There was ‘trouble up north’ for the economies of Latin America and the Caribbean during the first 16 days of October. This was the period in which a deadlock between Democrats and Republicans in the US Congress forced a partial federal spending shutdown, and threatened, by not raising the government debt ceiling, to pitch the world’s largest economy into default. In the event, the worst was averted and a political deal was patched together, allowing normal business to be restored by 17 October. But the region’s economies have all been affected by the shutdown, and by the subsequent uncertainty. In addition, the threat of a new US crisis in January cannot be fully ruled out.