International Finance and Financial Policy

By Hans R. Stoll | Go to book overview

18
Question and Answer Session III

Scott Pardee: I have many acquaintances in LDCS, and, from their point of view, we don't have time, we have lost time. The problem is much much bigger than anyone has discussed up to this point. I've traveled to a country where there has been no economic growth in the last ten years and in which there has actually been backsliding, and to several countries where situations have occurred that would not occur elsewhere.

In the Dominican Republic there is no electricity for eight hours a day. One of the big problems they still have is that the population is growing. It's a time bomb. It's not that we've bought time, we've lost time.

I haven't heard anything about the drug situation. It never comes up in the LDC discussion. Some of these countries that have been mentioned look better because they're getting drug money! And yet there are countries that are weaker because they have the drug situation--Panama is the obvious situation. Colombia has political problems because of drug money. Mexico has problems. The countries are eaten away by a population explosion, the weaknesses of their own structure, and by the drug system. From the Latin American point of view, all of these things are academic until we deal with the real problems of this issue.

Richard Erb: I don't think these are new problems in Latin America. Perhaps they are now being more explicitly recognized as problems, and in that sense there is progress. On the economic side, I think we have seen in most of the Latin American countries significant changes in their approach and thinking to economic policy, at least from the past, with some success. I grant that there are cases where the economies continue to deteriorate, but other cases where in fact significant progress has been made. So I think the picture may be more

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