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Latin America Is On The Cusp Of Biggest Shock Since 1980

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Latin America Is On The Cusp Of Biggest Shock Since 1980

In a new report, Bank of America analyst Marcos Buscaglia discussed what he believes could be the biggest monetary shock facing Latin America since 1980. However, despite the situation that these countries are currently facing, Buscaglia believes that most are better-positioned to weather the coming storm than they were in the 1980s.

Real Risk Of Shock

The numbers indicate that Latin America, and particularly South America, is currently staring down a very real threat. Bank of America estimates that global nominal GDP in USD will contract by $4.1 trillion (5.9 percent) this year. This contraction is a stark contrast to the average nominal GDP growth of about 6.0 percent from 1981 to 2014.

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Dollar Strength

Buscaglia acknowledged that this contraction could simply be blamed on the relative strengthening of the USD versus other global currencies. However, he explained that the same factors that are driving up the dollar are also acting to drive down commodity prices.

It’s Bad, But Not 1982 Bad

Despite the global GDP weakness, Buscaglia does not believe that Latin America is in for the same type of pressure that it felt in the '80s.

“The fact that sovereign debt was denominated in USD made creditors reluctant to continue lending in 1982, as they realized debt would be more difficult to serve after the forthcoming devaluations,” he explained.

This time around, most Latin American countries are allowing their currencies to float, are maintaining high reserve levels and have a significant amount of their sovereign debt denominated in local currencies.

Finally, Buscaglia predicts that the world will not see anything close to the 20 percent Fed fund rate that it saw in 1980, as the FOMC tried desperately to control inflation.

Image Credit: Public Domain

Posted-In: Bank of America latin americaAnalyst Color Forex Economics Markets Analyst Ratings General Best of Benzinga

 

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