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Credit at times of stress: Latin American lessons from the global financial crisis

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  • Carlos Montoro
  • Liliana Rojas-Suarez

Abstract

The financial systems in emerging market economies (EMEs) during the 2008-09 global financial crisis performed much better than in previous crisis episodes, albeit with significant differences across regions. For example, real credit growth in Asia and Latin America was less affected than in Central and Eastern Europe. This paper identifies the factors at both the country and the bank levels that contributed to the behaviour of real credit growth in Latin America during the global financial crisis. The resilience of real credit during the crisis was highly related to policies, measures and reforms implemented in the pre-crisis period. In particular, we find that the best explanatory variables were those that gauged the economy's capacity to withstand an external financial shock. Key were balance sheet measures such as the economy's overall currency mismatches and external debt ratios (measuring either total debt or short-term debt). The quality of pre-crisis credit growth mattered as much as its rate of expansion. Credit expansions that preserved healthy balance sheet measures (the "quality" dimension) proved to be more sustainable. Variables signalling the capacity to set countercyclical monetary and fiscal policies during the crisis were also important determinants. Moreover, financial soundness characteristics of Latin American banks, such as capitalisation, liquidity and bank efficiency, also played a role in explaining the dynamics of real credit during the crisis. We also found that foreign banks and banks which had expanded credit growth more before the crisis were also those that cut credit most. The methodology used in this paper includes the construction of indicators of resilience of real credit growth to adverse external shocks in a large number of emerging markets, not just in Latin America. As additional data become available, these indicators could be part of a set of analytical tools to assess how emerging market economies are preparing themselves to cope with the adverse effects of global financial turbulence on real credit growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlos Montoro & Liliana Rojas-Suarez, 2012. "Credit at times of stress: Latin American lessons from the global financial crisis," BIS Working Papers 370, Bank for International Settlements.
  • Handle: RePEc:bis:biswps:370
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Ralph Chami & Raphael A Espinoza & Adolfo Barajas & Heiko Hesse, 2010. "Recent Credit Stagnation in the Mena Region; What to Expect? What Can Be Done?," IMF Working Papers 10/219, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Marco Arena & Carmen Reinhart & Francisco Vázquez, 2006. "The Lending Channel in Emerging Economics: Are Foreign Banks Different?," NBER Working Papers 12340, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    10. Liliana Rojas-Suarez, 2010. "The International Financial Crisis: Eight Lessons for and from Latin America," Working Papers 202, Center for Global Development.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:bis:bisifb:45 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Gozgor,G. & Gozgor, K., 2013. "The Relationship between Domestic Credit and Income: Evidence from Latin America," Applied Econometrics and International Development, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 13(1), pages 89-98.
    3. Miyajima, Ken & Mohanty, M.S. & Chan, Tracy, 2015. "Emerging market local currency bonds: Diversification and stability," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 126-139.
    4. Luis Fernando Melo & Hernán Rincón, 2013. "Choques externos y precios de los activos en Latinoamérica antes y después de la quiebra de Lehman Brothers," ENSAYOS SOBRE POLÍTICA ECONÓMICA, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA - ESPE, vol. 31(71), pages 1-35, June.
    5. Luis Fernando Melo & Hernán Rincon, 2012. "External Shocks and Asset Prices in Latin America before and after Lehman Brothers’ Bankruptcy," Borradores de Economia 704i, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    6. Petar Peshev, 2014. "Credit dynamics in Central and Eastern Europe," Economic Thought journal, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute, issue 2, pages 37-58,59-79.
    7. Alexis Esposto & Ricardo Pereyra, 2013. "Actual and Potential Trade Flows between Australia and Latin America," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 32(4), pages 477-495, December.
    8. C. Spulbăr & M. Niţoi, 2014. "Determinants of bank cost efficiency in transition economies: evidence for Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe and South-East Asia," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(16), pages 1940-1952, June.
    9. Carlos Montoro & Liliana Rojas-Suarez, 2012. "Credit in times of stress: lessons from Latin America," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, September.
    10. Michael Chui & Emese Kuruc & Philip Turner, 2016. "A new dimension to currency mismatches in the emerging markets - non-financial companies," BIS Working Papers 550, Bank for International Settlements.
    11. repec:bis:bisifc:45-18 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Mogoseanu Daniela Bianca, 2013. "Comparative Study On The Level Of Efficiency And Its Determinants For The Manufacturing Industry In Central And Eastern Europe," Annals of University of Craiova - Economic Sciences Series, University of Craiova, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, vol. 1(41), pages 186-196.

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