segunda-feira, 29 de junho de 2009
Why is Brazil "Underdeveloped"?
John H. Coatsworth
The numbers tell the story (see the table). Brazil is underdeveloped because its economy failed to grow or grew too slowly for most of its history. In the colonial era, sugar, gold and slavery did not create a dynamic economy. In the mid-eighteenth century, Brazil’s economic backwardness worried its Portuguese rulers, but not even the great Pombal, as historian Kenneth Maxwell has shown, could not make good policy substitute for good business. At the time of independence (1822) Brazil had one of the least productive economies in the western hemisphere, with a per capita GDP lower than any other New World colony for which we have estimates.
After independence, while the industrial revolution gather steam elsewhere, imperial Brazil stagnated, growing at a mere 0.2 to 0.3 percent from 1820 to 1870. By the time slavery ended and the empire fell (1888-89), Brazil had a per capita GDP less than half of Mexico’s and only one sixth of the United States. Even when the end of slavery (1888) stimulated massive immigration, the economy failed to grow consistently.
Then came the turn around. From 1913 to 1980, Brazil experienced sustained growth, interrupted only briefly in the early years of the Great Depression, at nearly two percent per year from 1913 to 1950 and nearly four percent from 1950 to 1980. In this period of nearly seven decades, Brazil had the fastest growing economy in the western hemisphere. Per capita GDP increased over eight hundred percent, from $678 in 1900 to $5570 in 2000, measured in 1990 dollars. Brazil’s economy gained on the U.S. economy, rising from only ten percent of US GDP per capita to over 20 percent.
Brazil’s long era of economic growth ended with the crisis of 1982. For the past quarter century, the Brazilian economy has barely grown at all. It has occasionally spurted ahead, as in the past three years, but has fallen back each time it does so. Unfortunately, Brazil cannot turn the clock back and restore the conditions and policies that spurred growth up to 1980.
Why has Brazil grown so slowly for most of its history? Economic historians point to three kinds of answers: geography, institutions and policies.
LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) -- The central bank governors of China and Brazil have agreed in principle to allow trade between the two countries to be settled in their respective currencies, reports said Sunday.
People's Bank of China Gov. Zhou Xiaochuan and Banco Central do Brazil President Henrique Meirelles met on the sidelines of the Bank for International Settlement's annual general meeting in Basel and said they would study how to implement the plan, the reports said.
The move would bypass the U.S. dollar, to settle trade invoices in Chinese yuan and Brazilian reals.
sexta-feira, 26 de junho de 2009
terça-feira, 23 de junho de 2009
"... We stand at a momentous point in macroeconomic policy thinking. A couple of years ago, it was possible to argue that monetary arrangements were good enough to avoid, or at least temper, nasty economic developments. We understood enough, apparently, to avoid the mistakes of the 1970s. We were living through the Great Moderation, the Great Stability or, as Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England, once put it, the NICE (non-inflationary continuous expansion) decade.
Two years later, after the onset of the biggest financial meltdown in living memory and the deepest, most synchronised, global downswing since the 1930s, it is no longer obvious that the Great Moderation amounted to much. Policymakers may have avoided a repeat of the 1970s, with its noxious mixture of high inflation and stagnant growth, but it is now difficult to talk with a straight face of Moderation, Stability or NICE-ness.
The Great Moderation was a story about the reduced volatility of output and inflation and "no more boom and bust", which Gordon Brown probably wishes he had never uttered. There is no doubt that, for a while, economic developments were favourable. From the mid-1980s in the US and the mid-1990s in the UK, it appeared that economic life had become more stable. The question all along was whether this stemmed from structural changes in economic behaviour, from the impact of new, and improved, policy frameworks, or just good luck..." --
Leia mais nesta crítica fundamental da política macroeconômica da actualidade: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/comment/stephen-king/stephen-king-good-luck-not-good-providence-was-at-the-core-of-happier-times-1712416.html
domingo, 21 de junho de 2009
quarta-feira, 17 de junho de 2009
terça-feira, 16 de junho de 2009
segunda-feira, 15 de junho de 2009
Leaders of Russia, China, India and Brazil do not intend to discuss new global reserve currencies at their first summit in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg on Tuesday, a top Kremlin aide said on Sunday.
"We will hardly be discussing the new reserve currencies," Sergei Prikhodko told reporters. "As far as practical issues are concerned, we will speak more about the possible ways to reform international financial institutions."
Brazil, Russia, India and China are trying to strengthen their clout as the producers of 15 percent of global output by building up their BRIC grouping into a powerful world player.
Russia, holder of the world's third largest foreign exchange reserves, has called for the world to become less dependent on the dollar and suggested that the yuan and the rouble could become reserve currencies in the future.
Concerns that dollar's role as the dominant reserve currency has contributed to global financial instability has been discussed by BRIC's top security officials, who met in Moscow last month to prepare the summit.
Brazilian Strategic Affairs Minister Roberto Mangabeira Unger told Reuters last month the summit was due to discuss the role of the U.S. dollar, strengthening the G20 group, reshaping the world trade regime and reform of the United Nations.
"We don't want a European-style central bank made global. We don't want a global Brussels," he said, adding that the International Monetary Fund's Special Drawing Rights were an option as long as the issuer's powers were limited.
Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said on Saturday the dollar's role as the world's main reserve currency was unlikely to change in the near future
"It is hard to say that in the next few years this system will change significantly," Kudrin told reporters after a meeting of finance minister of the G8 (Group of Eight) leading economies in Italy.
sábado, 13 de junho de 2009
Household net worth fell to $50.4 trillion, according to the flow of funds report by the Federal Reserve. Americans' stock holdings plunged 5.8% to $5.2 trillion and mutual funds holdings slid 4.1% to $3.3 trillion, while their home value dropped 2.4% to $17.9 trillion.
The nation's households have now seen their net worth shrink for seven straight quarters. Family net worth had hit an all-time high of $64.4 trillion in the second quarter of 2007, thanks to the housing bubble and a strong stock market..."
sexta-feira, 12 de junho de 2009
quarta-feira, 10 de junho de 2009
terça-feira, 9 de junho de 2009
segunda-feira, 8 de junho de 2009
quinta-feira, 4 de junho de 2009
China has taken yet another step to transform the yuan into the dominant global currency, a long-term initiative that could ultimately dethrone the dollar as the world’s top unit of exchange.
In the last four months alone, China has signed currency swap agreements worth more than $95 billion (650 billion yuan) with an array of nations - including: Argentina, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Belarus and Hong Kong - that are only too glad to move away from the increasingly shaky U.S. dollar.
For Westerners who are struggling to come to terms with the notion of a disarrayed dollar, the thought of oil, gold or other commodities being priced in yuan instead of dollars has to seem about as likely as having another country put a man on the moon.
But the Chinese yuan is already well on its way to becoming that globally accepted standard unit of exchange and the proverbial genie, as they say, is out of the bottle. In fact, I’d even go so far as to say the dollar’s days of dominance are numbered and with each new round of bailout chicanery, the clock is winding down ever faster..." --
quarta-feira, 3 de junho de 2009
terça-feira, 2 de junho de 2009
O que está por trás da crise do mercado financeiro?
"... Uma profunda reestruturação do capital global se tornou inevitável. Tal processo é bem diferente de uma recessão no sentido tradicional. Contrariamente a uma recessão profunda, porém de vida curta, quando, após seu término, os negócios usuais e a rotina continuam normalmente, a reestruturação de uma economia cuja estrutura do capital está completamente distorcida irá levar um bom tempo. O reequilíbrio da estrutura do capital de uma economia requer um trabalho de empreendedorismo duradouro, gradativo e específico. E isso só pode ser realizado sob a orientação daquele processo de descoberta típico de um ambiente concorrencial, processo esse que é inerente ao funcionamento do sistema de preços em um mercado desobstruído.
Políticas monetárias e fiscais anti-cíclicas não são de qualquer ajuda quando se considera a labuta diária dos negócios e seu trabalho em direção ao restabelecimento de uma estrutura equilibrada do capital. O chamado multiplicador da renda não vai funcionar, bem como taxas de juros menores não irão estimular o gasto. Ao contrário: essas medidas políticas somente irão tornar a tarefa do empreendedor ainda mais difícil.
As dificuldades à frente surgem do fato de que os negócios comuns não podem seguir adiante sob um ambiente de contração de crédito, que tem suas raízes nas distorções da estrutura do capital da economia. Assim, mesmo que toda a baderna do mercado financeiro seja resolvida, não haverá uma simples ressurreição do velho jeito de se fazer negócios. A crença de que após o término da crise financeira a economia real irá ressurgir incólume é provavelmente o maior erro que muitos investidores compartilham com as autoridades políticas..."