Guest view: Hard to spell Colombia without o-i-l

By Guest Contributor
January 15, 2015

The U.S. miner’s $138 mln check to resolve a lawsuit over conflicts-riddled deals sets a precedent that gives shareholders more clout. It should turn up the heat on Chairman James Moffett, whose cross-holdings factored in the case. Better governance would enhance the big payout.

Bad ideas catching up with Latin America in 2015

December 29, 2014

For four years, the region has mostly lagged world economic growth. The IMF predicts another year of the same. While Pacific-oriented countries will shine, Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela will suffer. With a couple of exceptions, misguided policies are coming home to roost.

Brazil’s epic water crisis a global wake-up call

November 24, 2014

Sao Paulo, a city of 20 mln, is running out of H2O thanks to creaky infrastructure, political battles, a record drought and Amazon deforestation. The humanitarian and economic cost would be immense if supplies dried up. The fiasco should drive other metropolises to action.

Chiquita inversion slips on cash appeal

October 27, 2014

The banana company’s shareholders voted down a stock deal to acquire Irish produce distributor Fyffes, a decision that now points to a sale to Brazilian buyers. Ailing arbs, a crackdown on tax-driven M&A and economic ructions didn’t help. The path of least uncertainty wins again.

Ecuador economic “miracle” meets maturity

September 11, 2014

President Rafael Correa’s experiments in modern socialism helped the country cut poverty, grow and prosper. But his investment-led model has run its course. Now he has to soften his defiance of international norms, from the bond market to the World Bank, to keep progress alive.

Tragedy may reshape Brazil economy, not just vote

August 27, 2014

Marina Silva, set to be the opposition presidential candidate after Eduardo Campos’ plane-crash death, is a fresh threat to Dilma Rousseff. Silva has long fought special interests. If she wins October’s election, a plausible outcome, Brazil could gain from less state meddling.

Latin America gets closer even as Europe cracks

December 8, 2011

Cross-border deals among South American companies, like Chilean CorpBanca’s purchase of Santander Colombia, set a new record in 2011. A single Latin currency seems remote given the euro’s woes. But as the region’s private sector consolidates, it can’t be ruled out for ever.

Review: Redeemers who led Latin America astray

April 20, 2012

The Spanish-American War led a group of intellectuals and charismatic politicians to anti-Americanism. The resulting deep antipathy to free markets led to a century of relative economic decline. The continent should ignore its intellectuals and listen to worthy business leaders.

Latam can rely on masses for next phase of growth

December 31, 2012

A few key people like the world’s richest man and showy political leaders have epitomized the region for years by spearheading the commodity-led, export economies. In 2013, a burgeoning middle class, helped by low interest rates, will make a mark powering Latin America’s future.

Review: Latin America needs more Uribes

January 18, 2013

Former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe’s book “No Lost Causes” may be self-serving. But it shows how he helped turn war-torn Colombia from near-failed state into an investment destination. Uribe’s security gains are frail, but his successes dwarf those of his leftist peers.