THE ROLE OF LATIN AMERICAN BANKS IN THE REGIONíS CURRENCY CRISES

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By: Carroll Howard GRIFFIN
JEL: G15, G21
Keywords: Currency crises, Latin America, Banking

The frequency of currency crises in Latin America has not abated in the last few years, as the Mexican Peso crises of 1982 and 1995, the Brazilian Real Crisis of 1998 and the Argentine Peso crisis of 2001 attest. Although many factors are involved in these crises, Latin American banks have played an important, yet previously unstudied role in the frequency and severity of the region’s financial crises. This paper examines four of the most recent currency crises in the region to determine if there are any commonalities or root causes to be found in the region’s banking system. It is found that, indeed, the region’s banks have had a profound role.