March 2003

All CACked Up With Nowhere to Go


All Lula's Men

Economy & Policy

Back to First Principles


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 interes...

Backing Up Building

Mortgage lending is underdeveloped in most Latin American countries. Securitization is altering the way home-building is financed in the region while giving investors acc...

Business & Banking

Capping Pension Payments

Economy & Policy

Social Security expenses now exceed revenues by more than $24 billion. The Lula Administration must find a way to stop the excess spending in its federal budget.

Data & Statistics

Institutions Matter More than Ever

In the midst of growing pessimism about the future of free markets in Latin America, there are still good examples where leaders understand that stability requires effect...

Lean, Mean Banking Machine


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 m...

Mummies, Swaps and Mortgages


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 ...

On Top Once Again


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.

Outsmarting a Mean Market

Last year was a tough one for managing Latin American assets, and even the top performers struggled to stay in positive territory. Still, aggressive bets and good bargain...

Panic Over, For Now

Economy & Policy

Sovereign bond investors are relieved that the leftist admnistration of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva promises to meet its financial obligations while pursuing its social obj...


Putting Some Punch Into Policy

Rock Steady


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 mark...

Sovereign Report


Sovereigns Move Beyond Bradys

As the stock of Brady bonds issued by Latin American sovereigns dwindles, some of the region's governments are entering a more mature phase of managing their liabilities.

Sterling Shines for Some

Two recent pound sterling-denominated bond issues by Latin American quasi-sovereigns have shown that select investment grade issuers from the region can find an investor ...

Still Young, Lacayo Has a Legacy

These are early days, but El Salvador's two-year experience with dollarization has been a success. Economy Minister Miguel Lacayo has been able to make a controversial st...

Stretched to the Breaking Point


A devalued currency, heavy dollar debts and plunging equity prices have taken their toll on Brazilian companies. Some are recovering while others have become acquisition ...

Survival of the Fittest

Taken down by a wholesale withdrawal of bank credit to Latin America last year, trade finance lines remain severely constrained. Recovery is slow, and banks are supportin...