janeiro 30, 2012

A Grécia vexada com a proposta alemã de nomeação de um ‘comissário para o orçamento‘

Greek politicians have reacted angrily at a leaked German proposal for a euro-commissioner to control the country's fiscal policy.

"Our partners do know that European integration is based on the institutional parity of member states and the respect of their national identity and dignity,” finance minister Evangelos Venizelos said Sunday (29 January) in a statement.

“Whoever puts before a people the dilemma of choosing between financial assistance and national dignity disregards basic historical lessons," he warned, a veiled reference to the Nazi occupation of Greece during World War II.

A German draft proposal, published on Friday by the Financial Times, envisaged the appointment of a "budget commissioner" by the eurozone finance ministers. This person's job would be "ensuring budgetary control" and compliance with the EU-IMF conditions attached to the second bail-out, which still has to be approved. [...]

Ver EUObserver

janeiro 23, 2012

‘A ascensão do capitalismo de estado‘ in The Economist

Over the past 15 years striking corporate headquarters have transformed the great cities of the emerging world. China Central Television’s building resembles a giant alien marching across Beijing’s skyline; the 88-storey Petronas Towers, home to Malaysia’s oil company, soar above Kuala Lumpur; the gleaming office of VTB, a banking powerhouse, sits at the heart of Moscow’s new financial district. These are all monuments to the rise of a new kind of hybrid corporation, backed by the state but behaving like a private-sector multinational.

State-directed capitalism is not a new idea: witness the East India Company. But as our special report this week points out, it has undergone a dramatic revival. In the 1990s most state-owned companies were little more than government departments in emerging markets; the assumption was that, as the economy matured, the government would close or privatise them. Yet they show no signs of relinquishing the commanding heights, whether in major industries (the world’s ten biggest oil-and-gas firms, measured by reserves, are all state-owned) or major markets (state-backed companies account for 80% of the value of China’s stockmarket and 62% of Russia’s). And they are on the offensive. Look at almost any new industry and a giant is emerging: China Mobile, for example, has 600m customers. State-backed firms accounted for a third of the emerging world’s foreign direct investment in 2003-10.

With the West in a funk and emerging markets flourishing, the Chinese no longer see state-directed firms as a way-station on the road to liberal capitalism; rather, they see it as a sustainable model. They think they have redesigned capitalism to make it work better, and a growing number of emerging-world leaders agree with them. The Brazilian government, which embraced privatisation in the 1990s, is now interfering with the likes of Vale and Petrobras, and compelling smaller companies to merge to form national champions. South Africa is also flirting with the model.

This development raises two questions. How successful is the model? And what are its consequences - both in, and beyond, emerging markets? [...]

Ver artigo na revista The Economist

janeiro 10, 2012

Riscos geopolíticos em 2012: o nuclear iraniano e o petróleo

Não é difícil encontrar motivos de pessimismo para 2012. Com Portugal, a Europa e grande parte do mundo seriamente afetados por uma crise económico-financeira,  só falta agora, para adensar ainda mais o cenário, uma crise geopolítica grave. Há um ano atrás tivemos  as  revoluções em cadeia da margem Sul do Mediterrâneo que, apesar da instabilidade gerada, apenas afetaram um país produtor petrolífero com expressão  a Líbia. O ano de 2012 está a começar com sinais de que o programa nuclear iraniano pode estar a aproximar-se da fase crítica de obter resultados bem sucedidos. Que farão os atores mais diretamente envolvidos no assunto, nomeadamente Israel e os EUA? Essa é uma questão sobre cuja resposta só podemos conjeturar. Uma coisa é certa: se, por ação deliberada ou erro de cálculo, esses atores se envolverem num conflitualidade militar, o preço do petróleo e as nossas economias vão sofrer danos colaterais. É fácil antever que o estreito de Ormuz e a rota de transporte do petróleo que por ali passa irá ser, sob uma ou outra forma, um dos teatros de operações da confrontação.

janeiro 03, 2012

Qual a razão porque os Estados pagam taxas de juro superiores às dos bancos? por Michel Rocard e Pierre Larrouturou

Ce sont des chiffres incroyables. On savait déjà que, fin 2008, George Bush et Henry Paulson avaient mis sur la table 700 milliards de dollars (540 milliards d'euros) pour sauver les banques américaines. Une somme colossale. Mais un juge américain a récemment donné raison aux journalistes de Bloomberg qui demandaient à leur banque centrale d'être transparente sur l'aide qu'elle avait apportée elle-même au système bancaire.
Après avoir épluché 20 000 pages de documents divers, Bloomberg montre que la Réserve fédérale a secrètement prêté aux banques en difficulté la somme de 1 200 milliards au taux incroyablement bas de 0,01 %.
Au même moment, dans de nombreux pays, les peuples souffrent des plans d'austérité imposés par des gouvernements auxquels les marchés financiers n'acceptent plus de prêter quelques milliards à des taux d'intérêt inférieurs à 6, 7 ou 9 % ! Asphyxiés par de tels taux d'intérêt, les gouvernements sont "obligés" de bloquer les retraites, les allocations familiales ou les salaires des fonctionnaires et de couper dans les investissements, ce qui accroît le chômage et va nous faire plonger bientôt dans une récession très grave. [...]

Ver artigo no Le  Monde