The Russian Default and the Contagion to Brazil

  • Taimur Baig
  • Ilan Goldfajn


In the aftermath of the Russian crisis in August 1998, a series of events led to the Brazilian crisis that culminated in the floating of the real in January 1999. The timing of the events led academics and policy makers to suspect that there was contagion from the Russian crisis to Brazil. If true, the transmission of pressure from Russia to Brazil would be a special case among the financial crises episodes seen in the 1990s. In contrast to the Mexican (1994) and Thai (1997) crises, the Russian contagion to Brazil appears to have crossed regional borders, thus leading to a number of interesting questions. Given the lack of substantial trade and direct financial linkages, why did the Russian devaluation prompt capital flight from Brazil? Why did some countries with similar fundamentals and stronger economic links not have a crisis (as for example Hungary)? In this paper, we attempt to verify the contagion presumption, and to analyze related issues that can aid our understanding of financial crises and contagion.


Exchange Rate Central Bank Real Exchange Rate Capital Flow Stock Index 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Taimur Baig
    • 1
  • Ilan Goldfajn
    • 2
  1. 1.International Monetary FundUSA
  2. 2.Pontificia Universidade CatolicaBrazil

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