Interview with André Lara Resende

 

Columbia University, New York – March 2019.

In an exclusive interview with Brazil Talk, the Brazilian economist André Lara Resende shares his vision on:

– Fiscal Policy

– Beyond GDP

Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, André Lara Resende was the Director of the Central Bank of Brazil, one of the members of the economic team that prepared the Plano Real, and former President of the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES).

Brazil’s Complicated Relationship with Money

By Nathaniel Archer Lawrence

[5 min read]

When I tell Brazilians I teach financial education, nearly without fail their first response is, “Oh, I need that.”

Brazil finds itself almost a decade into an existential economic crisis[1]. The “social-democratic” darling of BRIC countries in 2010, Brazil has spent the better part of this decade suffering. From the deepest recession in a century to unending political corruption scandals, Brazilians were unprepared for such a financial challenge. This is exactly what financial education strives to correct – at least, on paper – and what Brazil needs. Continue reading “Brazil’s Complicated Relationship with Money”

Part 3 – 2018 Election Series: International Conditions, Economic Voting and the Context of the 2018 Brazilian Presidential Election

This article is part of Brazil Talk’s 2018 Elections Series  and is intended to give our readers a deeper understanding of the Brazilian political system, its complex electoral process and gather diverse perspectives and opinions on what the world should expect from Brazil in the upcoming months and the future of the country at the beginning of 2019. 

By Daniela Campello

[5 min read]

One can hardly understand politics and policymaking in Brazil without considering the boom-bust cycles that are typical of South American economies. Brazil, like most of its neighbors, is a low-savings-commodity-exporting (LSCE) country. As such, its economic performance is highly determined by the behavior of two factors that are beyond government control: the prices of commodities that affect the country’s terms of trade, and U.S. interest rates that largely determine international inflows of capital.

Thus, the most favorable international scenario for Brazil occurs when commodity prices are high and U.S. interest rates are low. In these periods, abundant dollar inflows from trade and finance contribute to faster economic growth with relatively low inflation and boost fiscal expenditures. The worst scenario occurs when the opposite happens – when low commodity prices coincide with the high US interest rates.

Continue reading “Part 3 – 2018 Election Series: International Conditions, Economic Voting and the Context of the 2018 Brazilian Presidential Election”

The Brazilian Fiscal Crisis: The Lost Credibility

By Tatiana Acar

[7 min read]

 

Assessing how credibility affects both the economy and individuals in a tangible way is a complex issue in the economic debate. We can conceive the delicate concept of confidence through the image of a horse being trained to jump obstacles. In order to gain his trust, the athlete needs to show commitment and respect. With sufficient warning, the horse tends to follow his commands, and both will have a durable relationship. However, unexpectedly forcing it to jump will make the horse suspicious. If surprised, he can harm the athlete and destroy all the environment around him. Worse, once the trust is betrayed, it is hard to recover it. Brazil’s current crisis scenario could be linked to this metaphor since the fiscal misconduct seen in the last years has undermined the population’s confidence and generated great disarray among consumers, businesses, and investors. Output growth has fallen more than 7% in two years[1], causing unemployment more than doubling[2]. Recovering the lost development will consume a large part of Brazil’s next presidential term, which has been predicted by some analysts already[3]. But why has the country reached this stage? What is the relationship between credibility and the level of employment and income?

Credibility is built when people notice, over time, that the government has not only committed to the policy it communicated, but it has also managed to achieve its goals[4]. When a government spends continuously and increasingly, uncertainty about the country’s fiscal solvency tends to be higher. Thus, the effect of fiscal stimulus on the economy and individuals might become counterproductive by pushing up long-term interest rates, inflationary expectations and undermining longer-term growth prospects. This puts the government into a dangerous vicious circle, as the fall in the output causes a drop on tax revenues, further increasing the fiscal imbalance.

Continue reading “The Brazilian Fiscal Crisis: The Lost Credibility”