If international investors had had access to better information, the financial bubbles that have caused so much grief recently might have been avoided, according to Jack Guynn, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

Mr. Guynn was one of many speakers at the “Transparency for Growth” meeting last week held at the Carter Center, which focused on anti-corruption efforts in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The meeting drew heads of state and senior officials from Latin American countries as well as representatives of international organizations and academic experts.

The Atlanta Fed is responsible for the U.S. operations of Latin American banks.

Although Mr. Guynn did not speak directly about their operations, he made it clear that poor financial reporting by financial institutions eventually will lead to economic problems suffered by society as a whole.

He explained that the Thai baht fell by more than 30% in 1997 due to revelations in that year that the Central Bank of Thailand held fewer reserves than it had been reporting.  The result, he said, was that investors then assumed the worst about the region as a whole.

“Stock markets fell in a similar fashion as investors suddenly reassessed the quality of information they had access to and decided that they could not distinguish between solvent and insolvent institutions and governments,” he added.

He also said that greater transparency improves pricing and asset valuation, helps prevent policy mistakes and corruption from occurring in the first place and helps deter an overreaction when problems do occur.

The speech may be found in its entirety on the Fed’s Web site at http://www.frbatlanta.org     

International officials and executives based in Atlanta will visit six Georgia communities this week for the Georgia Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism’s 13th Annual International VIP Tour.

The invitation list includes consuls general, consuls and deputy consuls general of the Atlanta Consular Corps, foreign trade commissioners and international banking executives.

This year’s tour from May 11-13 will feature primarily south central Georgia and showcase Perry, Albany, Tifton, Warner Robins, Macon and Griffin.

Highlights of the tour  include the Georgia Agricenter in Perry and the Agrirama in Tifton.