Financial market pressure

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By PAULO NOGUEIRA BATISTA JR.*

The president-elect faces, at the same time, at least three hostile blocks; the most dangerous is formed by the financial market and the traditional media

Only Lula himself! Imagine, reader, the 2022 election without him in the race. We would now be facing another four years of disaster and disintegration. Now, reader, imagine the extremely difficult post-election scenario without Lula. I say this without any satisfaction or idolatry. Our dependence on one man is highly problematic. Much worse than the dependence of the Brazilian team ever was on Neymar.

Friedrich Nietzsche said that the ability to endure suffering is what determines hierarchy. Lula has this ability to a very high degree. And we are counting on her (again!) to try to overcome the immense post-election challenges. Huge because Brazilian society is deeply degenerated. Not just Bolsonaristas parked in front of barracks or blocking highways, but a large part of the ruling layers, from Congress, from the business community and from the media. There are plenty of exceptions to this, thankfully, but the overall picture is bleak.

The president-elect faces, at the same time, at least three blocs hostile to him and to what he represents: the extreme right (rebellious against the results of the elections with the support of part of the Armed Forces), the physiological right that dominates Congress (the called Centrão) and, Last but not least, financial capital. The latter, improperly referred to as the “market”, is closely linked to international finance and largely dominates the traditional media, which generally voices its interests and prejudices in an automatic and monotonous way. The physiological right and financial capital are more hypocritical and disguise their hostility, but it is real and should not be underestimated.

Evidently, the three blocks are not watertight. They collaborate frequently, and often actively. They allied, for example, to sponsor Bolsonarist devastation. Now they are trying to derail or capture the new government. Am I exaggerating? I do not believe.

The most dangerous bloc is perhaps the one formed by financial capital and traditional media. It is about him that I would like to speak a little today.

Beyond the obvious – the money/power/influence nexus – the danger resides in the fact that a good part of this bloc embarked on Lula's famous Noah's Ark. In other words, he joined the broad front formed to defeat Bolsonarism in the elections. Now they want to charge dearly for their participation. It was predictable.

Immediately after the elections, without allowing time for the dust to settle, a media campaign was launched to intimidate and frame the elected president. And the campaign continues. A real financial inquisition, as noted by Luiz Gonzaga Belluzzo.

The motto is “fiscal responsibility” and the supposed indications that Lula would have given, after his electoral victory, of not understanding the importance of this principle. Well, well, nothing that Lula declared after the elections differs from what he repeatedly said during the campaign. Or did he not warn, several times, that he would not live with the constitutional expenditure ceiling? And that tackling the social crisis would be his government's number 1 priority?

The economic debate has almost disappeared from the mainstream media. Long time. What you have, most of the time, is the monotonous repetition of the same message, the same slogans, transmitted by economists and journalists at the service of the bufunfa gang. Flashes of intelligence or creativity are not very frequent. As Nelson Rodrigues used to say, underdevelopment cannot be improvised. It is the work of centuries.

What's behind all the noise? In one sentence: financial capital wants to populate the future Lula government with employees of the status quo. As Lula has not delivered, or has not yet delivered, the noise continues. We have everything: interviews, editorials, editorialized news, opinions, articles and, of course, open letters to the president-elect. The Central Bank is already under the command of financial capital, thanks to the autonomy law, approved during the Bolsonaro government. It is not enough, however, for them. They also want to head the Ministry of Finance and try to induce President Lula to put someone palatable there, who will not challenge their interests and privileges. Someone who dances to the music.

Surrounding Lula, on the left or center-left, there are many high-level people with public spirit. On the other hand, there are also people eager to please and show themselves “responsible”, seeking to make individual projects of power viable. This installs a race to the bottom, a race to the bottom, with some people vying to see who is more credible in the eyes of financial capital and the corporate media.

It's Palocci's syndrome. What financial capital is actually looking for is a new Palocci. And its representatives openly manifest the desire that Lula 3 be similar to Lula 1, that is, that Lula of the early years of government, more docile, framed, with Antônio Palocci at the Treasury and Henrique Meirelles at the Central Bank. Meirelles was a typical financial market executive, more or less equivalent to Roberto Campos Neto, the current president of the Central Bank. Palocci was a PT politician who made himself viable by giving all the guarantees that he would do nothing against the established powers. And he blatantly copied the policy that had been followed by his predecessor, Pedro Malan, Fernando Henrique Cardoso's finance minister – without ever paying the due copyright. He reaped all the praise from Faria Lima and the media. He was dazzled. And it ended melancholy, in the most abject betrayal.

Lula promised that he would return “to do more and better”. It will not succeed if it loses control of the government's macroeconomic area.

*Paulo Nogueira Batista Jr. he holds the Celso Furtado Chair at the College of High Studies at UFRJ. He was vice-president of the New Development Bank, established by the BRICS in Shanghai. Author, among other books, of Brazil doesn't fit in anyone's backyard (LeYa).

Extended version of article published in the journal capital letter, on December 02, 2022.

 

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