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IDB seminars during Annual Meeting in New Orleans will examine new financial landscape in Latin America

The Annual Meeting of the Inter-American Development Bank in New Orleans March 23-29 will serve as a platform for examining the new financial landscape of Latin America and the Caribbean at the ministerial level, focusing on the links between macroeconomic policy, poverty reduction, and income distribution, and analyzing the new wave of capital flows into the region.

Another major issue to be analyzed at a senior level will be tools and strategies for improving governance.

IDB President Enrique V. Iglesias will address three different seminars on these issues. The chief of the IDB’s Research Department, Ricardo Hausmann, will address seminars on capital inflows and governance.

Seminar on capital inflows
A seminar from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on March 26, to be attended by finance ministers from several Latin American nations, will address questions such as whether new capital inflows involve a recovery of portfolio flows, returning to the pattern of the 1990s, or will they be dominated by direct foreign investment? Has there been a structural change in investors’ behavior or will the boom-bust cycle of the 1990s continue?

Among the participants in the seminar, which is titled "The New Wave of Capital Inflows: Sea Change or Just Another Tide?," are Eduardo Aninat, deputy managing director, International Monetary Fund; Pedro Pou, president of the Central Bank of Argentina; Guillermo Perry-Rubio, chief economist for Latin America and the Caribbean for the World Bank; José Antonio Ocampo, executive director, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean; Ernest Stern, managing director, J.P. Morgan; Harvard Professor Dani Rodrik of the Kennedy School of Government; Francisco Luzón, counselor and general director, Banco Santander Central Hispano; and Shahid Javed Burki, CEO, EMO-Financial Advisors.

Socially Responsive Macroeconomics
A panel of world-class analysts and policy-makers will explore the links between macroeconomic policy decisions and poverty reduction and income distribution at a seminar from 2:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. March 26 on "Socially Responsive Macroeconomics." The experts will examine the social impact of macroeconomic decisions such as monetary policy responses to shocks and government intervention in capital markets.

The seminar will also serve as a launching pad for a new IDB book on Social Protection for Equity and Growth.

Nora Lustig, chief of the Poverty and Inequality Advisory Unit of the IDB will give an opening address and Paulo Paiva, IDB vice president for planning and administration, will moderate a panel that will include Mexico’s Secretary of Finance José Angel Gurría; Professor François Bourguignon of France, DELTA and World Bank; Thomas I. Palley, assistant director of public policy, AFL-CIO; and Dani Rodrik.

Michel Camdessus, former managing director of the IMF, will give a closing keynote address.

A seminar on "Politics and Governance in Latin America," to be held from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on March 25, will serve as a forum for senior officials and analysts to share assessments and propose strategies dealing with such problems as government ineffectiveness, noncompliance with regulations, and lack of transparency.

Participants will analyze the most appropriate tools and strategies for contributing to good governance, such as changes electoral laws, new divisions and balances between authorities and levels of government, adjustments in the rules governing the operation and financing of parties, and strengthening of agencies in charge of overseeing political parties and government institutions.

Among the panelists will be Oscar Godoy, former director, Institute of Political Science, Catholic University, Santiago, Chile; Bolivar Lamounier, director of research, Institute of Economic, Social and Political studies, São Paulo, Brazil; and Dieter Nohlen, subdirector, Institute of Political Science, Hiedelberg University, Germany.

Former Uruguayan President Julio Maria Sanguinetti will deliver closing remarks at the seminar.

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