There has been no shortage of commentary on the debt crisis in Latin America, but it has tended to focus on the problem's immediate features. The aim of this collection of essays by American, British and Latin American scholars is to provide the political and economic background. It examines the causes that led many Latin American countries to contract huge debts and the effect of world recession on their ability to pay. The internal causes are examined by means of detailed case studies of Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Venezuela and the Central American countries. The external factors are dealt with in the context of oil shocks, world recession, growing protectionism, rising interest rates and decline of international commodity prices. The book provides a comprehensive account of how the debt crisis came about and considers its consequences for the future development of Latin America and its relations with the industrialised world.
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Contributors; Preface; 1. The political setting: 'business as usual' or a new departure? David Stephen; Part I. The Global Perspective: 2. Latin America's financial crisis: causes and cures Jonathan Hakim; 3. A comparison of macroeconomic strategies in South America John Williamson; 4. Latin American and east Asian NICs: development strategies compared Gustav Ranis and Louise Orrock; Part II. Case Studies: 5. Brazil's foreign debt: the national debate Julian M. Chacel; 6. Mexico: learning to live with the crisis George Philip; 7. The rise and fall of the Chilean economic miracle Tim Congdon; 8. Venezuela: the oil boom and the debt crisis Ramón Escovar Salom; 9. World recession and Central American depression: lessons from the 1930s for the 1980s Victor Bulmer-Thomas; 10. Conclusion Esperanza Durán; Index.