"Fast Forward "shows that Latin America's economic renaissance clearly has implications for a post-Cold War world order. Latin America is starting to make -important contributions, particularly in the areas of international diplomacy, economics, and culture. Collectively, Latin Americans now demonstrate a coherent collective will about where "they "wish to take themselves. This does not mean that U.S. influence in the Americas will soon disappear, but that new challenges in the international system will force greater equity in Western Hemisphere relationships.
While Latin America in the 1990s offers much to be excited about, the authors caution that there are dangers in being too enthusiastic. The always-present potential for top-down authoritarian approaches must temper enthusiasm about a better Latin American future. Despite this, the authors see a well-defined departure from past economic modes occurring and the potential for a higher level of development for some countries. This book is for economists, sociologists, and political scientists interested in economic and political development, and researchers interested in Latin America in particular.
The research examines four periods: the populist administrations of Echeverr�a and Lopez Portillo, during which the foundations of modern financial markets were paradoxically laid; the debt-crisis years of de la Madrid, who reversed his party's political strategy by favoring the business class with financial opportunities; the economic transformation undertaken by Carlos Salinas, who mixed genuine reform with destabilizing anti-market measures; and the political watershed of the Zedillo administration, whose unpopular bank rescue gave opposition parties unprecedented power within Mexico's policy making process. Kessler also provides a comparison of financial collapse in two other emerging markets, South Korea and Russia, and examines the political roots of crisis in both countries. He concludes by suggesting how greater attention to questions of power, social organization, and challenges to state authority can help the policy-making community avoid giving well-meaning advice that is unlikely to be implemented in a sustainable way.
The fate of both Mexico and the United States is that the two countries are forever tied by geography. The historical evolution of the dual interaction between the peoples of these two nations is and will be significant for the future of both countries. With this in mind, the book is divided into chapters reviewing such themes as the interaction and historical financial events that transpired during the advent of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the expansion of cross-border financial and investment services, as well as a framework and background review of the events leading up to and resulting from the devaluations of the 1970s and 1980s, and more recently the evolution of the peso crisis of 1994-1995. The imperceptible yet gradual economic integration of the two economies has required time in developing, while not always being seamless in its implementation and transition. American macroeconomic policy has long had a direct impact on the economy of Mexico, as is evidenced by the impact of U.S. interest rates on the financial underpinnings of the Mexican treasury and the banking system to assist with the overall economic growth of the nation. An appreciation for the historically sensitive issues and perspectives, be they nationalization of the oil industry, immigration, or market access for foreign financial services, is paramount to a fuller understanding of doing business on both sides of the border.