La montaña rusa de las divisas de Latinoamérica

BUENOS AIRES – Desde la Segunda Guerra Mundial, los países de América Latina han funcionado como una especie de laboratorio de divisas. En toda la región, se han aplicado innumerables regímenes de tipo de cambio –algunos, exitosos; otros, un fracaso abismal.

Sin embargo, en todos los casos, las políticas de tipo de cambio desempeñaron un papel central a la hora de determinar los resultados macroeconómicos generales de estos países. Y hoy en día, después de dos décadas turbulentas, parecen estar convergiendo hacia un marco más unificado y sostenible.

Los años 1980 fueron una década horrorosa para la mayoría de los países latinoamericanos. La segunda crisis petrolera y las elevadas tasas de interés internacionales, sumadas a una falta de inversión extranjera, condujeron a desequilibrios internos y externos significativos y a altos niveles de deuda externa. En todos los países principales, esto resultó en incumplimientos de pago, importantes y continuos ajustes del tipo de cambio y, para finales de la década, una profunda espiral de inflación/devaluación que rozó, en algunos casos, la hiperinflación.

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