Countries around the world are raising interest rates, citing concerns about higher inflation. Central banks in Latin America and the Caribbean, Central and Eastern Europe, East and South Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa raised their interest rates last year. Higher interest rates make it more expensive for households and businesses to borrow money — and economists expect this will help keep inflation in check.
But Turkey — where inflation last month hit 36 percent, among the world’s highest rates — chose to cut interest rates on four separate occasions between September and December 2021, reducing the central bank’s key lending rate from 19 percent to 14 percent.… Seguir leyendo »
The Argentine government is locked in contentious negotiations with foreign bondholders, led by the U.S. investment firm BlackRock, over the terms of nearly $65 billion in payments it owes on its debt. This is familiar — and risky — territory for Argentina. Should negotiations fail before the June 2 deadline and the government of President Alberto Fernández misses another debt payment, the country will formally slip into default for the third time this century and ninth time in its history.
What’s new this time is the chaotic international backdrop. The global coronavirus pandemic and the accompanying severe, ongoing, worldwide economic contraction suggests we may see a wave of sovereign debt defaults.… Seguir leyendo »
On Sept. 1, Argentina’s central bank announced new restrictions on foreign currency transactions — reversing the decision taken four years earlier to eliminate currency controls. This was not welcome news for many Argentines, whose ability to buy their currency of choice — the U.S. dollar — faces renewed restrictions.
President Mauricio Macri focused his 2015 election campaign on freeing economic constraints that the left-wing government had put in place over the previous decade. One core part of this agenda was his promise to eliminate the capital controls. Within days of taking office, Macri rolled back those controls, which had made it difficult to buy dollars and other foreign currency.… Seguir leyendo »
Turkey’s currency, the lira, has plummeted in value this month, accelerating its poor performance throughout the year. So far in 2018, the lira has lost over 60 percent of its value, which is its largest depreciation since 2001.
A new survey of Turkish voters suggests that the currency crisis is hurting the government’s popularity. But the political fallout is not likely to be too severe — because the government has convinced Turkish citizens that it is not responsible for the crisis.
Why currency crises cost politicians
Rapid losses in a currency’s external value — also known as “currency crises” — have been common historically.… Seguir leyendo »