As Argentina gears up for negotiations with the bondholders it stiffed 18 months ago, other sovereign issuers and banks are experimenting with a new generation of bonds that could profoundly reshape the debt market for years to come.
Panama's economy ran out of steam four years ago and it is struggling to meet deficit targets. The country is looking for new sources of economic fuel but it needs a major boost soon.
Mexico's electricity commission issues a bond backed by receivables from its corporate customers. The bond is the first unsecured asset-backed bond from a government entity.
Vitro, the Mexican glassmaker, is trying to fend off Asian competitors with value-added products. But a weighty debt load and weakening cashflow aren't making the company's survival any easier.
The Caribbean is battling a particularly difficult global environment. Economies throughout the region face serious challenges, although oil-rich Trinidad and Tobago is in better shape than most.
One of the most remarkable features of Argentina's debt debacle is the government's attempt to shift the burden of adjustment away from the domestic economy, transferring wealth from creditors to debtors, and from future generations to current ones. Guillermo Mondino says the long-term consequences of such a strategy are serious and warns other countries to take heed.
Rebuilidng Brazil's capital markets requires a good dose of public confidence. But that can only be achieved with a stable economy, plus more modest inflation and interest rates.
Banco do Brasil, the state-owned bank, is in top form and higly profitable. Now, under new management, Brazil's biggest bank needs to convince the markets that it still means business.
Mexico's capital markets are flourishing in a low interest rate environment and enlightened regulation as reforms in the 1990s start paying off. There is room for nearly everybody in the market.
After seeing many of the international banks quit Brazil, locally owned banks are firmly back in command of South America's biggest financial services market.
Nicolás Eyzaguirre, Chile's finance minister, is a gifted amateur musician and a seriously orthodox economist. He also is living proof that a socialist can make free market economics work.
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"[While] it’s good to build more infrastructure and increase investment, you have to be conscious about the macro effects of too big an increase in domestic demand, including of course public expenditure."
Julio Velarde, Peru central bank
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