Latin America has had an active presence in international markets since independence in the early nineteenth century. Participation has been quite volatile, though. International borrowing financed the wars of independence in the early 1800s, but the boom that started in 1822 with a loan to Colombia ended in 1826 with Peru’s default. Other periods of marked expansion in international borrowing occurred in 1867–72, 1893–1913, and 1920–29. As in the 1820s, most of these episodes ended with defaults. International capital markets all but disappeared following the crisis of the 1930s, with Latin America becoming unable to borrow again. Only in the 1970s did Latin America start to participate once more in international capital markets, with capital inflows reaching US$51 billion in 1981. However, when Mexico defaulted in 1982, all Latin American countries lost access to international capital markets.
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