As we walk among the ruins of the U.S. economy, there is some economic bright news out of Latin America that has not been widely reported. In a simple sentence: Most of Latin America is growing faster than the U.S. and continues to improve its credit ratings.
"Solid financial systems meant no need for massive bailouts." And Venezuela's Hugo Chavez notwithstanding, diminishing political turmoil in the region also is playing a role.
Who knew? Who would have ever thought to use "blessed" and "Latin America" in the same sentence?
Latin America very often has been associated with plundered economies and debt pileups caused by Evita-style social spending. It has often been compared with Macondo, the fictional town of magical mysticism created by Gabriel García Márquez where few things go right. But now Macondo is associated with a deep water well in the Gulf Coast that has spread its pollution far and wide, a symbol of the stinky and impenetrable U.S. economy.
So this is great news coming out of a region on which the International Monetary Fund has clamped down numerous times, causing major economic upheaval. Does anyone remember Argentina earlier this decade? It defaulted on its debt, causing major upheaval. This year, Argentina's economy is expected to grow 7 percent.
Would that we had that kind of growth here, where the economy is expected to grow under 3 percent and unemployment remains persistently high.
Five countries already have had their credit upgraded by Moody's Investor Service: the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Panama and Chile. Countries such as Uruguay, Bolivia and Paraguay—never at the top of any one's economic model—may have their credit upgraded as well.
Mexico, Colombia and Brazil aren't under financial strain because they have limited need for outside funding, according to the Journal. What this means is, they are able to finance themselves instead of seeking outside assistance. And when they do borrow on the international market, they can do so at lower costs.
All of this is not to say that Latin America doesn't have its problems. It certainly does, starting with drug wars, kidnappings and other mayhem—which is what we mostly hear and read about.
This bit of good news uncovers more of the truth.