Why is 'The Market' so Unforgiving? Reflections on the Tequilazo
Calvo, Guillermo A.
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Mexico’s financial debacle and its impact on other emerging markets (the Tequila effect) has raised many fundamental questions. Mexico achieved fiscal balance in 1993, undertook several fundamental market-oriented reforms, signed a free trade agreement with a very large market (the NAFTA), became a member of the OECD, and was hailed by international institutions as a paramount example of successful reform. Yet, the December 20, 1994, devaluation brought the economy down like a house of cards. Output fell by more than 7 percent in 1995, the current account deficit sharply swung from about 8 percent of GDP in 1994 to zero, and investors turned their noses away from high-yield Mexican public debt even though the international community had plunked about $50 billion in a rescue package. In addition, Mexican problems quickly spread around the world’s emerging markets, including those exhibiting long and enviable track records.