A recessão da América Latina se agrava devido à crise no Brasil

Gravidade da situação no país faz Fundo Monetário Internacional reduzir previsões anteriores

Publicado originalmente em: 12/04/2016

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A recessão no Brasil, a maior economia da América Latina, é mais profunda do que se imaginava e afeta toda a região, já muito fragilizada pelo efeito combinado do desabamento no preço das matérias primas e da fuga de capitais. Esse é o argumento que o Fundo Monetário Internacional cita para reduzir novamente suas previsões para o subcontinente. A contração projetada para este ano é agora de 0,5% do PIB regional, mas com a esperança de que se recupere para um crescimento de 1,5% em 2017.

A nova estimativa do órgão comandado por Christine Lagarde é 0,2 ponto percentual pior do que se previa há apenas três meses, e 1,3 ponto percentual abaixo da estimativa para 2016 feita no semestre passado. A nova avaliação do FMI para o ano que vem é 0,1 ponto inferior à de janeiro, e 0,8 ponto com relação a outubro. O temor é que este pessimismo acabe acelerando a espiral negativa.

As condições macroeconômicas no Brasil foram qualificadas como “severas”. A recessão será este ano de 3,8%, 0,3 ponto mais intensa do que se dizia há três meses e, portanto, idêntica à registrada em 2015. O FMI antevê uma recuperação da economia nacional em 2017, mas ficando estancada a partir daí. Nisso a projeção não varia. A recessão e a crise política terão um custo em termos de empregos e os salários.

No atual ciclo de crescimento medíocre, a América Latina está sendo muito mais afetada que o conjunto das economias emergentes, para as quais se projeta um crescimento de 4,1% neste ano e 4,6% no próximo. Apesar da redução da estimativa, os técnicos do FMI afirmam que não houve uma piora na atividade econômica da região desde o começo do ano, mesmo levando em conta a volatilidade das matérias primas e o reequilíbrio da China.

“[As novas cifras] estão alinhadas com as últimas previsões”, diz o relatório, a ser apresentado no fim de semana na reunião semestral conjunta do FMI com o Banco Mundial. O corte com relação a janeiro é semelhante à redução na estimativa global. A América Latina sofrerá, portanto, o segundo ano consecutivo de contração, depois da queda de 0,1 ponto em 2015. Há, entretanto, diferenças de rendimento conforme o país.

Ao contrário do Brasil, o México continuará crescendo a um ritmo “moderado”. A previsão é de uma expansão de 2,4% em 2016 e de 2,6% em 2017, atribuída à demanda privada e ao efeito positivo do crescimento nos EUA, que está estimado em 2,4% neste ano. No entanto, mesmo no caso mexicano as previsões do FMI são inferiores às de janeiro – 0,2 e 0,3 ponto percentual, respectivamente.

Os grandes países exportadores de matérias primas e energia sofrem. Outro exemplo nesse sentido é a Colômbia. Seu ritmo de crescimento irá cair para 2,5% neste ano, antes de se recuperar para 3,1% em 2017. A contração na Venezuela será duplamente mais grave do que no Brasil. Seu PIB cairá 8%, mais ainda do que a retração de 5,7% em 2015. A incerteza política agrava as coisas, enquanto a inflação ameaça chegar a 500%.

Não é só a queda no valor das exportações de petróleo e matérias primas que afeta a competividade das economias latino-americanas. O FMI considera “altamente incerta” a situação do Equador, por causa da dificuldade em atrair financiamento externo, o que provocará uma contração de 4,5% neste ano e 4,6% no seguinte. Também complicado é o panorama para o Chile, onde o crescimento cairá de 2,5% para 1,5%.

O FMI avalia positivamente as reformas empreendidas pela Argentina para corrigir os desequilíbrios e as distorções que afetam a sua economia. A projeção é de uma contração de 1% neste ano, depois de um crescimento de 1,2% no exercício passado. Em 2017, a previsão já é novamente de alta, estimada em 2,8%. No caso do Peru, o organismo projeta um crescimento de 3,7%, quatro décimos acima do ano passado.

Maurice Obstfeld, conselheiro econômico do Fundo, admite que há motivos para preocupação com a fragilidade geral na região e na economia global. Observa que os países não conseguirão repetir os índices de crescimento do passado se não souberem diversificar suas economias e não adotarem reformas estruturais. “É um processo que demora”, alerta, “mas a reação precisa ser imediata”.

Fonte: El País 

A linguagem do dinheiro

Qual bonecos de ventríloquo, os comunicadores “falam” conforme as regras gramaticais dos mercados

Publicado originalmente em: 03/02/2016

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Partilhei com Mino Carta o editorial da edição anterior de CartaCapital. Disse, então, que nos últimos meses alguns integrantes do Copom haviam sugerido um aumento de 50 pontos na já alentada taxa Selic.

Para surpresa de muitos e decepção de uns tantos, às vésperas da reunião do dito Conselho, escudado nas previsões do FMI sobre o PIB brasileiro, o presidente Tombini virou o jogo. Na quarta-feira 20, o Copom manteve a Selic em 14,25%.

Os Senhores da Finança responderam às trapalhadas de comunicação do doutor Tombini & Cia: mandaram um recado antecipando elevações consecutivas da taxa de juros no biênio 2016-2017. O mercado “falou”. Escancarou sua discordância na inclinação da curva de juro longa. A corcova fez inveja a Quasímodo.

Apoiado no linguista John Austen, em seu livro Capital e Linguagem, o economista italiano Christian Marazzi cuida das marchas e contramarchas da finança dos últimos 30 anos. Marazzi sublinha a natureza performativa da linguagem do dinheiro e dos mercados financeiros.

Escusas, caro leitor, pelo pedantismo do jargão linguístico. Performativo quer dizer apenas que a linguagem dos mercados financeiros contemporâneos não descreve, e muito menos “analisa”, um determinado estado de coisas, mas produz imediatamente fatos reais.

A última decisão do Conselho de Política Monetária do Banco Central foi um exemplo da produção da “realidade” pela linguagem dos mercados financeiros.

O domínio da finança, ou seja, o capitalismo reinventado segundo sua “natureza”, produziu o que Christian Marazzi chamou de “metamorfose antropológica do indivíduo pós-moderno”.

Diz Marazzi: é relativamente simples descrever o comportamento mimético-comunicativo das convenções coletivas típicas dos mercados financeiros. No capítulo XII da Teoria Geral, Keynes se vale dos concursos de beleza promovidos pelos jornais para descrever a formação de convenções nos mercados de ativos. 

Os leitores são instados a escolher os seis rostos mais bonitos entre uma centena de fotografias. O prêmio será entregue àquela cuja escolha esteja mais próxima da média das opiniões. Não se trata, portanto, de apontar o rosto mais bonito na opinião de cada um dos participantes, mas, sim, de escolher o rosto que mais se aproxima da opinião média dos participantes do torneio.Keynes introduz, assim, na teoria econômica as relações complexas entre Estrutura e Ação, entre papéis sociais e sua execução pelos indivíduos convencidos de sua autodeterminação, mas, de fato, enredados no comportamento de manada.

Keynes, na esteira de Freud, introduz as configurações subjetivas produzidas pelas interações dos indivíduos no ecúmeno social das “economias de mercado”. O afã de realizar sem perdas o valor dos ativos se esbate no fragor das insuspeitadas e caprichosas evoluções e involuções da opinião coletiva.

Os fâmulos dos mercados passam da euforia à depressão. É implacável o constrangimento dos indivíduos dos mercados, sempre amestrados sob o guante da conversão de seus valores particulares em dinheiro, a forma geral da riqueza.

Nesse percurso, o comportamento mimético dá origem, em suas conjecturas imitativas, a situações nas quais a busca coletiva da liquidez culmina na decepção de todos. A âncora que sustenta precariamente as ariscas subjetividades atormentadas pela incerteza da liquidez está lançada nas areias movediças da peculiar “sociabilidade” do capitalismo financeiro.

No livro Capitalisme et Pulsion de Mort, Gilles Dostaler e Bernard Maris afirmam que nem Freud nem Keynes acreditam na fábula da autonomia do indivíduo, tão cara aos economistas. “O indivíduo está imerso na multidão inquieta, frustrada, insaciável, sobre a qual pesa essa imensa pressão cultural, esse movimento ilimitado da acumulação…”

A metamorfose do indivíduo pós-moderno aludida por Marazzi é um “salto de qualidade” no comportamento mimético examinado por Keynes. Os “avanços” nas formas de comunicação promovidas pelo desenvolvimento da mídia de massas e o uso das tecnologias de informação tornaram mais rápida e eficazmente perigosa a linguagem do dinheiro.

Na mídia impressa e na eletrônica, as matérias de negócios e economia disseminam os fetiches dos mercados financeiros embuçados na linguagem do saber técnico e esotérico. Qual bonecos de ventríloquo, os comunicadores “falam” a língua articulada conforme as regras gramaticais dos mercados.

Assim, o capitalismo investido em sua roupagem financeira cumpre a missão de “administrar” a constelação de significantes à procura de significados, submetendo os cidadãos-espectadores aos infortúnios da domesticação e da homogeneização decretados pelo “coletivismo de mercado”.

Fonte: Carta Capital

Christine Lagarde: Nigeria—Act with Resolve, Build Resilience, and Exercise Restraint

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As prepared for delivery

Introduction

Honorable Speaker of the House, Honorable Members of Parliament, Honorable Members of the Government, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning—and—Happy New Year!

I would like to thank you for the gracious introduction, and Members of Parliament and the people of Nigeria for their incredible hospitality.

I have been looking forward to starting my new year here in Nigeria—and I am grateful for the special privilege to speak before this parliament.

My first visit to Africa as IMF Managing Director was in late 2011, and the first country on my itinerary was Nigeria. At that time, Nigeria was emerging from the 2008-09 commodity price collapse and the banking crisis that followed.

Since that visit, Nigeria has been acknowledged as the largest economy in Africa—with a maturing political system. We saw a peaceful general election last year in which, for the first time in Nigeria’s history, there was a democratic transition between two civilian governments. It was a strong sign of Nigeria’s commitment to democracy, to a new Nigeria.

At the same time, the external environment has changed. Oil prices have fallen sharply; global financial conditions have tightened; growth in emerging and developing economies has slowed; and geopolitical tensions have increased.

All this has come at a time when Nigeria is facing an urgent need to address a massive infrastructure deficit and high levels of poverty and inequality.

So, Nigeria faces some tough choices going forward. Nigerians, however, are well known for their resilience and strong belief in their ability to improve their nation and lead others by example. I firmly believe that Nigeria will rise to the challenge and make the decisions that will propel the country to greater prosperity.

As the great Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe once said: “If you don’t like someone’s story, write your own.” This is exactly what you are doing right now.

And let me assure you that, as you go forward, as you developyour story, the IMF will support your efforts.

Today, I would like to offer my perspective—on your story and punctuate it with three R’s: resolve, resilience, and restraint.
• I will first identify the global economic transitions that are affecting Nigeria and the region.
• I will then turn to the importance of managing the near-term vulnerabilities facing Nigeria’s economy.
• And, finally, share my thoughts on what might help to achieve more inclusive and sustainable growth.

1. Global economic transitions and implications for Nigeria and the region

So let me start with the big picture. For more than a decade, growth in Sub-Saharan Africa was driven by an extraordinary combination of improved policies, stronger institutions, high commodity prices, and high capital inflows.

The region has now entered a different phase, where commodity prices and capital flows are far less supportive. We are in the process of updating our forecasts, but broadly the IMF staff estimates that regional economic growth dropped from 5 percent in 2014 to about 3.8 percent last year, with only a modest recovery expected in 2016.

There is a similar picture at the global level—modest growth last year, with only a slight acceleration expected in 2016. Emerging markets, which propelled global growth after the 2008 global financial crisis, have slowed; advanced economies are still recovering from the impact of that crisis; and financial markets remain volatile.

In fact, both at the regional and global level, growth is affected by three major economic transitions. They include China’s move to a new growth model, the prospect of commodity prices remaining lower for longer, and the increasing divergence in monetary policy in major economies, especially since the recent rise in U.S. interest rates.

Understandably, policymakers in this region are concerned—because these transitions can create spillovers through trade, exchange rates, asset markets, and capital flows.

For example, spillovers are now affecting oil-exporting countries, which generate about half of this region’s GDP. These economies, including Nigeria, are facing massive pressures and challenging prospects.

Over the medium term, oil prices are likely to remain much lowerthan the 2010-13 average of more than $100 a barrel. Why? Because of the huge oversupply in global oil markets. Think of the shale oil boom in the United States, and some historically large producers such as Iraq and Iran coming back to the market. Other factors include OPEC’s strategic behavior and the drop in global demand for oil, especially in emerging economies.

Already, lower oil prices have sharply reduced Nigeria’s export earnings and government revenues. Both are likely to remain at depressed levels, reducing the space for policy interventions to address Nigeria’s social and infrastructure needs.

Private sector investment will also be affected. Investor confidence about the outlook has remained weak, and financing is likely to become more difficult and more costly for everyone. With U.S. interest rates expected to continue to rise, albeit slowly, the likelihood of capital outflows will increase, and exchange rate pressures could mount as investors re-assess their appetite for risk.

More broadly, Sub-Saharan Africa is also facing spillovers from geopolitical factors, including the fight against Boko Haram. The threat of terrorism is very real and never far from our minds. Having been in Paris during the November attacks, I know firsthand the sorrow that so many Nigerians carry in their hearts.

In this region, terrorism not only takes a human toll but it also makes public finances more fragile. How? By widening budget deficits. Revenues are lower, including from lower growth, and spending needs higher, including for security and for supporting those impacted by the violence. One immediate downside is higher financing needs that can crowd out other essential public spending.

This brings me to my second topic—how can policymakers manage these near-term vulnerabilities?

2. Managing near-term vulnerabilities

Let me start by underscoring the progress made in recent years. Nigerians have created a large and diversified economy that has grown by about 7 per cent a year over the last decade. This has been a remarkable achievement, a testament to Nigeria’s immense potential.

The outlook, however, has weakened. Growth in 2015 is estimated at about 3.2 percent—its slowest pace since 1999—and only a modest recovery is expected in 2016.

For a country with a rapidly increasing population, this means almost no real economic growth in per capita terms.

On top of the slowdown, vulnerabilities have increased. The ability to manage shocks is restricted by low fiscal savings and reserves. And the weakening oil sector could stress balance sheets and put pressure on the banking system.

Reduced confidence and lower capital spending also impact the non-oil corporate sector. Unfortunately, this sector looks less resilient today than during the downturn of 2008-09. Companies that have increased their leverage and US-dollar debt in recent years may now come under pressure as they face rising interest rates and a stronger dollar.

Nigeria also has a large regional footprint, and its fortunes affect that of its neighbors, especially through trade. For example, it is estimated that a one percent reduction in Nigeria’s growth causes a 0.3 percent reduction in Benin’s growth.

So what can policymakers do?

I see an immediate priority—a fundamental change in the way government operates. What do I mean by that? The new reality of low oil prices and low oil revenues means that the fiscal challenge facing government is no longer about how to divide the proceeds of Nigeria’s oil wealth, but what needs to be done so that Nigeria can deliver to its people the public services they deservebe it in education, health or infrastructure.

This means that hard decisions will need to be taken on revenue, expenditure, debt, and investment going forward. My policy refrain is this:

Act with resolve—by stepping up revenue mobilization. The first step is to broaden the tax base and reduce leakages by improving compliance and enhancing collection efficiency. At the same time, public finances can be bolstered further to meet the huge expenditure needs. For example, the current VAT rate is among the lowest in the world and well below the rates in other ECOWAS members—so some increase should be considered.

Build resilience—by making careful decisions on borrowing. Nigeria’s debt is relatively low at about 12 percent of GDP. But it weighs heavily on the public purse. Already, about 35 kobo of every naira collected by the federal government is used to service outstanding public debt.

Exercise restraint—by focusing on the quality and efficiency of every naira spent. This is critically important. As more people pay taxes there will, rightly, be increasing pressure to demonstrate that those tax payments are producing improvements in public service delivery.

Let me give you examples of what I mean:

On capital expenditure, the focus must be on high-impact and high value-added projects. This is why the government is focusing on power, integrated transport (roads, rail, air, and ports), and housing. These can help connect centers of activity across the country and drive growth prospects.

On recurrent expenditure, efforts should be made to streamline the cost of government and improve efficiency of public service delivery across the federal and sub-national governments. Transfers and tax expenditures should also be addressed. For example, continuing the move already begun by the government in the 2016 budget to eliminate resources allocated to fuel subsidies would allow more targeted spending, including on innovative social programs for the most needy.

Indeed, fuel subsidies are hard to defend. Not only do they harm the planet, but they rarely help the poor. IMF research shows that more than 40 per cent of fuel price subsidies in developing countries accrue to the richest 20 per cent of households, while only 7 per cent of the benefits go to the poorest 20 per cent.

Moreover, the experience here in Nigeria of administering fuel subsidies suggests that it is time for a change—think of the regular accusations of corruption, and think of the many Nigerians who spend hours in queues trying to get gas so that they can go about their everyday business.

At the same time, we should not forget the huge challenges facing Nigeria’s state and local governments. These sub-national governments—which account for the bulk of social spending—have only limited tools to manage the impact of declining oil revenues. My message here is to manage better the smaller purse, while building capacity to increase internally generated revenue.

The IMF can help in that regard by providing technical assistance on public financial management. We did so for the Kaduna State Government. We can explore how to support states’ efforts to undertake budget reform.

I see another immediate policy priority—strengthen Nigeria’s external position. The essential fact is that, given the structure of the economy, the massive fall in oil priceswhich is expected to continuehas changed the medium term foundations for economic resilience. To be clear, the goal of achieving external competitiveness requires a package of policies including business-friendly monetary, flexible exchange rate and disciplined fiscal policies, as well as implementing structural reforms. Additional exchange rate flexibilityboth up or downcan help soften the impact of external shocks, make output and employment less volatile, and help build external reserves. It can also help avoid the need for costly foreign exchange restrictions – which should, in any case, remain temporary. And going forward, improved competitiveness from improved exchange rate flexibility and other reforms will facilitate the needed diversification of the exports base and, ultimately, growth.

This brings me to my final topic—how can policymakers achieve more inclusive and sustainable growth?

3. Achieving inclusive and sustainable growth

The good news is that Nigeria is already, in many ways, a 21st-century economy.
• Think of the boom in mobile communications in a country where more than 140 million cell phones are in use, nearly one for each Nigerian.
• Think of the vibrant, home-grown film industry that has become the world’s second-largest by output. Nollywood employs about one million people who create films that are winning audiences across the continent and beyond.
• Think of the growing number of innovative startups—from fashion to software development—that are promoting Brand Nigeria. Indeed, the growth in services to about half of Nigeria’s output is a testament to the transformation that has begun, and which needs to continue.

But we all know that huge structural challenges remain, despite the many initiatives that are ongoing. Let me highlight the conditional cash transfer scheme in Kano, where poor households receive financial assistance linked to girls’ enrolment in schools. Overall, however, poverty and inequality still remain high, especially in some parts of the country.

Women account for about 42 percent of the total labor force—which is comparatively low—and their literacy rates are well below that of men. Maternal mortality is relatively high because of limited access to health care. Many women and children are dying every day simply because they cannot get to medical facilities fast enough.

With that in mind, what are the key policy priorities? Invest in quality infrastructure, make the banks work, and improve governance. Let me take each in turn:

The first—act with resolve to significantly improve transportation networks and power delivery [i.e., generation, transmission, and distribution]. For example, Nigeria could be exporting tomato paste—a staple of Nigerian cuisine—on a large scale, but it imports about half of what it needs. This is why Nigeria needs to build more roads and better rail networks, so that more farmers can bring their crops to market.

Likewise, more investment is needed in energy infrastructure in a country where too many businesses and households regard their backup generators as their main power source.

The second priority—build resilience by fostering a sound banking system. This will help channel more savings into productive investments, especially in quality infrastructure.

To be sure, Nigeria’s banks are generally well-capitalized and more resilient than during the downturn of 2008-09. But they are beginning to feel the impact of the growing vulnerabilities in the corporate sector. This means rising non-performing loans, which will need to be carefully monitored and managed.

The third priority—act with resolve in fighting against corruption. In his first public speech after the election, President Buhari singled out corruption as a “form of evil that is even worse than terrorism.”

Corruption not only corrodes public trust, but it also destroys confidence and diminishes the potential for strong economic growth.

At the global level, it is estimated that the cost of corruption is equivalent to more than 5 percent of world GDP1, with over US$ 1 trillion paid in bribes each year2.

Here in Nigeria, important initiatives to discourage graft are underway and should be applauded. Let me highlight the publication of monthly data on the finances and operations of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. This provides information on a key sector, building confidence in transparency, and improving accountability of oil revenues, for the benefit ofall Nigerians.

Much more can—and needs to be—done. Fighting corruption is a multi-year, multi-generational struggle that must be won.

Conclusion

So let me conclude: today your nation has embarked on a new journey. Nigeria is looking ahead, while drawing strength from its assets—the richness and diversity of its culture, the ingenuity of its people, and the belief in a better future.

Today policymakers have the opportunity to address near-term vulnerabilities and medium-term challenges—with resolve,resilience, and restraint. Today the “Giant of Africa” is walking with a spring in her step—inspiring others in the region and across the world.

As the great Nigerian poet Ben Okri once said: “Our future is greater than our past”.

Thank you.


1 World Economic Forum
2 World Bank

Fonte: FMI

 

EUA surpreendem FMI com reforma que favorece emergentes

Publicado originalmente em 29 de dezembro de 2015.

Logo do Fundo Monetário Internacional (FMI)

Washington – O Congresso dos Estados Unidos aprovou no fim do ano, inesperadamente, uma das principais reivindicações do Fundo Monetário Internacional (FMI): a reforma do sistema de cotas para conceder mais peso político às economias emergentes na instituição financeira internacional. 

Desde 2012, a diretoria-gerente do FMI, Christine Lagarde, não tinha perdido nenhuma oportunidade de primeiro pedir, e depois criticar, os EUA pela demora em avaliar a proposta de reforma interna do órgão, projetada para refletir a ascensão de potências emergentes como Brasil, China, Índia na economia global. 

Ao mesmo tempo, esses países, reunidos no grupo dos Brics (Brasil, Rússia, Índia, China e África do Sul), elevaram o tom das queixas aos EUA por sua incapacidade de aprovar uma reforma que o próprio governo americano tinha inicialmente defendido.

Diante da paralisia dos últimos dois anos, os emergentes decidiram criar instituições alternativas ao FMI e ao Banco Mundial, como o Banco Asiático de Investimento em Infraestruturas (BAAI), impulsionado pela China; o Novo Banco de Desenvolvimento e o Fundo de Reservas dos Brics.

Na reunião do G20 na Turquia em novembro, os líderes dos Brics expressaram mais uma vez sua “profunda decepção” pela falta de progressos na reforma dos órgãos financeiros internacionais, dominados pelas potências ocidentais.

Por isso foi uma surpresa quando, no mesmo dia do início do recesso parlamentar, os congressistas americanos aprovaram um pacote de US$ 1,5 trilhão (cerca de R$ 6 trilhões) para o ano fiscal de 2016. Entre as medidas que ganharam o sinal verde estava a reforma do FMI.

Lagarde, que fez várias visitas ao Congresso para tentar desbloquear a reestruturação da instituição criada junto com o Banco Mundial nos acordos de Bretton Woods, em 1944, comemorou a aprovação. A diretora-gerente afirmou que a mudança deixará o FMI “mais moderno e representativo”.

“Ela melhorará a governança do FMI ao oferecer um reflexo melhor do crescente papel dos dinâmicos países emergentes e em desenvolvimento na economia global”, afirmou Lagarde, que deve continuar no cargo para um segundo mandato após o fim de seu primeiro, de cinco anos, em 2016.

Há apenas alguns meses, as perspectivas sobre a reforma eram muito mais sombrias.

Na última Assembleia Anual do FMI, realizada em Lima em outubro, poucos dos presentes se mostraram otimistas de que a mudança do sistema de cotas, estrutura base do órgão e que decide o poder de voto de cada um dos 188 países-membros, seria aprovada.

E então eles se propuseram a buscar alternativas.

Muitos lamentaram o tempo perdido em consequência de um Congresso americano de maioria republicana, excessivamente contrário a qualquer medida proposta pelo presidente Barack Obama, que tentou incluir a reforma do FMI em uma dezena de projetos.

“O mundo estava esperando a aprovação dos EUA desde 2012. Esse atraso custo muito em credibilidade e liderança global aos americanos”, explicou Edwin Truman, pesquisador do Peterson Instituto e subsecretário de Assuntos Internacionais do Tesouro na administração do ex-presidente Bill Clinton.

“Washington já não é visto como um negociador confiável nas questões do FMI”, disse Truman sobre as consequências do atraso.

A reforma, além disso, ajudará a dobrar os recursos da instituição de empréstimo para países em crise. Agora estão disponíveis US$ 755 bilhões (cerca de R$ 3 trilhões).

No entanto, a concessão republicana no Congresso não foi completa, e estabeleceu algumas condições. O Legislativo deverá aprovar qualquer participação dos EUA em empréstimos extraordinários do FMI depois de 2022. Além disso, o representante americano no órgão deverá informar os congressistas quando for votar a favor de crédito de grande volume. 

Os principais beneficiados por essa reforma interna são China, que passará a ser o terceiro país em representação – atualmente é o sexto, ultrapassando França, Alemanha e Reino Unido; o Brasil, que ganhará quatro “posições”, passando a ser o décimo; e a Índia, atual 11º representante, que se tornará o oitavo. 

Por outro lado, a cota dos Estados Unidos no FMI continuará a ser majoritária, apesar de uma leve redução: 17,69% para 17,4%. E os americanos mantêm o direito a veto.

Os menos favorecidos nessa reforma foram as economias europeias avançadas, que terão o peso de sua participação no órgão reduzida.

Fonte: Exame.com

Congresso dos Estados Unidos dá o braço a torcer e aprova a reforma de cotas do FMI

Publicado originalmente em 21 de dezembro de 2015

O yuan – que já é a segunda moeda mais utilizada no financiamento comercial – vai suplantando a moeda norte-americana nos intercâmbios comerciais da China

Aparentemente, o ano de 2015 marca o início da revolução no interior do FMI. Primeiro, se aprovou a inclusão do yuan, a moeda chinesa, entre os DEG, a cesta de divisas criada em 1969 para servir de suplemento das reservas oficiais dos países-membros. Agora, graças à aprovação do Congresso dos Estados Unidos, o FMI poderá implementar finalmente a reforma do sistema de quotas de representação, com o qual a China e outras potências emergentes ganharão peso na tomada de decisões, enquanto os países do continente europeu perderão relevância. Não obstante, ainda é prematuro concluir que se trata de uma transformação radical na correlação de forças dentro do FMI: os Estados Unidos continuarão mantendo seu poder de veto.
Os Estados Unidos parecem ter compreendido que para conservar sua liderança global é impossível desconhecer o crescente protagonismo da China e outras potências emergentes, e que é preciso compartilhar responsabilidades na gestão das finanças internacionais. Por isso Washington não teve outra alternativa senão outorgar importantes concessões aos seus adversários através do Fundo Monetário Internacional (FMI).

Na última semana de novembro, o FMI adotou a decisão de incorporar o yuan nos Direitos Especiais de Giro (DEG, sigla traduzida do nome em inglês ‘Special Drawing Rights’), a lista de divisas criada nos Anos 60 para complementar as reservas oficiais dos seus membros. Embora vários funcionários estadunidenses do Fundo tenham tentado se opor à medida desde um princípio, no final Pequim se comprometeu a seguir avançando na liberalização do seu setor financeiro.

Até agora, o Banco Popular da China já assinou cerca de quarenta acordos bilaterais de permuta de divisas (‘currency swaps’). Este ano, os bancos centrais do Suriname, África do Sul e Chile começaram a promover o abandono do dólar entre as empresas dos seus países. Aos poucos, o yuan vai suplantando a moeda norte-americana nos intercâmbios comerciais do gigante asiático.

Essa estratégia permite que o yuan seja hoje a segunda moeda mais utilizada no financiamento comercial, e a quarta nos pagamentos transfronteiriços, segundo os dados da Sociedade de Telecomunicações Financeiras Interbancárias Mundiais (SWIFT, por suas siglas em inglês). E, mais cedo que tarde, a moeda chinesa será plenamente conversível, ou seja, intercambiada livremente no mercado, sem nenhum tipo de restrição.

Assim, os dirigentes do Partido Comunista da China conseguiram acabar com as suspeitas da diretora executiva do FMI, Christine Lagarde: a partir do dia 1º de outubro de 2016, o yuan se tornará a terceira divisa mais relevante na composição dos DEG. A “moeda do povo” (‘renminbi’) terá um peso maior dentro da lista do FMI que o yen japonês e a libra esterlina, embora ainda deva se manter abaixo do dólar e do euro.

No dia 18 de dezembro, o Congresso dos Estados Unidos deu luz verde para que o FMI implemente a reforma do sistema de quotas de representação. Sem dúvidas, é a mudança mais importante dentro do FMI desde 1944, o ano em que se construíram os acordos de Bretton Woods. O novo sistema de quotas significa um grande respiro para o Fundo em termos de legitimidade.

Depois do colapso econômico de 2008, ficou evidenciado que o FMI não contava com os recursos suficientes para encarar às crises de liquidez. Nenhum país soberano tinha intenções de solicitar ajuda. O FMI se desprestigiou por completo após sua atuação nas crises de dívida na América Latina e no Sudeste asiático: havia demostrado que operava como o braço armado do Departamento do Tesouro dos Estados Unidos, e não como um fundo multilateral encarregado de estabilizar as balanças de pagamentos dos seus aderentes.

Por isso, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, diretor do FMI entre 2007 e 2011, convenceu os países emergentes a realizar novos depósitos em troca de incrementar suas quotas. O Diretório Executivo do FMI aceitou a proposta em 2010, durante a XIV Revisão Geral das quotas.

Logo depois, foi apresentada a iniciativa de reforma, diante da Junta de Governadores (integrada por todos os membros), para se submeter à aprovação dos parlamentos nacionais. Então, o governo dos Estados Unidos fez valer seu poder de veto – para uma decisão ser adotada pelo Fundo precisa de uma maioria de 85% da votação, e os Estados Unidos sozinho conta com 16,7% dos votos.

Porém, há alguns dias, após cinco anos de fervente oposição do Congresso norte-americano, a inércia finalmente se rompeu. A reforma do sistema de quotas será uma realidade. Os recursos à disposição do FMI se duplicarão, elevando-se a 659,67 bilhões de dólares. Vale destacar que a quota que se entrega a um país determina o nível máximo dos seus compromissos financeiros com o FMI, e o seu número de votos na instituição, sendo um fator determinante no acesso ao financiamento.

O avanço mais importante é o da China, cujo direito de voto passará de 3,8% a 6%, com o qual, será o terceiro país com mais poder, atrás somente dos Estados Unidos e do Japão. O Brasil subiu quatro posições, enquanto Índia e Rússia entraram na lista dos dez mais influentes. Por outra parte, a participação da Europa caiu. Com exceção à quota da Espanha, que passará de 1,68% a 2%, Alemanha, França, Itália e Reino Unido diminuirão sua participação.

“As reformas incrementam significativamente os principais recursos do FMI e nos permitem dar uma resposta mais eficaz às crises, e ao mesmo tempo melhoram la estrutura de governo institucional, ao refletir melhor o crescente papel que desempenham os países emergentes e em desenvolvimento, e a dinâmica da economia mundial”, disse Lagarde num comunicado à imprensa.

Contudo, lamentavelmente, os Estados Unidos conservará seu poder de veto: seu direito de voto diminuirá dois décimos, de 16,7% para 16,5%. Até agora, tudo parece indicar que os dirigentes de Pequim não desejam confrontar a dominação dos Estados Unidos no FMI, instituição que há mais de setenta anos se mantém como o “prestamista de última instância” mais importante na escala mundial, tendo em conta o volume de recursos que maneja.

A disputa entre China e Estados Unidos é somente tangencial. Pequim busca incrementar sua influência financeira através dos seus poderosos bancos estatais (Banco de Desenvolvimento da China, ICBC, Banco da China, etc.), e através dos bancos regionais de desenvolvimento nos que participa: o Banco Asiático de Investimentos em Infraestrutura (AIIB, por sua sigla em inglês), o Banco da Organização de Cooperação de Shanghai (SCO, por sua sigla em inglês) e o banco dos BRICS (que reúne Brasil, Rússia, Índia, China e África do Sul).

Tanto na Ásia-Pacífico quanto na África e na América Latina e no Caribe não há dúvida de que a China compete cara a cara com o Banco Mundial e os bancos regionais de desenvolvimento respaldados por Washington (Banco Asiático de Desenvolvimento, Banco Africano de Desenvolvimento, Banco Interamericano de Desenvolvimento, etc.) no financiamento de projetos de infraestrutura e extração de matérias-primas (‘commodities’).

Entretanto, os mecanismos de cooperação financeira impulsados por Pequim que oferecem liquidez aos países em conjunturas críticas, tais como a Iniciativa Chiang Mai (integrada por China, Japão, Coreia do Sul e dez economias da ASEAN) e o Acordo de Reservas de Contingência dos BRICS (também conhecido como o “mini-FMI”), possuem escassos recursos monetários, operam em dólares, e dependem do aval do FMI para outorgar empréstimos a partir de certo limite.

Portanto, se bem é uma excelente notícia para o mundo que China e outros países com elevadas taxas de crescimento do Produto Interno Bruto (PIB) consigam ver incrementada sua participação no FMI, com dois postos a mais entre os vinte e quatro do Diretório Executivo, os Estados Unidos continuarão exercendo uma dominação esmagadora.

Se Washington não concordar com algum mínimo detalhe poderá rechaçar qualquer proposta dos países emergentes, graças ao poder de veto. É claro que em algum momento, a China deverá exercer pressão para evitar que um só país escreva as regras do jogo, mas até lá dará tempo ao tempo…

 
* Economista formado pela Universidade Nacional Autônoma do México.

 
Fonte Original: Russia Today

Fonte Copiada: Carta Maior

Tradução: Victor Farinelli

TRNN: The Modern History of the Greek Debt Crisis

John Weeks, the author of Economics of the 1%, explains the history behind the Greek debt burden –  

February 25, 2015

I’m joined by John Weeks. He is a professor emeritus at the University of London and author of his new book The Economics of the 1%: How Mainstream Economics Serves the Rich, Obscures Reality and Distorts Policy.Thank you so much for joining me again, John.JOHN WEEKS, PROFESSOR EMERITUS, UNIV. OF LONDON: Thank you.PERIES: John, so in the earlier segment, we were talking about how Greece got to where it is now–in great debt–and the new finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, negotiating in Europe with European finance ministers and the troika on what can Greece do in order to make sure it doesn’t default, but at the same time meet its mandate and its commitment to its voters that just elected them into power.But this segment is dedicated to how Greece got there. So, John, how did Greece get there?WEEKS: Well, it’s a long story, which I’ll shorten with, you might say–which I’ll bullet-point.But first let me say one thing everybody should get sorted out, that there’s brinkmanship being played in the European Union, but it’s not by Greece. The Greek government is accused of intemperate language and pushing things to the brink. The brinksman or the brinksmen are in Germany. They aren’t in Greece.Okay. How did we get to this situation? We need to go way back. We need to go back to World War II, when Germany occupied Greece for three and a half years. The Nazis invaded Greece. They occupied it for three and a half years. For three to half years, tens of thousands of people were killed. But the relevant thing for the current Greek debt is that during that occupation, the Nazi government required the puppet government in Athens to make loans to the German government to pay for the occupying forces. You know, you might get your head around that for a moment. So you had the Greek people paying for the soldiers that were occupying them.PERIES: They were forced to do that.WEEKS: They were forced to do that. There was no choice. And loan’s at zero interest rate.At the end of World War II, the German government recognized that this was unfair and it promised to repay it. If that were now increased at the market rate of interest all those years, it would be close to 100 billion euro, about 40 percent of the Greek debt. That debt that Germany owes Greece is not included in the reparations agreements which were made in 1953, and at several other meetings that finally cleared up what Germany owed the victorious powers–by the way, Greece got relatively little of it; most of it went to the major powers, as you might expect.Okay. So why is that relevant? It means the Greek finance minister has raised this, and it is probably something that even could be litigated. But it gives a tremendous moral strength to the Greek argument. I would say that’s the first point to make about how we got here.The second point, before we actually get to the Greek debt, is in 1953 there was a meeting in London over the debts which the German government owed to the victorious powers, and banks and the governments who were the creditors received a haircut. That is to say, the German government managed to get a renegotiation of the debts that it owed, which I think under no circumstances could be considered odious, except in the sense that the German government could have said, well, we are no longer Nazis in power, so we shouldn’t have to pay this. Now all the Greek government is asking for is a similar type of treatment.So how did they get so much debt? I would say probably one of the most important things was in the 1990s, when the Greek government wanted to enter the euro. And this is an example of be careful of what you want, because you might get it. So I’d have to stabilize the drachma in order to enter into what was called exchange rate mechanism.PERIES: Explain that, John. What do you mean destabilize the drachma to enter the euro?WEEKS: In the 1990s, in the planning for the creation of the euro, every government that wanted to join the euro–I forgot the British did not want to join. But every government that wanted to join had to link to, in effect, the Deutsche Mark and hold their currencies stable in relationship to the Deutsche Mark. So their currency was only allowed to fluctuate a little bit. And at the same time, they were required to have a certain rate of inflation and fiscal deficits and debt and so on. But those things were really secondary, because a lot of people were doing a bit of quick and dirty finance about it, such as the Italians, and also the French, in order to make those rules. So the main thing is you have to stick to the movements of the Deutsche Mark.And the way the Greek government did that was by borrowing hard currency to support the drachma in relationship to the German currency. So they built much of this debt not for wild spending on social expenditures or pensions or early retirement, all of these myths about the lazy Greeks. They built most of it up in order to enter the euro.So you got to the year 2000, and they had a substantial debt. And then you come the crisis of 2008 and the bottom falls out of the European economy, revenue declines in every country in Europe, including, of course, Greece. As revenue declines, they go from a fiscal deficit of about 2 or 3 percent, not very large at all, in 2006, 2007, until–in 2000 [sic] it’s up to 15 percent of GNP.Being in the euro, they couldn’t print money. They couldn’t borrow from themselves. So, therefore what they had to do was borrow in–from commercial banks, borrow euros from commercial banks. And that’s how they built up the debt even larger.PERIES: And so now they go into a crisis where their debt is growing at a faster rate and unable to pay it back and is unable to provide any of the basic services necessary for a state to function. And they go back to be bailed out and ask for more money in order to sustain itself.WEEKS: Yeah. You’re right. I’m going to make a couple of points on that. The first point is that the actual absolute debt is more or less stable. The problem is the ratio of debt to GNP. And when you have a declining economy–you know, you don’t have to be a statistician, you don’t have to be a Nobel Prize winner in economics to realize that if one of the your measures or criterion for success, if one of those is a ratio of debt to GNP and GNP is falling, then you’re in trouble, because the major way that countries reduce the heavy debt burden is through growth, not through reduction in how much you owe. So, for example, the United States in 1945 had a deficit coming out of the war that was 250 percent of GNP. Ten years later, it was down to 100 percent.PERIES: Okay. In the minds of the troika and the European powers, how is it that austerity actually works in their mind? Because to ordinary people, this makes no sense. You know, if government cuts back, lays off people, and there’s less revenue being generated for the state by the taxes that they would be paying otherwise, how do they see the economy growing in order to be able to pay back the loans by implementing austerity?WEEKS: Well, it’s a mystery to me, but I’ll attempt to do it.You know, some people half-seriously say, well, the German government is the moving spirit by this austerity. And in German the word for debt and the word for guilt are the same word. And so there’s this underlying idea that debt is a sinful thing. I think there is some truth to that. But I don’t think the German finance minister and Merkel and so on are coming from that place.I think that there is something more sinister going on here, if I could put it that way. Much of those debts are held–Greek debts were held by German banks. And those banks wanted full payment. Just as in the 1980s, the Latin American debt crisis that U.S. banks particularly–but there were also banks in Britain and other places held a debt of Latin American countries. They were saying, we want full payment. And they kept pressing for that until you reached a point where it was obvious that it was impossible. And only then did the U.S. government step in with some mild measures to facilitate sort of a easier repayment of the debt. That was the Baker Plan and then, subsequently, another plant in the mid 1980s.What we have now is a German government still with banks that hold about 20 percent of the Greek debt, plus Germany is benefiting quite a lot from its position of control in the European Union. And it is running a large trade surplus with the rest of the European Union, with the rest of the Eurozone in particular. And I think it is to the benefit of German big business that this austerity, these austerity policies are maintained. Now, so I think that that’s partly–if you want to know the–the formal argument that–they’re down to a very simplistic argument now. They’re just saying with this huge debt, it discourages investment; until you get it down, the economy won’t recover. This is not clear.PERIES: Now, the danger of this, of course, is it’s not just Greece, but there are several other countries that are in a similar situation, as you said earlier. Now we’re looking at Spain in a similar situation. Ireland could possibly be in a similar situation. And this could grow throughout Europe to the point that their whole continent might be in crisis. So what is the solution?WEEKS: Well, first of all, let me say you’re absolutely right. And it has finally become obvious to people throughout Europe that austerity is a class question. The austerity falls on the poor and the middle class and doesn’t fall on the rich.And debt is a class question. The debt is incurred by the rich. They–for the most part the banks and other financial institutions–hold the debt, and it’s the people who pay it off.In addition, that one thing that’s been absolutely crucial to these austerity plans is the reversal of the balance of trade of the countries suffering from austerity policies, into which they’re supposed to run a net surplus and trade. Well, again, you don’t have to know a lot of economics to understand that. So not only has Greek GNP been going down, but the amount available to Greeks has been going down, because if you run a trade surplus, what that has to mean is that what you consume domestically is less than what you produce domestically. And that trade surplus is funding repayment of the debt. It is a unrequited outflow. It’s as if the German government came and picked up in big trucks, you know, Greek olive oil and Greek whatever else Greeks export and shipped it off and didn’t pay for it. That’s in effect what it’s happening. And I think in Spain, in Ireland, that’s beginning to be recognized as what is happening. I think it’s also beginning to be recognized in France. But, unfortunately, the response in France is the rise of far right, not the rise of the left, and that is a real danger.I was–up until just a few months ago, I was quite pessimistic. I thought that the austerity policies were going to provoke a rise of fascism again in Europe. But, fortunately for all of us, in Spain and Ireland and Greece, the progressives are leading the fight against austerity, and I hope that dampens down the rise of the fascists in the other countries.PERIES: Right. And, John, we’re going to be following what the Greek finance minister has tabled in terms of what’s a more rational plan for the Greek people and how the finance ministers of Europe is going to respond, as well as the troika. And I hope you join us for further analysis on this in the near future.WEEKS: Well, I would very much like to do that and I would say to all of your listeners, keep your eye on this, because this is not some strange, arcane thing that’s going on in some small country in the corner of Europe. This is something that affects all of us in every country.

Fonte:  TRNN

THE DELPHI DECLARATION ON GREECE AND EUROPE

delphi declaration

European governments, European institutions and the IMF, acting in close alliance with, if not under direct control of, big international banks and other financial institutions, are now exercising a maximum of pressure, including open threats, blackmailing and a slander and terror communication campaign against the recently elected Greek government and against the Greek people.

They are asking the elected government of Greece to continue the “bail-out” program and the supposed “reforms” imposed on this country in May 2010, in theory to “help” and “save” it.

As a result of this program, Greece has experienced by far the biggest economic, social and political catastrophe in the history of Western Europe since 1945. It has lost 27% of its GDP, more than the material losses of France or Germany during the First World War. The living standards have fallen sharply. The social welfare system is all but destroyed. Greeks have seen social rights won during one century of struggles taken back. Whole social strata are completely destroyed, more and more Greeks are falling from their balconies to end a life of misery and desperation, every talented person who can leaves from the country. Democracy, under the rule of a “Troika” acting as collective economic assassin, a kind of Kafka’s “Court”, has been transformed into a sheer formality in the very country where it was born! Greeks are experiencing now the same feeling of insecurity about all basic conditions of life, that the French experienced in 1940, Germans in 1945, Soviets in 1991. At the same time, the two problems which this program was supposed to address, Greek sovereign debt and the competitiveness of the Greek economy have sharply deteriorated.

Now, European institutions and governments are refusing even the most reasonable, elementary, minor concession to the Athens government, they refuse even the slightest face-saving formula there might be. They want a total surrender of SYRIZA, they want its humiliation, its destruction. By denying to the Greek people any peaceful and democratic way out of its social and national tragedy, they are pushing Greece into chaos, if not civil war. Indeed,  even now, an undeclared social civil war of “low intensity” is being waged inside this country, especially against the unprotected, the ill, the young and the very old, the weaker and the unlucky. Is this the Europe we want our children to live in?

We want to express our total, unconditional solidarity with the struggle of the Greek people for their dignity, their national and social salvation, for their liberation from the unacceptable neocolonial rule the “Troika” is trying to impose on this European country. We denounce the illegal and unacceptable agreements successive Greek governments have been obliged, under threat and blackmail, to sign, in violation of all European treaties, of the Charter of UN and of the Greek constitution. We call on European governments and institutions to stop their irresponsible and/or criminal policy towards Greece immediately and adopt  a generous emergency program of support to redress the Greek economic situation and face the humanitarian disaster already unfolding in this country.

We also appeal  to all European peoples to realize that what is at stake in Greece it is not only Greek salaries and pensions, Greek schools and hospitals or even the fate even of this historic nation where the very notion of “Europe” was born. What is at stake in Greece are also Spanish, Italian, even the German salaries, pensions, welfare, the very fate of the European welfare state, of European democracy, of Europe as such. Stop believing your media, who tell you the facts, only to distort their meaning, check independently what your politicians and your media are saying. They try to create, and they have created an illusion of stability. You may live in Lisbon or in Paris, in Frankfurt or in Stockholm, you may think that you are living in relative security. Do not keep such illusions. You should look to Greece, to see there the future your elites are preparing for you, for all of us and for our children. It is much easier and intelligent to stop them now, than it will be later. Not only Greeks, but all of us and our children will pay an enormous price, if we permit to our governments to complete the social slaughter of a whole European nation.

We appeal in particular to the German people. We do not belong to those who are always reminding the Germans of the past in order to keep them in an “inferior”, second-class position, or in order to use the “guilt factor” for their dubious ends. We appreciate the organizational and technological skills of the German people, their proven democratic and especially ecological and peace sensitivities. We want and we need the German people to be the main champions in the building of another Europe, of a prosperous, independent, democratic Europe, of a multipolar world.

Germans know better than anybody else in Europe, where blind obedience to irresponsible leaders can lead and has indeed led in the past. It is not up to us to teach them any such lesson. They know better than anybody else how easy is to begin a campaign with triumphalist rhetoric, only to end up with ruins everywhere around you. We do not invite them to follow our opinion. We demand simply from them to think thoroughly the opinion of such distinguished leaders of them like Helmut Schmitt for instance, we demand them to hear the voice of the greatest among modern German poet, of Günter Grass, the terrible prophecy he has emitted about Greece and Europe some years before his death.

We call upon you, the German people, to stop such a Faustian alliance between German political elites and international finance. We call upon the German people not to permit to their government to continue doing to the Greeks exactly what the Allies did to Germans after their victory in the  First World War. Do not let your elites and leaders to transform the entire continent, ultimately  including Germany, into a dominion of Finance.

More than ever we are in urgent need of a radical restructuring of European debt, of serious measures to control the activities of the financial sector, of a “Marshal Plan” for the European periphery, of a courageous rethinking and re-launching  of a European project which, in its present form, has proven unsustainable. We need to find now the courage to do this, if we want to leave a better Europe to our children, not a Europe in ruins, in continuous financial and even open  military conflicts among its nations.

Delphi, 21 June 2015

 

 

The above declaration was adopted by nearly all participants in the Delphi conference on the crisis, on alternatives to euroliberalism and EU/Russia relations, held at Delphi, Greece on 20-21st of June. It is also supported by some people who were not able to be present. The list of people who signed it follows. In it there are not only citizens of EU countries, but also of Switzerland, USA, Russia and India. Many distinguished American scholars seem to be more sensitive as regard the European crisis, than the … political leaders of EU themselves! As for Russians, it is only normal and natural to bear a great interest for what is going on in EU, as EU citizens bear also an interest for what is going on in Russia. All participants in the Delphi conference share the strong conviction that Russia is an integral part of Europe, that there is a strong interconnection between what happens in EU and in Russia. They are categorically opposed to anti-Russia hysteria, which in fact is nothing less than the preparation of a new, even more dangerous cold, if not hot war.