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» » » » A revista Forbes afirma em matéria que o Michel Temer pode levar o Brasil de volta ao FMI

O estrago econômico causado pela crise política, que afastou a presidente Dilma Rousseff sem crime de responsabilidade e impediu que ela implantasse seu programa de ajuste fiscal no início do segundo mandato, pode levar o Brasil de volta ao colo do Fundo Monetário Internacional.
A análise é da revista Forbes, uma das mais importantes publicações de economia e negócios dos Estados Unidos, e foi publicada pelo jornalista Kenneth Rapoza (leia aqui), nesta quarta-feira.
O título não poderia ser mais emblemático. Rapoza lembra que "a esquerda livrou o Brasil do FMI, mas a nova administração poderá precisar novamente do Fundo". Num dos trechos, ele recorda que foi o ex-presidente Lula quem pagou a última parcela da dívida brasileira com o FMI, feita pelo antecessor Fernando Henrique Cardoso, no valor de US$ 15,5 bilhões, num gesto que foi encarado como um resgate da soberania brasileira.
Rapoza também entrevistou Alicia Garcia-Herrero, ex-economista do FMI, para quem o Fundo é "necessário mais do que nunca" no Brasil de Michel Temer. Para a economista, a atual política fiscal é inconsistente e "um calote da dívida é sempre uma possibilidade." Ela afirma, ainda, que um aumento de impostos é necessário e que o governo não tem demonstrado a firmeza necessária no enfrentamento dos problemas – Dilma tentou aprovar a CPMF no início do segundo mandato, mas foi sabotada pelas forças, capitaneadas por Eduardo Cunha (PMDB-RJ), que levaram Michel Temer ao poder.
Leia, abaixo, a íntegra da reportagem da Forbes, em inglês:
Brazil's Political Left Ousted The IMF, But New Leadership May Need It Back
Kenneth Rapoza
Brazil and the IMF: together again? Oh yeah! says no one.
The left wing Workers’ Party (PT) rose to power thanks to the International Monetary Fund. The public, sick of hearing about how the government had to pay foreign lenders and didn’t have the money to pay to develop a poor economy, voted out the ruling elites and voted in Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a union rabble rouser he never went to college.
And then, Lula kicked the International Monetary Fund to the curb when Brazil paid the $15.5 billion it owed them in December 2005. No longer was the government beholden to the designs of the Fund’s financial demands. It become a net lender to the IMF instead.
To the public, the Lula government gave Brazil its economic sovereignty back.  They hated the IMF and turned against the Social Democratic Party because of it. Lula quickly became the most popular president in the Americas, if not the world, based on his approval rating in the 80s. The government didn’t default. It made good on its promise.  The world was pleasantly surprised.
But 11 years later, a reversal of fortunes is occurring. The surprises in Brazil, for the most part, have been consistently negative.
Lula & Obama
October 2002 Brazil was the equivalent of the U.S. in November 2008. Bedraggled and beaten down by foreign debt, with pundits from Washington to São Paulo predicting imminent defaults, union rabble rouser Lula clobbered the establishment candidate Jose Serra and won the presidency in nothing short of a landslide.  Lula “peace and love” made new fans. The middle class in the south voted for him in spades, even those who once thought Lula was a communist. The native tribes waved red PT flags in canoes floating up the Para River in the Amazon. It wasn’t an ideological battle at all. It was a battle of common sense. Brazil was in the gutter. The leaders were failures. It was Lula’s turn. Despite the fact the world worked in Lula’s favor, he still managed to deliver.
In 2008, the U.S. was bedraggled and beaten down by a housing crisis that wiped out untold billions in American family wealth. An unpopular war in Iraq pulled the rug out from under the regime changers in the Republican Party, and a black man raised by a single white woman was elected President with 53% of the vote. Those who thought Obama was some sort of closet socialist were wrong.  Despite the fact that the Federal Reserve has propped up the markets for the past 8 years, Obama was in charge when the U.S. came out of the Great Recession.
Now the pendulum has swung.
Seja Bemvindo IMF!
The IMF is needed in Brazil “more than ever”, says Alicia Garcia-Herrero, a former IMF economist and now chief economist Asia Pacific asset manager Natixis. “The interim government has made progress with new fiscal targets, but it is neither transparent nor credible and it will be impossible to implement in the current circumstances of an interim government with a very low degree of acceptance by the population,” she says.
Interim government leader Michel Temer was the vice president of suspended president Dilma Rousseff. Temer is part of the big tent Democratic Movement Party, or PMDB. Party bosses, once close allies of the PT, conspired to remove Dilma from power once it became clear she could do nothing to significantly stop the political crisis resulting from the massive Petrobras bribery scandal. Dilma faces a senate trial next month for supposedly cooking the books on fiscal accounts.
What does the debt look like?
Brazil’s primary deficit rose to 2.5% of GDP in May, or -10% of GDP in nominal terms. The new target for this year’s deficit is 2.6% of GDP, up from Dilma’s poor guesstimate of 1.5%. The weak economy is taking in less in taxes and fees.
Due to constitutional constraints, spending is highly rigid in Brazil and therefore not easy to cut. Many of them are mandatory (social security) and they lead to inflation. Inflation is over 8%, down from 9.5% in the first quarter.
New Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles said on Tuesday that Plan A to resolve the economic crisis was to cut spending without harming popular social programs like ‘Bolsa Familia’. Plan B was to start selling off state assets. And the worst plan of all, Plan C, was an IMF style austerity program to raise taxes.
“The willingness to raise taxes is less straightforward and there is no doubt it needs to be done immediately,” says Garcia-Herrero. “An IMF program seems like the right entry point for such unpalatable measures as it could be used as a scapegoat by the government, basically blaming the Fund for the tax hike.”
Contingent liabilities may arise from the government’s mega state enterprises, like BNDES bank or Petrobras. The oil major is particularly vulnerable to massive lawsuits in the U.S. and Brazil, and it has over $130 billion in debt.
Should Dilma survive impeachment, the best case scenario would be for her to call for new elections. If she stayed, a political stalemate is likely. And that makes an IMF bailout package all the more relevant. The economy stagnates. No new money comes into the government. The debt burden worsens. Someone is going to have to clean up this mess.
“If Dilma comes back then I think we basically stop and grind to a halt,” says Chris Probyn, senior economist with State Street Global Advisors, a $2 trillion asset manager in Boston. “Dilma would prolong the crisis and there would be another big dose of uncertainty.”
State Street has Brazil’s economy performing worse this year than last year, making them one of the biggest bears on Brazil. Probyn has Brazil GDP contracting by 4%. The IMF has it contracting 3.8% based on their World Economic Outlook report from April. Brazil’s central bank sees it contracting by 3.3%, based on a recent survey.
The Petrobras Scandal Is Brazil’s Brexit
The political noise in Brazil continues to delay progress. The war of words between Dilma supporters and those looking to move on has not subsided. Temer remains highly unpopular. His government is at least as fragile as Dilma’s with one exception: congress likes him a wee bit better than her.
Reforms are rhetorical. The market is hopeful, but that is it. If the IMF comes to town, the mood might change for the worse.
FocusEconomics said this week that it sees the economy recovering “meekly” next year, up 0.9%.
Eleven years ago, when Brazil surprised the world and paid its IMF debt, the country was on an entirely new path. The left wing Lula wasn’t going to be the next Hugo Chavez. He was going to adhere to contracts with foreign lenders. He could be trusted.
Of course, the Petrobras scandal changed all that.
As the migrant crisis led to Brexit and possibly a Donald Trump, the Petrobras crisis could lead to the old days of a foreign institution telling Brazil’s government how to spend its money.
Ironically, one of the things the IMF praised Lula for was his adherence to the government’s Fiscal Responsibility Law. This is the very law for which Dilma faces an impeachment trial in the Senate in roughly four weeks.
Brazil has done a 180. All it needs now is to return to 2002. And it just might if Lula runs for office again. While his favorability ratings have plummeted, Brazil’s leadership hole makes him the only known politician with a spattering of good will left among a decent portion of the population.
Yet, just as Lula kicked the IMF out of Brazilian politics, the Petrobras scandal may yet kick Lula out of it too. Lula running to the IMF would be sacrilegious. For other politicians, it’s a scapegoat…and unless Brazil grows next year, it may be a lifeline.

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