RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil _ While U.S. officials have been proceeding with a global fight against terrorism, their Latin American counterparts have focused on a different task: Weighing the impact of the Sept. 11 attacks on their already fragile economies.
Both Brazil and Argentina had been in the financial doldrums even before the attacks, though for different reasons.
Brazil is in the midst of an energy crisis and a sharp erosion of investor and business confidence.
Even worse off is Argentina, which continues stumbling ever closer toward defaulting on the country's $132 billion public debt, a specter that is haunting emerging markets across the globe.
Even in Mexico, once the hot investment bet, the slump in the U.S. economy and consumer demand has led to rising unemployment among …