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Short-Term Capital Flows and Economic Crises$
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Stephany Griffith-Jones, Manuel F. Montes, and Anwar Nasution

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198296867

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198296867.001.0001

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Causes and Lessons of the Mexican Peso Crisis

Causes and Lessons of the Mexican Peso Crisis

(p.144) 7 Causes and Lessons of the Mexican Peso Crisis
Short-Term Capital Flows and Economic Crises

Griffith-Jones Stephany

Oxford University Press

The Managing Director of the IMF deemed the crisis faced by the Mexican peso in December 1994 as the ‘first major crisis of the 21st century’. Analyzing the Mexican peso crisis reveals that it was brought about by several different factors that include the large scale of deficits in the current account, how these deficits were funded by short-term capital inflows, how the Mexican authorities asserted a relatively fixed nominal exchange rate that was seemingly overvalued to reduce inflation, and the outwardly relaxed monetary policy imposed during 1994. The causes also include how the government allowed the transformation of a huge part of this debt into dollar-dominated paper, how devaluation was mismanaged, and, lastly, how criminal and political events have emerged during this period. This chapter takes on a chronological approach in analyzing this crisis and concentrates on issues of devaluation and imperfections within the capital market.

Keywords:   Mexican peso crisis, current account deficit, fixed nominal exchange rate, inflation, monetary policy, capital market imperfections, devaluation

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