Wall Street and Elections in Latin American Emerging Democracies
57 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009 Last revised: 18 Aug 2009
Date Written: 2009
This paper focuses on the interactions between the political cycle and capital markets in emerging economies, examining the way in which Wall Street strategists react to major Latin American political events, specifically presidential elections. For this purpose we construct a database of all sovereign bond recommendations of the major investment banks active in emerging bond markets from 1997 to 2008. Assessing the impact of presidential elections on investment banks' recommendations, we conclude firstly, that the political cycle is a major determinant variable in explaining the downgrading of sovereign bonds in the three months prior to presidential elections. Secondly, the credibility of future macro (fiscal and monetary) policies announced by presidential candidates during campaigns stands out as an important determinant of investment banks' recommendations. In particular, if candidates are not committed to defend sustainable macroeconomic policies, investment banks' downgrade sovereign debt prior to elections.
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