De la Torre, Augusto

Chief Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean Region, The World Bank
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Macroeconomics, Financial development
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Chief Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean Region, The World Bank
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Last updated January 31, 2023
Augusto de la Torre, a national of Ecuador, is the Chief Economist for Latin American and the Caribbean. Since joining the World Bank in 1997, he has held the positions of Senior Advisor in the Financial Systems Department and Senior Financial Sector Advisor, both in the Latin America and the Caribbean region. From 1993 to 1997, Mr. de la Torre was the head of the Central Bank of Ecuador, and in November 1996 was chosen by Euromoney Magazine as the year’s "Best Latin Central Banker." From 1986 to 1992 he worked at the International Monetary Fund, where, among other positions, he was the IMF’s Resident Representative in Venezuela (1991-1992).  Mr. de la Torre has published extensively on a broad range of macroeconomic and financial development topics. He is a member of the Carnegie Network of Economic Reformers. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Economics at the University of Notre Dame and holds a Bachelors degree in Philosophy from the Catholic University of Ecuador.
Citations 23 Scopus

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    Resolving Bank Failures in Argentina: Recent Developments and Issues
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2000-03) de la Torre, Augusto
    Policies and procedures to resolve bank failures have evolved significantly in Argentina since the introduction of currency convertibility in 1991, and particularly in reaction to the 1995 tequila crisis, which exposed the inadequacy of the bank exit framework in place then. The author reviews the institutional changes introduced in Argentina in 1995 to handle bank failures more effectively, particularly the creation of the deposit guarantee scheme and the procedural framework for resolving bank failures, embedded in Article 35 of the Financial Institutions Law. This framework enables the Central Bank to carve out the assets and privileged liabilities of the failing bank and transfer them to sound banks, thereby sending only a residual balance sheet to judicial liquidation. Subsequent refinements in the application of Article 35 procedures eventually led to current Argentine practice. The author examines this practice in detail by considering the handling of the recent failure of Banco Almafuerte. The author assesses a number of issues that arise from the Argentine model of bank failure resolution, taking into account both country-specific circumstances and more general concepts and concerns. He emphasizes the potential tradeoffs between reducing contagion risk, limiting moral hazard, and avoiding unnecessary destruction of asset value; the implications of priority-of-claims rules and least-cost criteria; the pros and cons of alternative organizational and institutional arrangements; and the need for legal security. Finally, he outlines two prototypical approaches to striking a balance between rules and discretion, an issue underlying much of the ongoing policy discussion on alternative bank exit frameworks.