terça-feira, 31 de março de 2009
"The most likely outcome, sad to say, is some semiserious restructuring plan, with or without court involvement, to be followed by long-term government intervention and backdoor subsidies forever. That will amount to the world’s most expensive jobs program. It will preserve the overcapacity in the market, create zombie companies and thus hurt Ford. It will raise the protectionist threat as politicians seek to protect the car companies they now run. It would have been better to keep a distance from G.M. and prepare the region for a structured bankruptcy process. Instead, Obama leapt in. His intentions were good, but getting out with honor will require a ruthless tenacity that is beyond any living politician."
sexta-feira, 27 de março de 2009
quinta-feira, 26 de março de 2009
"Thus any sensible system of limited government should consider the proposed bills unconstitutional. Special taxes on some forms of income (but not others) and retroactive taxes put in place after business transactions are complete both merit strong condemnation. The bills in Congress are rife with both elements.
Nevertheless, a constitutional attack against any such law that might emerge faces an uphill battle. Since the New Deal, if not earlier, the courts have allowed Congress and the states to decide which economic activities to tax, and how.
Two basic principles that animated our Constitution appear to have no traction today. One holds that property is the guardian of every other right. The second asserts that voluntary exchange is the source of general peace and prosperity. Today's Supreme Court looks to neither principle for guidance."
Embora longe de qualquer comparação ao regime de insanidade jurídica que vivemos no país, parece que os Estados Unidos, lamentavelmente, trilham o mesmo caminho.
terça-feira, 24 de março de 2009
"The last quarter century of world development has presented economists interested in economic policy with many complex challenges. To name a few, economies moving
from socialism to capitalism and embracing market policies at first collapsed, and began
growing only after three to six years. The rapidly growing and heavily market oriented
Asian economies suffered major setbacks in the late 1990s, with major recessions that
slowed them down for at least a couple of years. The economies of South America
embraced budget discipline and privatization in the 1980s and 1990s, yet showed truly
lackluster economic growth. Importantly, many of these regions ended the era in a
spurt of rapid economic growth, but the troubles along the way raised questions
about appropriate tactics of policy reform.
Grappling with these questions improved our understanding of the workings of market economies, and of interactions between the state and the private sector. Transition has
taught us that economic and political disorganization, combined with obsolete human
capital of both economic agents and politicians, can sharply slow down the economic
turnaround. The Asian crisis has reinforced the centrality of the financial system in the
workings of a market economy, and exposed the vulnerability of that system to financial
bubbles and generally imprudent financial arrangements. The Latin American experience
has laid bare the fact that private ownership and fiscal prudence yield only limited benefits in a regime of overbearingtaxation and regulation. All these episodes taught important lessons for the tactics of economic policy making.
Perhaps the crux of these lessons is to focus on the right problem. The two areas of the world facing most dramatic economic challenges today are Africa and Latin America. When thinking about their growth performance, surely the most obvious problem is the lack of new businesses and investment, particularly in the formal sector. It seems highly unlikely that the central challenges have to do with whether inflation should be above or below 10 percent (so long as public deficits are under control), or whether there should be a 0 or 1 percent transaction tax on capital flows (so long as capital markets are broadly open). It seems obvious that the central challenges have to do with the shortages of human capital, and with predatory regulatory and tax policies conducted by African and Latin American states. Indeed, my feeling is that reducing the burdens of (particularly corporate) taxation and regulation, and replacing extremely inefficient regulations with more appropriate ones, are the
central challenges facing many developing countries today. The World Bank has properly
drawn attention to the necessary reforms through its Doing Business report, and we
have seen significant steps toward progress, especially among transition economies.
But tactics is only part of a broader strategy. On strategy, economics got the right
answer: free market policies, supported but not encumbered by the government, deliver
growth and prosperity. And while a lot has been accomplished in the last quarter century,
a lot remains to be done. Most countries have embraced responsible fiscal policies, but it is
far from clear that such policies can survive the volatility in the world’s economy. World
trade has a long way to go to become truly open. Many developing countries, especially in
South Asia, Latin America, and Sub-Saharan Africa, urgently need government much less
hostile to business. Many countries desperately need improvements in their legal systems,
including bankruptcy systems, to secure property rights. Indeed, many Sub-Saharan
African countries are rethinking their development strategies, after several state-centered
false starts. It is far from a foregone conclusion that their governments will make good
choices. We have a long haul ahead of us."
"The revival of Keynes has much to contribute both to economic analysis and to policy, but the net has to be cast much wider. Even though Keynes is often seen as a kind of a "rebel" figure in contemporary economics, the fact is that he came close to being the guru of a new capitalism, who focused on trying to stabilize the fluctuations of the market economy (and then again with relatively little attention to the psychological causes of business fluctuations). Even though Smith and Pigou have the reputation of being rather conservative economists, many of the deep insights about the importance of nonmarket institutions and nonprofit values came from them, rather than from Keynes and his followers."
"The present economic crises do not, I would argue, call for a "new capitalism," but they do demand a new understanding of older ideas, such as those of Smith and, nearer our time, of Pigou, many of which have been sadly neglected. What is also needed is a clearheaded perception of how different institutions actually work, and of how a variety of organizations—from the market to the institutions of the state—can go beyond short-term solutions and contribute to producing a more decent economic world."
terça-feira, 10 de março de 2009
quarta-feira, 4 de março de 2009
"In the end, we learned two things. Periods without stock-market crashes are very safe, in the sense that depressions are extremely unlikely. However, periods experiencing stock-market crashes, such as 2008-09 in the U.S., represent a serious threat. The odds are roughly one-in-five that the current recession will snowball into the macroeconomic decline of 10% or more that is the hallmark of a depression.
The bright side of a 20% depression probability is the 80% chance of avoiding a depression. The U.S. had stock-market crashes in 2000-02 (by 42%) and 1973-74 (49%) and, in each case, experienced only mild recessions. Hence, if we are lucky, the current downturn will also be moderate, though likely worse than the other U.S. post-World War II recessions, including 1982."
1) Como obter sucesso
Da redação "O que espero da vida", de um menino de 09 anos. Esperava-se que escrevesse sobre escolha profissional e outras decisões (como por exemplo estudar para ser médico e salvar vidas). "Desejo ganhar na mega sena e mudar com minha família para o Canadá", começou a redação. O garoto entendeu que, no Brasil, sucesso profissional e enriquecimento pessoal não vem de trabalho e conhecimento. Felizmente, as outras formas de ganhar a vida para ele são menos nobres, como por exemplo envolvimento na política e tráfico de drogas. A melhor chance está na mega sena e no exterior.
2) Crime e Castigo
Andando de carro com seu pai, o menino de 12 anos o vê frear bruscamente para não atropelar uma senhora de idade que atravessa inadvertidamente a rua. O pai balbucia: "Que m... com um acidente, iria me incomodar um monte com a Justiça..." O filho retruca: "Fica tranquilo, pai, que vc. é réu primário". Rezemos para que o garoto não leia o ECA (Estatuto da Criança e do Adolescente).
domingo, 1 de março de 2009
E o Keynes pós Teoria Geral? Mario Rizzo, do Think Markets, faz a seguinte citação:
“Organized public works, at home and abroad, may be the right cure for a chronic tendency to a deficiency of effective demand. But they are not capable of sufficiently rapid organisation (and above all cannot be reversed or undone at a later date), to be the most serviceable instrument for the prevention of the trade cycle.” (Keynes, Collected Writings, vol. XXVII, p.122 ).
Desta forma, ao contrário dos seus seguidores brasileiros, Keynes não era favorável ao crescimento permanente do governo como forma de estabilizar a demanda agregada.
Keynes entendia que a instabilidade do investimento privado era devido a incertezas a respeito de condições econômicas futuras e que ela estava na origem das flutuações do ciclo econômico, mas entendia também que a instabilidade de ações de governo -políticas discricionárias - não se constituia em um bom substituto. O governo deveria ajudar a prover um bom ambiente de negócios para reduzir incertezas sobre o futuro e assim reduzir a variabilidade das flutuações econômicas. O argumento completo desta interpretação está aqui.