AMI’s Managing Director, John Price, joined a world-class cast of panelists for a two hour discussion of what 2019 will bring to Latin America. The discussion was organized by the Canadian Council for the Americas and held on January 8, 2019.
Below you can watch the video of a fascinating discussion that included both regional sweeping trends as well as country-by-country analysis (and feel free to compare it to our own 2019 Latin America Forecast). The discussion begins with a critical assessment of Latin America vis-à-vis other emerging markets and then goes into a thoughtful analysis of key external drivers of the LatAm economy including commodity prices, U.S. Fed policy and trade policy in general. Much discussion centered on the newest edition of populism in Latin America, characterized not only by new Presidents in Brazil and Mexico but also the creeping growth of populism on the edges of the political landscape in strong democracies like Colombia, Chile, and Costa Rica. Underlying this right wing form of populism is the growing strength of Evangelicals, particularly in Brazil, a phenomena that has not appeared overnight but has grown over three decades.
The country-by-country analysis proved eye-opening for all. Opinions on Brazil are as divided as the ideologies found in the Bolsonaro cabinet, but everyone recognized the impressive momentum already achieved and the wall of investor money that’s flooding the Brazilian market. In stark contrast was the outlook for Mexico, whose own brand of populism under the unchallenged leadership of AMLO is proving anathema to markets and scaring away Mexican affluent investors who are quietly jettisoning billions to markets overseas. The 2019 elections ahead in Argentina will prove to be binary in their outcome with starkly contrasting futures marked by a Cambiemos versus Peronist victory. Most agreed that politics matter little in Chile and Peru where the decision taken in both markets decades ago to create world-class private pension systems has created domestic savings levels that rival the Chinese, have created impressive capital markets and facilitate the lowest costs of capital in Latin America.
There are at least a dozen themes and trends uncovered in this robust discussion that we hope you will enjoy.