Nº 82: June/September de 2011
Texts for Discussion:
Carlos Feu Alvim and Leonam dos Santos Guimarães]
The article analyzes the ten largest world economies, among which Brazil is included, both relative to mastering the nuclear fuel cycle for electricity generation and the possession of nuclear weapons. Of these ten countries only Brazil does not possess nuclear weapons while the other countries have them or share nuclear arms with those that have them. In this context it is shown the strategic importance of the fact that Brazil is active regarding the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, expanding its technological mastering and installed industrial capacity in its different sectors. It is also noted the convenience of the Brazilian rejection of the non-peaceful use of nuclear energy as established in the Brazilian Constitution and in different international agreements signed by Brazil.
Oil, natural gas and their products represent 55% of the world energy consumption; however these are finite resources and their predominance will not last more than some decades. It is necessary to find substitutes for these fuels and one alternative is the use of renewable organic matter (biomass). The article aims at presenting initiatives taken in the world and in Brazil about the use of ligno cellulosic raw material in bio-refineries. The focus will be on the sugar platform for 2nd generation of ethanol production considering the importance of this segment in the national agribusiness market. The results of the bibliographic search suggest that the technology is still in the search and development phase and raises great interest for consolidating the ethanol world market.
The belief that a cold in the USA corresponds to a flu or pneumonia in Brazil is not confirmed by the analysis of the economic growth rates behavior in the two countries in the last eighty years. In effect, it seems that there is no correlation between the growth rates of the two countries in this period. When the analysis is made in smaller historical periods it is verified a positive correlation (growth in phase in the two countries) in some periods but most of the time the correlation is negative.
We have been convinced that an American cold certainly represents a flu or pneumonia here in Brazil, that is, crisis in the USA have immediate and more radical results here than there. In the present American cold season it is useful to discuss the truth of this assertion because the simple fact that we believe in it is sufficient to produce negative effects in our economy.
Celso Furtado, opposing this belief, observed that crises in the American economy are perceived here in the short term but, in general, they become beneficial to the Brazilian economy in the medium term. He correlated the 1920/1930 crisis in the USA with the notable Brazilian re-emergence in 1932 based on the national market.
If one searches for a correlation between the American and Brazilian growth rates in the 1930 – 2010 the statistic indications are that they do not exist in the whole period.
It is possible to separate along these eighty years periods in which the high and low economic growth rates in the USA and in Brazil are in the same cycle phase and others in which the two countries had inverse signs. In a preliminary analysis it can be said that in the periods when they were in inverse phase are more numerous than those when they were in the same phase.
When we examine the linear correlation between the GDP variation of the USA and that of Brazil in this period we find out that effectively this variation is sometimes positive and sometimes negative.
The change in intensity and sense of this correlation makes us think that the possible dependence of the Brazilian growth and the American one is not direct; it is much more complex and to be coherent it should be studied considering the historical periods. It is concluded that the “cold theory” does not explain the past even when we were much more dependent on the USA.
In the last fifteen years we were in the inverse phase of that of the USA: in 1998 they were on the top of the Clinton era and Brazil’s annual growth rate was low. Then the American growth rate started to diminish while that of Brazil started to grow.
At the end of 2008 there was a crisis in the USA that had consequences in the following years in Brazil that had a drop of 0.6% in its GDP. However, consumption grew 2.4% in that year. In 2010 the considerable 7.5% GDP made it possible to consider together the 2009 and 2010 years as normal ones. Consumption grew 4.5% on the average, more than the average value of the Lula period (4%). As to the GDP, it grew 3.3%, a little less than the average value of 4% annually in the past administration. Data are from IBGE’s Quarterly National Accounts. The gap between production and consumption was practically closed with imports and less investment. That is, the GDP drop in 2009 was due, in our opinion, to an exaggerated reduction of supply by the productive sector because of an erroneous interpretation of the effect of the American crisis on the Brazilian economy.
The growth in the two years after the crisis in the USA was normal, the first “ripple” was over. And now, will we be in phase with the American cycle?
The data analysis is made in the The American cold essay in this issue.
Graphic Edition/Edição Gráfica:
Monday, 28 November 2011.