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O Brasil na Crise do Regime de Acumulação com Dominância Financeira

6 September, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Inspirando-se em conceitos derivados da escola regulacionaista francesa, Leda Paulani mostra como o Brasil de hoje é um representante da crise do regime de acumulação com dominância financeira. A transição da “finança intermediária” para a “finança direta” marcou a passagem nos anos 1970 para um regime de acumulação em que os capital portador de juros e o capital fictício assumem posição central. A acumulação patrimonialista baseada na valorização de ativos financeiros, a emergência do sistema financeiro não-bancário e a proliferação de mercados secundários (juntamente com a securitização) contribuíram para a formação de um novo arranjo institucional no qual as finanças assumem um papel proeminente tanto quantitativa quanto qualitativamente.  Confira aqui como o  capítulo brasileiro se encaixa nesse novo arranjo internacional.


Cito aqui algumas passagens do artigo intitulado “Brazil in the Crisis of the Finance-Led Regime of Accumulation” que parecem ser interessantes sobre a economia brasileira:


“Brazil has been a player in the history of financialized capitalism since the very beginning. For instance, the country was responsible for a major part of the demand for credit that led to this regime’s first global asset bubble, the Latin American debt crisis of the early 1980s. In the latter half of the 1990s, Brazil became an emerging financial power, having performed all the required restructuring, from monetary stabilization to unconditional financial opening, from reforms in welfare to changes in bankruptcy legislation. Thus, the country positioned itself as an international platform for financial valorization; that is, as an emerging economy where it was possible to obtain extremely high gains in a strong currency (oftentimes the highest in the world). When exchange rates were determined by government decree (fixed exchange rate regime), huge gains were possible because of sky-high interest rates, and also after the crisis of 1999 (and particularly after 2003), with the floating exchange rate regime, because of the recurring and self-referenced appreciation of the Brazilian currency (leveraged, as it could not be otherwise, by reckless gam bling on derivatives).

This manner of engaging the Brazilian economy in the world economy strengthened the domestic rentiers and imposed the financial logic upon the national accumulation process. Bruno et al. (2009) offer several illustrative indicators of this trend. The rate of accumulation of productive fixed assets, for instance, fell approximately 40 percent in the early 1980s and stayed at this paltry level for nearly a quarter of a century, whereas profit rates recovered after 1994 and grew firmly thereafter. On the other hand, the ratio between the inventory of financial assets13 and the inventory of productive assets14 grew rapidly: from 15 percent in 1992 to approximately 75 percent in 2008. Over the last 30 years, financial power was exerted through various different means, but whatever the situation, it always increased. In years of high inflation, a two-currency model (one used as unit of account and means of exchange, the other as reserve of value) was the foundation of rent-seeking accumulation and the financialization of wealth. After monetary stability was achieved (1994), inflation was replaced by extremely high interest rates, by even greater differences in the interest rates paid and charged by the financial and banking sectors, and by the relentless growth of public debt as a percentage of GDP (Bruno et al. 2009: 16-21).

Not by chance, the first impacts of the last crisis on the Brazilian economy were felt by the financial sector. At the onset, a crisis of confidence completely stopped credit and practically froze interbank loans. A succession of bubbles then burst: stock bubbles, bubbles of exchange rate derivatives, bubbles of the exchange rates themselves that somehow induced the others.16 In a wholly self-referenced movement, the appreciation of the Brazilian currency itself became an integral element of the strong currency valorization game of high finance that became possible in the country after 2003. And a vicious circle was established, whereby high interest rates brought in foreign currency, upped the ante on further appreciation of the Brazilian currency, generated even better dollar results for foreign investors, which brought even more dollars into the country, and so forth. In this context, exporting companies, that managed to outweigh their losses with the appreciation of the Brazilian currency with financial gains from derivatives, suffered the direct impact of the crisis when the game changed.


With regard to consumption, credit was not affected, in spite of a certain retraction in the beginning, particularly for high-value goods such as cars. It is impossible to overstress the importance that credit, and specially paycheck-secured credit (known as “consigned credit” in Brazil), has today in sustaining the level of consumption, but this only confirms the preeminence of the financial dimension; that is, productive accumulation that takes place only under the auspices and command of financial accumulation. The great problem is that, unlike investment, consumption is not dynamic enough to fully invigorate the economy, not to mention that credit-driven consumption is not sustainable in the long run, as the American experience clearly shows. From the point of view of the accumulation process, this macroeconomic arrangement, by which investment is once again in danger of stalling and in which credit-driven consumption appears as the dynamic element, is clearly inverted. Nevertheless, it is an arrangement typical of an accumulation regime with finance at the helm, promoting the expansion of fictitious wealth.

Finally, it is necessary to say some words about the reappearance of foreign capital in the Brazilian economy from mid-2009 onwards. In the first place, it must be remembered that, in spite of the latest cuts, Brazilian interest rates are still among the highest in the world. To be sure, with the restoration of minimum levels of confidence, after the worst of the crisis passed, this evidently helped to attract foreign currency into the country, especially since real interest rates in many parts of the world are now negative. It is true that other factors–such as “fashion Brazil,” which recently spread through the world of business, and the low prices of productive assets in the country–may also explain the recovery of external investment, but the decisive factor is undoubtedly the high level of interest rates. The inflow of dollars will once again turn the wheel of the appreciation of the Brazilian currency and re-inflate the bubble that had wilted with the crisis. The sustainability of this “arrangement” and, even more so, its ability to recreate here a virtuous circle of capitalist growth, are as safe a bet as the reverse macroeconomic disposition that emerged from post-crisis Brazil”



Clique aqui para conferir o artigo “Brazil in the Crisis of the Finance-Led Regime of Accumulation” de Leda Paulani. O acesso é, infelizmente, restrito aos assinantes da RRPE.






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