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Financial liberalization has not lived up to expectations, at least as far as interest rate spreads are concerned. Over the past decade, many countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have reformed their financial sectors and reaped major economic benefits as a result. However, the persistence of high interest rate spreads -the difference between the interest charged to borrowers and the rate paid to depositors - has been a disquieting outcome of the reforms. Why So High? presents the first systematic analysis of the micro-and macroeconomic determinants of bank spreads across countries in Latin America. What has been the trend in bank spreads during the 1990s and how has financial liberalization contributed to this trend? How well do competing theories of interest rate spreads in industrial countries perform when applied to Latin America? What can policymakers do to promote the convergence of interest rate spreads to international levels? These are important questions addressed by this book.
After decades using monetary aggregates as the main instrument of monetary policy and having different varieties of crawling peg exchange rate regimes, Colombia adopted a full-fledged inflation-targeting (IT) regime in 1999, with inflation as the nominal anchor, a floating exchange rate, and the short-term interest rate as the main instrument. This paper examines the experience of the Colombian Ce ... (View publication)
What are the sources of structural volatility in Latin America? To address this question, Macroeconomic Volatility in Reformed Latin America focuses on the factors responsible for macroeconomic instability in three Latin American economies: Argentina, Mexico, and Chile. It finds that volatility in these countries can largely be traced to two critical weaknesses: weak links with international finan ... (View publication)
Quantitative analysis of a New Keynesian model with the Bernanke-Gertler accelerator and risk shocks shows that violations of Tinbergen’s Rule and strategic interaction between policymaking authorities undermine significantly the effectiveness of monetary and financial policies. Separate monetary and financial policy rules, with the latter subsidizing lenders to encourage lending when credit spr ... (View publication)
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