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Capital movements and external financing

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Capital movements and external financing

Author: Hopenhayn, Benjamín Physical Description: páginas. 81-94 Date: April 1995 ECLAC symbol: LC/G.1858-P


This article explores the causes, consequences, magnitude and forms of a phenomenon which is of fundamental importance in the current scene and has enormous implications for the Latin American economies: the growing pace of international capital movements. Many billions of dollars are shifted across national borders by satellite, and a small part of this amount has become the basic element in Latin America's external financing. This financial globalization has its roots in the accumulation of enormous tied liquid surpluses, the generalized liberalization of capital accounts after the collapse of the Bretton Woods frontiers, and the impact of the technological revolution in the fields of informatics and communications. The growing size and importance of the financial markets and external imbalances of the main countries makes necessary a new international monetary system which is not yet clearly defined but undoubtedly involves the free circulation of great masses of liquid assets of increasingly diverse forms: the financial "products" which are traded on the transnational money markets. In recent years, these resources have helped to relieve the Latin American external sector and to supplement the region's domestic saving. The unpredictable and precarious nature of these capital flows, however, makes it advisable to take advantage of the current availability of these funds in order to effect changes which will increase national saving and to use it to raise the productivity and competitiveness of the economies of the region.