Fear of Sudden Stops: lessons from Australia and Chile
Latin American economies are exposed to ubstantial external vulnerability. Domestic imbalances and terms of trade shocks are often exacerbated by sudden financial distress. In this paper we explore ways of overcoming external vulnerability drawing lessons from a detailed comparison of the response of Chile and Australia to recent external shocks and from Australiaâ€™s historical experience. We argue that in order to understand sudden stops and the mechanisms to smooth them, it is useful to highlight and then draw a distinction between two dimensions of investors confidence: country-trust and currency-trust. While these two dimensions are interrelated, there are important distinctions. Lack of country-trust is a more fundamental and serious problem behind sudden stops. But lack of currency-trust may both be a source of country-trust problems as well as weaken a countryâ€™s ability to deal with sudden stops. We discuss steps to improve along these two dimensions of investorsâ€™ confidence in the medium run, and policies to reduce the impact of country-trust and currency-trust weaknesses in the short run
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