Central Bank of Barbados

Economic Growth Development and Stability in Small Very Open Economies

Journal of Latin American Studies, Beijing:, 2016: Small, very open economies (SVOE’s) are defined in this paper as those economies with population and total GDP so small and limited that they must specialize in a handful of exports and services to enable them to become competitive on international markets. These countries have negligible scope for import substitution, and an open financial account. These structural characteristics define the policies that are effective in SVOE’s: growth is always led by expansion of foreign exchange sectors, which fuel the imports needed for consumption and production; an exchange rate anchor is the most effective stabilisation tool, and it may be sustained with the use of fiscal policy; and the maintenance of an adequate level of foreign reserves defines the limit of fiscal sustainability.

De-risking in the Caribbean: The Unintended Consequences of International Financial Reform

2016: This paper analyses the potential causes and consequences on the Caribbean of de-risking strategies adopted by international banks in response to recent changes in bank regulation, reporting requirements and judicial pursuits. These include the initiatives adopted by the Basel Committee, the Financial Action Task Force, the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, the US FATCA, and the increasing judicial scrutiny faced by international banks. The impact to date has been felt in the Caribbean across -the-board, including in jurisdictions with competitive, well regulated and transparent international financial centres, which provide high quality financial services.

Prosperity and the Exchange Rate Regime in Small Open Economies

2016: This paper explores the difference in perception between economists and ordinary folk about the importance of stable exchange rates for small open economies. Small open economies everywhere are preoccupied with exchange rate stability, whereas most economists believe that exchange rates should be managed flexibly to maintain competitiveness or allowed to float freely. To most non-economists it is fairly obvious that countries with more stable exchange rates are more prosperous. Our paper finds empirical evidence in support of that view.