THE FUND RIDES AGAIN
Publication of Jornalego
Two issues of JORNALEGO were already in the
"out tray" to be sent to my selected readers - the present one and the
next after ten days - when I decided to stop them. Initially, a better
reflection about the examined matters made me take this decision. I
noticed that I was considering too seriously the newspaper's suffix,
namely ego. Instead of justifying it by being the only editor, I was
taking the risk of becoming its main theme. A good dose of self-criticism
and some restrictions to prevent the ego from becoming naughty can do no
harm. The articles written in the first person singular were about
religion and death. Besides that, they could hurt some friends' feelings.
However, if someone wants to read them, I can send them privately.
I was rescued by the superego and also by
the present national situation marked by the most recent agreement with
the International Monetary Fund.
In the week that is just ending, the Federal
Government, the media and the financial and exchange markets are
celebrating it. The expectations of the official candidate for the next
presidential elections are exacerbated even though his position in the
public opinion polls continues to be poor. On the other end, the middle
class went to bed less preoccupied after the daily soap operas and the
evening news. The presidential elections can be held with no problems
because the red carpet has been laid for an honorable exit of the
neo-liberal government and the inauguration of the new administration,
In my opinion what really happened was that
it was recognized that we are insolvent; once again the model is
collapsing, demonstrating that this insensate and insensible neo-liberal
policy of the most recent "Fernandos with an Itamar in between" period
is unsustainable. The indignation is such that in the present paragraph I
have used the "in" prefix several times. Dammit!
agreement value is US$ 30 billion. That is the amount we will have to pay
until the end of 2003.
agreement was made due to the strong pressures of the American banking
system on the Bush administration aiming at guaranteeing the return of
their money applied here as well as not killing the chicken with the
golden eggs. The pressure had the scenario of a speculation wave provoked
by the same distinguished actors.
Therefore, the dough will not even pay taxes in Brazil; it will remain
there in a mere electronic transfer to be added to our debt to the IMF,
increasing the creditors’ account, increasing their profits. A huge lobby,
a large liability without the corresponding assets, i. e., nothing will
change in what regards the quality of life of the Brazilians. History has
shown that there is no alternative; the expected compensation is more
recession, more unemployment, more poverty, more dependence and possibly
even more inflation.
the inheritance of 12 years of the neo-liberal experience, embarrassing
the resuming of our frail democracy and undermining the institutions that
support it. Our Congress acted as a yes man, starting with the
constitutional amendment regarding presidential re-election up to the
coexistence with the torrent of provisional laws, votes of the Congress
leaders and other illegitimate acts.
positive things were achieved, of course. I hurriedly mention the monetary
stabilization of the Real Plan before someone uses it as a
counter-argument to contest this sketched criticism.
that man do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones”
The price paid is very high. In what concerns the monetary
stabilization, the inflation during the eight years of the Fernando
Henrique Cardoso administration will be around 130%. Neither my salary nor
that of anyone has been corrected by this index. In this period the
participation of salaries in the GDP dropped from 33% to 27%. Like the
eighties, the nineties was a lost decade.
about the privatizations? We have consumed assets worth billions of
dollars without decreasing our debt that has rather increased instead of
transforming it into social welfare. The steel industry, the mining,
petrochemicals and telecommunication sectors, a large part of the
electrical energy industry, the banking system and whatever was available
to be consumed have been sold at a vile price.
celebration regarding the Fund agreement is due to the need of the current
model to fill an annual hole of US$ 50 billion – 30 for the debt service
and 20 for the balance of payments account. One billion dollar every
week! That will not be ended with this agreement.
It is like
the father who warns his teenager son to drive his car carefully,
attentively, at low speed, avoiding any inability. Suddenly an accident
happens. To ask now the presidential candidates of the opposition if the
Fund agreement has their approval is like asking the father of the injured
son if oxygen should supplied to him and if he should go to the intensive
care unit in spite of all that his father said about the possibilities of
the inevitable accident.
Government’s celebration and that of his followers regarding the agreement
could have as justification a cynical argument such as the following: the
more we are linked to the United States and to the International Financial
System, the better for us. Therefore they would not bankrupt our country.
In other words, don’t sink the boat where we are all sailing.
rationale, if it exists at all, besides being cynical, is partial, clearly
financial while the bill continues to be paid by the populace. The IPEA,
an organ of the Planning Ministry shows that the number of poor and
miserable people in the country, that was respectively 33 and 17 million a
decade ago, has now exceeded 50 and 20 million.
we have a conflagrant Latin America. Riots in Caracas and Santiago.
Colombia continues to cope with the guerillas. Argentina and Uruguay live
in a stressed situation. Incidentally, Argentina has been discriminated by
the United States and the IMF concerning the aid that has been granted to
Brazil and Uruguay. We live in a tight rope because we have adopted the
same model. Some time ago it was said that we were taking the risk of
becoming Belindia (half Belgium, half India). Presently with violence and
drug-smuggling on one hand and the fragile financial stability on the
other hand we are doomed to be transformed into Colombina (half Colombia,
half Argentina). The IMF agreement does not prevent us from suffering from
the ailments like those of our neighbors, it is a mere palliative. The
crisis is postponed. As a journalist has written today, a longer rope has
been put around the neck of the condemned.
My hope is
that my ideas and convictions continue to be mistaken as has been
thoroughly demonstrated by the arguments (sensu lato) of the conservative
right wing followers always more convincing et pour cause “united and
Marcus Antonius speech in William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.
Editor’s note : Jornalego has been created
by Genserico (precursor and founder of
after his retirement. Sometimes, as we have mentioned in the previous
issue, he digresses about economy like now.
The JORNALEGO issues cam be found at: