The notable exception was Brazil, where the controversial use of macro-prudential measures to contain inflation and an ever-strengthening real has stirred its fair share of controversy.

As happened last year, separating the favorites at the top was not easy. But the...

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