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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;

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sexta-feira, 18 de maio de 2012

O "tsunami" financeiro e os estimulos keynesianos...

Tem gente que sai por aí denunciando, ao mesmo tempo, políticas recessivas, "que só aprofundam o desemprego e o ciclo depressivo", e a inundação de dinheiro, ou "tsunami financeiro", que estaria, supostamente, provocando valorizando de certas moedas periféricas (enfim, para ser coerente com a terminologia desse pessoal anos 1950, agora mesmo homenageado na figura de uma paladina dessas ideias recicladas).
Contraditório, não é mesmo?
Mas é assim mesmo: tem gente que não se exime de pedir uma coisa e seu contrário, simultaneamente.
Como se tudo fosse uma questão de estímulos keynesianos: basta injetar dinheiro que o ciclo se inverte.
E não estou falando de quaisquer pessoas, não, desses que nunca estudaram economia e ainda pretendem dar lições aos maiores.
Estou falando de duas sumidades econômicas, como reproduzido mais abaixo.
Mas, como certos números demonstram, a cachoeira de dinheiro nem sempre se traduz em resultados imediatos, havendo mesmo uma acumulação de dívida para pouco crescimento, como se pode registrar imediatamente abaixo.
Paulo Roberto de Almeida 

Obama to push debt-strapped Europe for more 'stimulus,' more debt at G8
By Bill Wilson

Today at Camp David, the Obama Administration is expected to push France and Germany to engage in more "stimulus" policies (i.e. spend, borrow, and print more money) to lift Europe's ailing economy.

As reported by Time, "The U.S. has been pushing [newly elected French President Francois] Hollande to consider some short-term stimulus. [and] hopes to persuade [German Chancellor Angela Merkel] to take stronger stimulative measures, and to shore up the central bank and other big banks bracing for a Greek default."

There's only one problem. Too much government debt and borrowing is how Europe got into this mess in the first place, and what is leading their recession.

So, how will more "stimulus" and more debt lead Europe out of its malaise?

Despite government debts in the Eurozone growing $1.089 trillion in 2010 and 2011 since the crisis began, the economy there has only grown nominally by $492 billion in the past two years, according to data published by Eurostat, accounting for much of the currency bloc's entire credit expansion during that period.

That means for every 2 euros governments borrowed and printed, only 1 euro of growth was achieved. And as the crisis drags on it only gets worse. In the first quarter of 2012, the economy there did not grow at all, despite all of the "stimulus" borrowing and spending. Hardly a measure of success.

Obama will likely tell Merkel that she just needs a more efficient printing press.

Across the pond here, we actually have one in the Federal Reserve. But our own experience in the U.S. has not been much better. Despite $3.4 trillion of fiscal and monetary "stimulus" since the crisis began, 27 million Americans still cannot find full-time work in the Obama economy. More than 5 million have given up looking all together.


E aqui a prescrição integralmente keynesiana:

How Keynes would solve the eurozone crisis
Marcus Miller and Robert Skidelsky
Financial Times | Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Almost 100 years ago, a young official in the UK Treasury sought to advise European policy makers on how daunting external debts might best be managed. There was, he argued, a limit to the national capacity to service debts. Those expecting further payments were bound to be disappointed. More than that, efforts by creditors to insist on further debt payments would be politically dangerous. “If they do sign,” he wrote to a friend, “they can’t possibly keep some of the terms, and general disorder and unrest will result everywhere.” He recommended a round of debt cancellation among European countries, a plan that would – at the stroke of a pen – remove much of the problem. When he was ignored by creditor governments, John Maynard Keynes quit his post to write the Economic Consequences of the Peace.

In today’s Europe, of course, the tables are decisively turned. It is not Germany that is suffering under an unsustainable sovereign debt burden, but its southern eurozone partners.

What is the German counsel? Answer: the economics of austerity. Countries with high sovereign debts must increase taxes and cut spending regardless of the consequences for the real economy. Angela Merkel likes to evoke the Swabian housewife: “In the long run you can’t live beyond your means.”

Underpinning the German position is the belief that resolving debt problems is the sole responsibility of the debtor. Keynes, by contrast, held that both creditors and debtors should share the task of getting economies out of holes they had jointly dug. “The absolutists of contract,” he wrote in 1923, “are the real parents of revolution.”

The economic effects of this policy are becoming clearer by the day: unlike the US, unlike the Bric countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), Europe has essentially stopped growing – and there is little hope of growth resuming in the near term. Nor, evidently, have the debt problems been solved. Since the collateral for sovereign debt is citizens’ capacity to pay tax, recession and unemployment undermine the capacity to service debts and national credibility in capital markets, as shown again this week by rising yields in southern European debt markets.

The political consequences are, if anything, worse. Talks to form a Greek government have collapsed. This is unsurprising: no government pledged to unalloyed austerity in response to its debt obligations can face its voters with confidence.

Yet Greece is only an extreme example. Centrist governments across the Mediterranean are increasingly seen by their citizens as powerless. They have no independent monetary policy; no capacity to devalue; no right to impose capital controls; limited ability to support failing national enterprises; and now they are mandated to tighten fiscal policy. When moderation fails, the time comes for citizens to turn to those promising to take power into their hands, be they from the right or the left – anything but the pusillanimous centre!
That is what happened in the 1930s. It is a historical irony that European countries that avoided a repeat of the Great Depression after the banking crisis are now driving into the blind cul-de-sac that led to extremism in that earlier disaster. German historical memory has vivid recall of the hyperinflation of 1920-23. But it is possible to forget it was deflation and the Great Depression that brought Hitler to power in 1933.

One of the lessons of history is that sovereign debts must be managed in ways that do not destroy either the economy or the political centre ground. Europe hosts some of the best – and best paid – financial experts in the world; let their talents help governments shake off their paper shackles and devise ways of reducing debt without austerity.

If this means project spending – financed off-balance sheet by jointly guaranteed liabilities or by higher taxes, so be it. If it means substantial restructuring of sovereign debts swapped into indexed debt or growth bonds, or with grace periods until countries resume growth, so be it. If it requires shifting some of the burden of debt finance on to older generations who own the debt, that political issue must also be faced.

Eurozone countries must be allowed to grow again. For a country in such desperate straits as Greece, however, orderly exit from the euro to regain competitiveness looks to be the best option. But it is in the interest of both Greece and its creditors that the resulting devaluation be controlled. We must not add currency wars to our present pile of problems.

The writers are respectively professor of economics and emeritus professor of political economy at the University of Warwick

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