On April 3, 2009, the Latin American and Hispanic Business Association of Columbia Business School partnered with NYU Stern to present a one-day conference exploring many of the social and economic issues facing Latin America, especially in the wake of the global financial crisis. "Latin America in a Turbulent Financial Environment" explored issues as diverse as the current state of the financial markets in the country, the changing nature of political leadership, and the influence of non-profit entities on social and economic development.
One panel within the conference, "Macroeconomic Perspective for Latin America," was moderated by Sara Calvo, Lecturer in the Discipline of International and Public Affairs at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), and explored the relationship between the continent's economic history and the challenges it faces today, as well as what policy implications could be derived from recent trends. Panelists came from high profile positions within Latin American governments and also well known financial analytical institutions to give their perspectives on what Latin America could leverage to move forward economically post-crisis.
Roberto Jungito, former Treasury Minister of Colombia, pointed out that Latin America has often been vulnerable to disruptions in global economic development because it is intertwined financially in world markets through its exports. Because of this vulnerability, it was unclear what Latin America's role in the G-20 ought to be. Should Argentina and Brazil, the two countries representing Latin America at the table during the latest round of talks, held in London on April 2nd, 2009, press for an agenda for the benefit of themselves and the rest of the region, considering that they had not been the initiators of the crisis? Or should they be willing to limit their own influence and agenda in order to perhaps better coordinate with global efforts? Jungito posited that in these volatile times, Latin America as a region might need to make concessions that might slow down their own developments in order to advance global interests.