O que é este blog?

Este blog trata basicamente de ideias, se possível inteligentes, para pessoas inteligentes. Ele também se ocupa de ideias aplicadas à política, em especial à política econômica. Ele constitui uma tentativa de manter um pensamento crítico e independente sobre livros, sobre questões culturais em geral, focando numa discussão bem informada sobre temas de relações internacionais e de política externa do Brasil. Para meus livros e ensaios ver o website: www.pralmeida.org. Para a maior parte de meus textos, ver minha página na plataforma Academia.edu, link: https://itamaraty.academia.edu/PauloRobertodeAlmeida

Mostrando postagens com marcador recessão. Mostrar todas as postagens
Mostrando postagens com marcador recessão. Mostrar todas as postagens

terça-feira, 21 de maio de 2019

Os ciclos economicos nos EUA: uma recessao a cada sete meses - Heather Boushey (Brookings)

Recession ready: Fiscal policies to stabilize the American economy



Introduction

A constant in the history of economics is that countries encounter recessions. Since World War II, the U.S. economy has been in a recession for about one of every seven months and for at least one month in roughly one-third of the years over that period. Recessions have many causes—financial markets crashing, monetary policy tightening, consumers cutting spending, firms lowering investment, oil prices shifting—but at some point, economic expansions end and the economy begins to contract.
Recession Ready book coverThis volume lays out a set of changes to fiscal programs to improve the policy response to a recession in the United States. It starts from three main premises, which are described in more detail in the following chapter:
  1. First, recessions are costly. Individuals lose jobs and income. The economy wastes resources and can sometimes even face a permanently lower output path.
  2. Second, fiscal policy is an effective aspect of the government’s part of a response to a recession. Expansionary fiscal policy can increase output; it can increase the utilization of resources; and in particular, when monetary policy has reduced interest rates to zero, it can meaningfully shift the economy’s trajectory upwards.
  3. Third, increasing the automatic nature of fiscal policy would be helpful. Increasing spending quickly could lead to a shallower and shorter recession.
Using evidence-based automatic “triggers” to alter the course of spending would be a more-effective way to deliver stimulus to the economy than waiting for policymakers to act. Such well-crafted automatic stabilizers are the best way to deliver fiscal stimulus in a timely, targeted, and temporary way. There will likely still be a need for discretionary policy; but by automating certain parts of the response, the United States can improve its macroeconomic outcomes.
The first chapter lays out the case for automatic stabilizers in detail. An important point is that we have sufficient data to discern when a recession is starting in real time, which is a solid foundation for implementing automatic stabilizers. Some stabilizers respond as underlying fundamentals shift—for example, regular unemployment insurance spending rises as more workers lose their jobs, so policymakers do not need to switch on this policy. But one can also tell when a recession is unfolding and more-robust measures are necessary—such as extended unemployment benefits. The policy rule articulated by Claudia Sahm in this volume would generally go into effect within a few months of the start of a recession. A rule like this is both quite timely and far more effective at signaling recessions than other metrics. In a subsequent chapter, Matt Fiedler, Jason Furman, and Wilson Powell III suggest triggers that could be used at the state level as well.
Although automatic stabilizers do exist, they are relatively small in the United States compared with those in other countries. At the same time, there have been frequent discretionary policy changes made in the face of economic downturns to push more money into the economy via tax cuts, direct payments, or increased spending. In the second chapter of this volume, Louise Sheiner and Michael Ng highlight the extent of the U.S. budget’s cyclicality over time. Whereas federal taxes provide a substantial amount of automatic stabilization—and discretionary federal policy is also strongly countercyclical—state and local fiscal policy is slightly procyclical.
The remaining six chapters of the book make concrete proposals for adjusting U.S. fiscal policy to expand the implementation of automatic stabilizers and make them more effective. The first two proposals entail creating new policies that are based on evidence from discretionary policies used in prior recessions. Both aim to avoid damaging contractionary responses to recessions, first on the part of households, and second on the part of state governments.
In the third chapter, Claudia Sahm suggests making an automatic direct payment to qualified households during economic downturns. Such payments have been used before in a variety of ways, through either temporary tax cuts or direct payments, but not in an automated fashion. Sahm demonstrates the effectiveness of such programs and shows how an automated set of payments could have been made earlier and more predictably than discretionary payments in the past. Given the large share of consumption in the U.S. economy and the propensity for consumption to fall during a recession, such a policy could be an important way to combat any sizable fall in demand in the economy.
In the fourth chapter, Matt Fiedler, Jason Furman, and Wilson Powell III suggest a way to provide funds to states to avoid sharp, procyclical cutbacks at the state and local levels. During a recession, the federal government is in principle able to counteract declines in economic activity by increasing spending, even while revenues decline—making up the difference with additional borrowing. However, a large portion of U.S. public spending occurs at the state and local levels, where borrowing is much more difficult and declines in tax revenues generally lead to declines in spending. Fiedler, Furman, and Powell address this concern in the context of Federal Medical Assistance Percentage formula funds, which were adjusted during the Great Recession and could be automatically adjusted to provide state-level fiscal support during future recessions.
There are also several current programs that could be adjusted to improve their effectiveness as automatic stabilizers. In the fifth chapter, Andrew Haughwout proposes setting up and maintaining a list of potential transportation infrastructure projects whose funding could be ramped up during downturns. Though Congress has often used transportation infrastructure as a method to generate spending during a downturn, this process could instead be automated by changing the spending rules for the BUILD program (formerly the TIGER grant program) so that the federal government would fund more projects during downturns and fewer during a boom. Because BUILD is constantly awarding funds, states would have projects ready to be funded and would be familiar with the funding stream, allowing for timely spending.
The programs that make up the social safety net constitute an important set of automatic stabilizers in the current U.S. policy mix. Because these programs provide resources to people with little or no income, the need for the benefits they provide rises along with the unemployment rate. As currently implemented, unemployment benefit spending and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) spending automatically rise as more people are unemployed or as their incomes fall. These programs, along with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)—which is currently capped in nominal dollars by federal law—could be restructured in ways that would help them accomplish their core goals and serve as better stabilizers for the economy.
The unemployment insurance (UI) system is a core part of the U.S. response to both individual employment loss and overall labor market disruptions. By insuring workers against job loss, UI partially protects them from important risks while also mitigating the decline in consumption that occurs during a recession. In the sixth chapter, Gabriel Chodorow-Reich and John Coglianese propose changes to improve the take-up of UI, increase its benefits during recessions, and make its extended benefit formulas more responsive to changes in the labor market. These changes would enhance the already sizable role that UI plays in stabilization policy.
After federal welfare reform of 1996, the federal program that provides cash to families in need was block-granted, and funds were capped at their 1997 level. The newly created TANF program included a small emergency fund, which has been insufficient to allow TANF to function as needed for families or provide any cushion to the economy in a downturn. In the seventh chapter, Indivar Dutta-Gupta suggests shifting the structure of TANF so that it can expand in downturns as need rises and thus play a countercyclical role both for households and the economy. He also reviews the experience of TANF job subsidies enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and proposes expanding this approach, explaining how employment subsidies can play an important role as part of an overall policy response to economic downturns.
SNAP is the nation’s most-important food support program—and it is also an automatic stabilizer that supports the economy during downturns. In the eighth chapter, Hilary Hoynes and Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach propose reforms to SNAP that would make it a more-effective automatic stabilizer and increase its ability to protect families during downturns. In particular, they focus on ensuring that families in need of food support are not tied to work requirements that may be impossible to meet in an economic downturn; they also suggest increasing SNAP benefits during a recession.
Overall, this set of proposals builds on the best available evidence and analysis. They use programs that have been effective parts of U.S. fiscal policy and have either been an important part of discretionary or automatic spending in prior downturns. The proposals suggest a clear path toward improved automatic stabilizers for the U.S. economy. These programs already exist or have been pursued in the past, suggesting they are feasible and realistic. Though these policies could be implemented separately, there is an advantage in thinking of them as a package. As described in the first chapter, these policies would affect the economy at different points in time, would assist different types of households, and would address differences in economic conditions across places.
Direct payments are fast and can be executed on a large scale, but are not targeted to struggling regions or households. Likewise, though payments to states can stabilize their budgets, they do not necessarily help individuals who have lost their job or lift consumption. Transportation spending is sometimes done over a slightly longer time frame, but this allows continued spending as the economy recovers. Finally, the safety net policies are likely the best targeted, both to individuals and regions, given that their spending rises wherever economic distress is highest. Unemployment insurance is more likely to help middle-income families, while TANF and SNAP are targeted to low-income families. By setting up an array of stabilizers, policymakers can ensure that a wide range of families are supported and that demand in the economy is boosted across a variety of sectors.
Recessions exact a major toll on individuals, families, firms, and budgets throughout the United States. A key aspect of proper macroeconomic policymaking is to minimize losses by responding quickly and effectively to downturns. As discussed in the next chapter, lower interest rates have left the Federal Reserve with less room to cut rates in response to a downturn. This makes it all the more important that policymakers set in place the proper fiscal structures to make sure that fiscal policy plays an active and efficient role in combating recessions.
Economic forecasters rarely correctly call the timing of a recession. Perhaps the one thing they can all agree on, however, is that another economic downturn will come. A crucial part of preparing for the next recession is making sure fiscal policy institutions are ready to provide support when needed to minimize the damage the next recession could do.

quarta-feira, 15 de maio de 2019

Argentina-FMI sempre discutindo a relacao, e um descontentamento renovado

International Monetary Fund – 15.5.2019
IMF’s reputation on the line in Argentina
Some fear fund’s largest bailout is fraying and might not survive an electoral jolt
Colby Smith and Benedict Mander

New York and Buenos Aires - When the IMF completed its third review of Argentina’s economy in early April, managing director Christine Lagarde boasted that the government policies linked to the country’s record $56bn bailout from the fund were “bearing fruit”. 
Less than a month later, amid darkening political prospects for incumbent president Mauricio Macri, the country’s currency crisis reignited and bond yields spiked, threatening not only the IMF’s Argentina programme but its reputation and that of its leader. 
Argentine assets have stabilised somewhat in recent weeks, with the country’s central bank now allowed to use IMF resources to intervene in the peso. But many analysts and investors are concerned that the programme is fraying and could collapse if the populist opposition, led by former leftist president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, wins the presidential election in October. A victory would be devastating for the IMF given its strong backing of Mr Macri.
“This is the biggest single programme that they’ve ever put up, and their reputation is on the line,” said Bill Rhodes, a former top Citi executive with wide experience handling past Latin American debt crises.
Even former senior fund officials are concerned by the organisation’s exposure to Argentina, and the potential fallout should its biggest ever programme implode.
“Lagarde has really gone out on a limb for this programme and has been supporting it wholeheartedly,” said Claudio Loser, former head of the IMF’s western hemisphere department during Argentina’s historic debt default in 2001. A failed programme would lead to a “loss of credibility” for the fund, he adds.
Plans have already veered off course significantly, with Mr Macri forced to return to the IMF to revamp the deal scarcely three months after the original agreement was unveiled in May last year. In September, the IMF announced it would lend an additional $7.1bn to Argentina and allow the country to receive more cash upfront in exchange for a harsher austerity programme.
The deal required Argentina to run a balanced budget by 2019 and to shrink its external deficit. On both counts, the country has seen success.
By the end of last year, the primary fiscal deficit sat at 2.6 per cent of GDP — lower than the IMF’s target and a far cry from the 3.8 per cent level posted in 2017. Argentina has also made strides on the trade balance, which has swung from a large deficit to a surplus of $1.18bn as of March, amid a deepening recession.
 “There have been significant changes in the Argentine economy — from reliable official data to important fiscal and external sector improvements — and we want to help Argentina continue this process of transformation,” said one IMF official involved in the programme. “It is challenging and we feel a sense of responsibility in trying to help the country in this effort.”
Yet on other metrics, Argentina has struggled. Inflation remains elevated at nearly 55 per cent, despite the central bank tightening the monetary screws. Poverty levels have also skyrocketed to more than 30 per cent of the population, dredging up haunting memories of past crises and IMF programmes. 
For many locals, the IMF has become a comic-book villain given its long and chequered history with the country. Since it first sought the fund’s help in 1958, Argentina has signed 22 agreements with it, most of which ended with bitterness on both sides. 
Few forget the disastrous finale of the IMF’s last Argentina programme, when, just two months before the country defaulted in 2001, it borrowed another $8bn from the fund — most of which was used to buy pesos from institutional investors wanting to get out of Argentina. 
“Obviously, the IMF does not want to make the same mistake again,” said one former IMF staffer. “But it is a very different organisation from when it last got burnt in Argentina.”
For one, the IMF has placed an inordinate emphasis on “protecting society’s most vulnerable” when discussing its austerity package. In fact, the IMF’s current programme is the first to allow the country to exceed its fiscal deficit target if the additional spending is to be used for social assistance. 
In light of recent market ructions, the IMF has also shown flexibility in the government’s economic policies, with both the IMF and Donald Trump, US president, expressing their support as recently as last week of the course of action taken by Mr Macri.
In mid-April, Argentina relaunched a controversial programme of price controls in the hope of providing some reprieve for locals. Weeks later, the central bank announced it had full discretion to intervene in the currency market whenever it saw fit, a sharp diver.
gence from the free-floating currency principle once espoused by the fund. “We are working with the authorities to overcome the current difficulties and this implies a degree of flexibility to adapt when circumstances change to maintain the core objectives of the programme,” said the IMF official.
Mr Macri’s approval ratings have tanked with the economy. But according to Mark Sobel, a former senior US Treasury official and executive director at the IMF, staying the course with the fund’s programme is his best bet to beat Ms Fernández should she choose to run.
“If this programme is carried out, Argentina will turn around,” he said. “But if Kirchner wins and we see a return to the woefully errant policies of her and her husband, many will blame the fund and its reputation will suffer.”

(Grato a Pedro Luiz Rodrigues pela informação)

terça-feira, 2 de abril de 2019

100 anos de história do Brasil – e o futuro de Bolsonaro - em 1 gráfico (InfoMoney)

100 anos de história do Brasil – e o futuro de Bolsonaro - em 1 gráfico

"É a economia, estúpido!", diz um famoso bordão da política americana, segundo o qual o bem-estar material da população é mais importante do que o falatório que rodeia a política. Com um gráfico, é possível mostrar como a política também tem regido a política na história do Brasil. O clichê dos americanos é muito útil para prever o que acontece por aqui. E o futuro de Bolsonaro não deve fugir à regra.

Importante: os comentários e opiniões contidos neste texto são responsabilidade do autor e não necessariamente refletem a opinião do InfoMoney ou de seus controladores.
Jair Bolsonaro
Eu já escrevi textos sobre gráficos aqui no blog, mas nunca sobre um gráfico só. Mas acho que esse vale a pena. Com uma imagem, é possível entender uma das principais engrenagens da história brasileira – e, ao mesmo tempo, compreender o que mais importa para o futuro de Bolsonaro. Numa imagem, há mais informação do que em muitas páginas de livros. 
Se você é craque em ler gráficos, basta prestar atenção e boa parte do texto será dispensável. Caso o leitor tenha dificuldade com o assunto, fique tranquilo: a comunicação escrita resiste bravamente e, nas linhas abaixo, explico o gráfico e a relevância dele em maiores detalhes.

O gráfico

O PIB per capita, a renda média produzida num país num dado ano, é uma das melhores métricas que temos para o bem-estar material de uma nação. Portanto, o crescimento do PIB per capita é uma espécie de velocímetro do bem-estar nacional médio, um medidor dos avanços (ou retrocessos) num ano.
Pena que não dá pra entender muita coisa a partir de um gráfico da taxa anual de crescimento. Em 2009, o PIB per capita brasileiro caiu 1,34%; em 2010, cresceu 6,2%. Variações bruscas ano-a-ano tornariam o gráfico da taxa anual simples muito poluído, com uma linha subindo e descendo e atrapalhando a visualização dos padrões que importam.
Por isso, usei a taxa média de crescimento do PIB em 5 anos. Para o ano de 2018, por exemplo, o eixo y mostra a taxa anualizada de crescimento entre 2013 e 2018 – matematicamente, é a raiz quinta do crescimento total em 5 anos. Assim, é possível suavizar o gráfico e a análise fica mais precisa.
O gráfico vai de 1923 a 2023, abarcando 100 anos de história do Brasil - 95 anos do passado e 5 de projeções para os próximos anos. As projeções se baseiam num estudo do Ministério da Economia, que explico melhor na última parte do texto.
Resumindo: a variável-chave do gráfico é o avanço ou retrocesso da renda média do brasileiro nos anos anteriores. E, como ficará claro na próxima parte do texto, essas idas e vindas são muito valiosas para entender a história política do Brasil.
Sem mais enrolação, eis:
whatsapp_image_2019-03-29_at_18.15.03

 

É a economia, estúpido: todos os “vales” de crescimento dos últimos 100 anos levaram a grandes mudanças jogo do poder

As economias costumam funcionar em ciclos de crescimento, como o do Brasil nos anos 2000, seguidos por pioras, como a crise recente. A taxa média de crescimento cai até atingir um piso, depois sobe até um pico, cai de novo e assim sucessivamente, de modo que o gráfico final parece ser formado por várias letras “v”, lado-a-lado, cada qual com uma forma.
Todos os “vales” de crescimento – ou seja, na parte de baixo de cada letra “v”, os maus momentos na economia – estão associados a grandes acontecimentos históricos que mudaram, ainda que parcialmente, os donos do poder.
É a visualização de um famoso bordão da política, muito bem resumido pela famosa frase de James Carville, estrategista da campanha vitoriosa de Bill Clinton à presidência dos EUA em 1992: “É a economia, estúpido!”. O grande determinante da força política seria o dinheiro, as variações na renda do cidadão médio.
É possível contar boa parte da história do Brasil com o gráfico.
Nos primeiros 10 anos entre 1923 e 1933, a taxa média de crescimento do PIB brasileiro cai de quase 6% para menos de 0,5%. Não por acaso, a elite política naqueles tempos sofreu duros golpes. Os anos 20 começaram com revoltas contra a República Velha, como o tenentismo e a coluna Prestes. Após a crise de 1929, veio a Revolução de 1930 liderada por Getulio Vargas, que depôs os antigos donos do poder.
Os primeiros anos de Vargas foram de crise econômica e revoltas como a de São Paulo em 1932. Mas a economia voltou a crescer, aproximando-se novamente dos 6% ao ano entre 1932 e 1937. O ano de 1937 não representa apenas o auge econômico do primeiro Getúlio: naquele ano, ele aproveitou a popularidade conquistada com os anos de crescimento para implantar a ditadura do Estado Novo.
Mas a economia voltou a desacelerar na nova ditadura, chegando a um novo piso em 1942, o mais baixo do gráfico até o momento, chegando pela primeira vez a valores negativos. Foi também o início do fim para Vargas, que se enfraqueceu e saiu do poder assim que a Segunda Guerra Mundial permitiu.
O suicídio de Getúlio em 1954, assim como o golpe preventivo que garantiu a posse de JK em 1955, aconteceram num ‘vale’ de crescimento econômico, embora o nível do crescimento tenha sido bem alto no período.
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A situação começa a melhorar até 1959, mas então piora rapidamente. O PIB per capita brasileiro cresceu 7,5% em 1958 e caiu -2,5% em 1963. Essa rápida deterioração econômica nos conturbados anos de Jânio e Jango, que também vinha acompanhada por inflação crescente, foi fundamental para o golpe de 64.
A partir da ditadura, o padrão fica ainda mais claro. Desde o pico em 1973, a taxa média de crescimento em 5 anos teve quatro pisos: em 1985, 1992, 2001 e 2018. São os anos do final da ditadura, do impeachment de Collor e da eleição de Bolsonaro, além do ano que precedeu a derrota tucana contra Lula em 2002. Não pode ser coincidência.

O futuro de Bolsonaro

Como já disse, 5% do gráfico se refere a anos ainda incompletos, de 2019 e 2023. Só é possível falar do PIB per capita em anos futuros por conta de um estudo do Ministério da Economia sobre os impactos da reforma previdenciária no crescimento do PIB. Por isso, as linhas estão tracejadas e em outra cor: tratam-se de outros dados, com outras fontes e outra natureza.
Mesmo que se discorde frontalmente das conclusões e premissas adotadas, os resultados podem ser vistos como os cenários otimista e pessimista para a economia brasileira.
No cenário da linha azul, a reforma da previdência é aprovada, as contas públicas voltam rapidamente ao superávit, os juros caem, investimento e emprego voltam. A linha vermelha representa o cenário oposto.
A grande conclusão que se pode tirar, na minha opinião, é que polêmicas vazias da ministra Damares, dos filhos do presidente ou de outros suspeitos habituais serão irrelevantes para o futuro político do presidente. O que importa é Paulo Guedes e a agenda de reformas.
Nenhuma estratégica de comunicação ou apelo a valores morais será eficaz caso o desemprego volte a subir. É isto o que importa.
Repare, leitor, em algo que quase não falei sobre o gráfico: os momentos de rápida aceleração. Grandes subidas levam a grandes personagens da história brasileira: Médici, Getúlio, JK, Lula e os outros recordistas de fotos em livros de história. O Bolsonaro da linha azul teria tudo nas mãos para entrar na lista.
Já a linha vermelha seria o puro fracasso. Time de Dilma e Collor, que saíram por impeachment. Também o time de Sarney, Temer e FHC, que terminaram seus mandatos com a economia em queda e se tornaram tóxicos na eleição. Sem reforma, esse será Bolsonaro em 2022.
Não importa quanto os olavistas falem em resgatar a identidade moral do brasileiro, eles são secundários para o sucesso do presidente. Pelo contrário, é a reforma que se mostra fundamental para o sucesso deles. É a economia, estúpido!
Importante: os comentários e opiniões contidos neste texto são responsabilidade do autor e não necessariamente refletem a opinião do InfoMoney ou de seus controladores.

quarta-feira, 18 de março de 2015

O Brasil anda ruim? Ainda nao; vai ficar muito pior: analise de investidores

Como se trata de material protegido por copyright, ou por direitos exclusivos aos assinantes do serviço, não posso revelar nem a totalidade da análise, nem os dados editoriais do material abaixo, do qual eu selecionei apenas alguns trechos para que as pessoas tenham uma ideia mais fiável do que se anda dizendo sobre o Brasil no exterior.
Sei, por conhecimento direto, que fundos de investimento baseados em Nova York já tomaram a decisão de "desembarcar" do Brasil.
O que significa isto?
Significa vender o que for possível vender com um mínimo de perdas, retirar o dinheiro, enquanto o câmbio ainda não se deteriorou de vez, e não mais investir por aqui pelos próximos cinco anos, pelo menos.
É preciso saber que, à diferença dos verdadeiros especuladores de curto prazo, que atuam sobre ganhos de seis meses, fundos de investimento, que possuem uma carteira de vários bilhões de dólares -- tipicamente, um desses fundos médios, possue uma carteira de 5 a 10 bilhões de dólares apenas para mercados emergentes -- geralmente fazem planejamento de médio prazo (de 5 a 15 anos), com uma expectativa de ganhos de dois dígitos, pelo menos, do contrário não vale a pena correr o risco.
Dois dígitos significa entre 15 e 25% de valorização no ano, e isso pode ser ações, debêntures de empresas privadas, equity participations, e até títulos do governo com taxas atrativas, mas basicamente investimentos reais (tipo infraestrutura, empresas prometedoras, algumas até estatais).
Pois bem, o que acontece quando as coisas chegam ao ponto em que chegaram no Brasil, sem qualquer previsão de ganhos nos próximos dois anos?
Os fundos simplesmente fazem bagagem e vão embora, e deixam o país em questão até dois anos depois que as coisas estiverem estabilizadas e os negócios restabelecidos na perspectiva do crescimento. Ora, isso é impossível de ocorrer no momento.
É por isso que eu disse, no começo, que pode e deve ficar pior, como aliás é confirmado por este report, de que transcrevo estes trechos agora.
O analista que escreveu o relatório diz que se trata da PRIMEIRA VEZ, desde 1929-1931, que o Brasil enfrenta dois anos seguidos de recessão.
Paulo Roberto de Almeida


How bad can Brazil get? Much, much worse. 
A visit last week for a round of discussions with investors, government officials and scholars confirmed an extraordinary deterioration in Latin America’s biggest economy in just the last six months, one that is nowhere close to playing out.
(...)
The proximate cause was the collapse in the oil price, which suddenly rendered the US$130bn debt of state-owned oil behemoth Petrobras an untenable burden. Unluckily this coincided with the culmination of a scandal in which Petrobras executives and public officials stand accused of collecting millions of dollars in bribes from construction companies in exchange for contracts.
(...)
Petrobras’s implosion is also an economic disaster. The firm accounts for nearly 10% of the nation’s fixed investment, so its recently announced plans to slash capex by 30% this year will lop off 3% from total national capital spending. Its vast supplier relationships are an important part of the economic fabric, and these suppliers have been badly hurt by the firm’s inability to pay its bills: its payment terms have quadrupled from 28 days two years ago to 120 days today.
(...)
Brazil’s resource woes do not stop with Petrobras. Vale, the big mining firm that depends heavily on iron ore exports to China, is struggling because of the end of China’s construction boom, which has driven the iron ore price from an average of US$134 a ton in 2013 to around US$60 today.
(...)
The combined effect of all these negative economic factors, the necessary but painful fiscal tightening, and the lack of any other plausible sources of near-term growth, is that Brazil’s economy will likely contract by -1-2% this year, with another somewhat smaller drop in 2016. This would be the first time since 1929-30 that Brazil’s economy has shrunk for two consecutive years. On top of that, inflation is accelerating, and at 7.7% is at its highest rate since 2005.
(...)
Markets have already reacted, pushing the real down to 3 against the dollar, its lowest rate in a decade and nearly a third below its peak. The Bovespa index is 19% off its August high. But deeper selloffs are in store. Many major Brazilian institutions sold their domestic equity positions months ago, and private wealth is streaming out of the country. A common theme in our talks with investors was perplexity that foreign money continues to flow into Brazilian stocks. Once foreign investors wise up, equity prices and the real will both tumble much further.
(...)
Policy is unlikely to provide much help. Dilma is weak, politically isolated and committed to the PT’s strategy of buying votes through welfare populism. She is terrified of a credit-rating downgrade that would reduce Brazil’s debt to junk status, which is why she authorized Levy to tighten up the budget. Even if Levy succeeds in staving off a downgrade, the government has no strategy for re-igniting growth. And there is no guarantee that Levy will succeed: his austerity measures must pass a Congress that is now paralyzed by the Petrobras scandal, and whose leaders have no incentive to cut hard fiscal deals with a half-hearted Dilma. Levy himself has no political clout and will find it hard to act without strong backing from his boss. There are low but rising odds that he could resign by the end of the year.
(...)
The only good news is that most people seem to think the Petrobras scandal marks a turning point in the treatment of corruption: in a few years Brazil will emerge with a significantly cleaner political system. And the economy is large and diversified enough that it can weather a period of contraction without a severe decline in absolute living standards. For the next year or two, though, there is little reason to expect anything other than more pain.
[end]

terça-feira, 15 de julho de 2014

Economia brasileira: estagflacao ou inflessao?

Acho que o correto é inflessão, pois a volta da inflação veio antes da estagnação, que agora chega sob a forma de recessão (dois trimestres seguidos de queda do produto).
Seja como for, essa é mais uma herança maldita dos companheiros. 
Paulo Roberto de Almeida 
14 Jul 2014 05:31
Segundo o relatório semanal Focus de hoje, segunda-feira, a expectativa para o crescimento do Produto Interno Bruto também caiu, de 1,07% para 1,05% Economistas de instituições financeiras elevaram a expectativa para a inflação este ano para 6,48%, ante 6,46% esperados na semana passada, mostra relatório Focus do Banco Central, divulgado nesta segunda-feira.