When the financial crisis originally struck in the United States in 2007, the initial effect in Latin America was muted. That changed last year as the dramatic drop in purchases pounded commodity prices — the backbone of most Latin economies. Moreover, as investors began seeking safe havens the availability of funding shrank as well.
As a result, since late last year, countries across South America have launched a variety of stimulus measures. Most are multi-billion-dollar initiatives that include a public-works program to increase employment and subsidized loans for consumers to increase spending.