LATIN AMERICA: The world's forgotten crisis

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Elections have a nasty habit of destabilizing Latin America's fragile financial markets. The latest election-inspired jolt came in July when Eduardo Duhalde, Peronist party candidate for Argentina's presidency, suggested that the country might not need to pay back all its debts. The impact was felt throughout Latin America. Spreads on bonds widened, stock markets fell and currencies weakened. While some Latin issuers have taken advantage of brief windows of opportunity to sell bonds and equities this year, many are struggling to raise finance, while much of the region heads into economic downturn. Michael Peterson reports