quinta-feira, 24 de janeiro de 2008

terça-feira, 22 de janeiro de 2008

Mercantilismo e capitalismo

O novo mercantilismo. Por José Manuel Moreira.

Grassa por aí uma grave confusão entre mercantilismo e capitalismo. Julgam-se sinónimos, mas são sistemas opostos, como bem viu Adam Smith.

Ao contrário dos defensores do livre mercado, os mercantilistas (XVI-XVIII) temiam o excesso de liberdade, de modo que se apoiavam no Estado para planificar e regular a vida económica. A lista de políticas para promover o interesse nacional era, por isso, grande e variada. Regulamentos, impostos e subsídios para tudo, assim como monopólios legais na forma de privilégios e patentes eram comuns no mercantilismo. Daí o uso do processo político para garantir benefícios e assegurar os controles e condicionamentos requeridos à “boa” regulação. Ao mercantilismo corresponde, por isso, uma “economia de interesses”, a bem de (alguns) produtores e a mal dos consumidores.

Mais crédito fácil para resolver problemas gerados com o crédito fácil...

Inflação (YoY) = 4.1%

Taxa de Juro FED = 3.5%

Nobel socialista critica o socialismo monetário e atribui as culpas aos liberais...

"Alguma vez terão Ayn Rand ou o libertário Milton Friedman previsto que 'o mercado paraíso' de Adam Smith chegaria a este caos? Onde estavam os presidentes do Banco de Inglaterra, do BCE e do Banco do Japão quando a catástrofe começou a ganhar forma?

Paul Samuelson, Nobel da Economia, "Diário Económico", 21-01-2008 (Via Público)

Falará do "paraíso" criado por instituições socialistas que nacionalizaram o ouro da população e coercivamente forçaram esta a usar pedaços de papel que o Bacno Central e o sistema bancário cria (em vez de captar como depósitos) para conceder crédito ao investimento (e aos déficits do Estado) como se existisse a poupança real para a sustentar?

Porque existem ciclos económicos? .... porque existem Bancos Centrais

"In his writings Milton Friedman blamed the central bank policies for causing the Great Depression. According to Friedman the Federal Reserve failed to pump enough reserves into the banking system to prevent the collapse in the money stock. For Friedman, the failure of the US central bank is not that it caused the monetary bubble but that it allowed the deflation of the bubble. Murray Rothbard, while agreeing with Friedman that the money stock fell sharply, found that the Federal Reserve had been aggressively pumping reserves into the banking system. Notwithstanding this pumping, the money stock continued to fall. The sharp fall in the money stock, contrary to Friedman, is not indicative of the Federal Reserve’s failure to pump the money supply. It is indicative of the shrinking pool of funding brought about by the loose monetary policies of the central bank.

Essentially, the pool of funding is the quantity of goods available in an economy to support future production. In the simplest of terms: a lone man on an island is able to pick 25 apples an hour. With the aid of a picking tool, he is able to raise his output to 50 apples an hour. Making the tool, (adding a stage of production) however, takes time. During the time he is busy making the tool, the man will not be able to pick any apples. In order to have the tool, therefore, the man must first have enough apples to sustain himself while he is busy making it. His pool of funding is his means of sustenance for this period-the quantity of apples he has saved for this purpose.

The size of this pool determines whether or not a more sophisticated means of production can be introduced. If it requires one year of work, for the man to build this tool, but he has only enough apples saved to sustain him for one month, then the tool will not be built-and the man will not be able to increase his productivity. (This point is drawn from Richard von Strigl, Capital and Production). The island scenario is complicated by the introduction of multiple individuals who trade with each other and use money. The essence, however, remains the same: the size of the pool of funding sets a brake on the implementation of more productive-but longer-stages of production.

Trouble erupts whenever the banking system makes it appear that the pool of funding is larger than it is in reality. When a central bank expands the money stock, it does not enlarge the pool of funding. It gives rise to the consumption of goods, which is not preceded by production. It leads to less means of sustenance. As long as the pool of funding continues to expand, loose monetary policies give the impression that economic activity is being boosted. That this is not the case becomes apparent as soon as the pool of funding begins to stagnate or shrink. Once this happens, the economy begins its downward plunge. The most aggressive loosening of money will not reverse the plunge (for money cannot replace apples).
By fulfilling the role of the intermediary, banks are an important factor in the process of real wealth formation. Banks facilitate the flow of real funding i.e the flow of the means of sustenance by introducing suppliers of real funding to the demanders.

The introduction of money to our analysis will not alter the fact that the subject matter remains the pool of means of sustenance. When a saver lends money, what he in fact lends to borrowers is the goods he has not consumed. Credit then means that unconsumed goods are loaned by one productive individual to another, to be repaid out of future production.

The existence of the central bank and fractional reserve banking permits commercial banks to generate credit which is not backed up by real funding i.e. credit out of "thin air." Once the unbacked credit is generated it creates activities that the free market would never approve, i.e. these activities are consuming and not producing real wealth. As long as the pool of funding is expanding and banks are eager to expand credit various false activities continue to prosper.

Whenever the extensive creation of credit out of "thin air" lifts the pace of real-wealth consumption above the pace of real-wealth production the flow of real savings is arrested and a decline in the pool of funding is set in motion. Consequently, the performance of various activities starts to deteriorate and bank’s bad loans start to rise. In response to this, banks begin to call back their loans and this in turn sets in motion a decline in the money stock

We can thus conclude that depression is not caused by the collapse in the money stock, but in response to the shrinking pool of funding, which also causes the disappearance of money out of "thin air." Consequently, even if the central bank were to be successful in preventing the disappearance of money, this would not be able to prevent a depression if the pool of funding is declining. Also, even if loose monetary policies were to succeed in lifting prices and inflationary expectations, this couldn’t revive the economy as long as the pool of funding is declining.

Furthermore, it is the loose monetary policies of the central bank and fractional reserve banking that cause the misallocation of resources, which in turn weakens the flow of savings and hence weakens the buildup of the pool of funding. This in turn implies that the primary causes of depression are loose monetary policies of the central bank and fractional reserve banking. "

"Inflation, Deflation, and the Future ", By Frank Shostak

terça-feira, 15 de janeiro de 2008

Inflation is back

"The Labor Department reported that wholesale inflation was up 6.3 percent for all of 2007 ... Wholesale inflation last year shot up by the largest amount in 26 years"

"O caso à esquerda contra os Bancos Centrais e a inflação monetária"

no Vento Sueste

segunda-feira, 14 de janeiro de 2008

Nova Cidadania 35: Liberdade, Religião e Vida Pública



Está nas bancas o Nº 35 da revista Nova Cidadania.

Entre muitos artigos que se recomendam, inclui-se da minha parte uma recensão alargada do livro Catholic Social Teaching and the Market Economy, editado pelo Institute of Economic Affairs. Especialmente recomendada aos interessados na relação entre catolicismo, liberalismo e economia de mercado. O ensaio-recensão em causa funciona também como um cumprimento parcial da promessa que tinha feito há alguns meses de escrever algo mais desenvolvido sobre o tema.

Fica a faltar um texto mais desenvolvido sobre as interessantes questões levantadas pelo André Abrantes Amaral e pelo Adolfo Mesquita Nunes no artigo Os Católicos e o Estado Laico, publicado na Atlântico. Para quando houver disponibilidade.

Post anteriormente publicado n'O Insurgente.