Scamming by other means

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By LUIS FERNANDO NOVOA GARZON*

What's the Secret: Is Scamming Good for Business or Is Business Scammers?

After the epiphany that the necropolitical nightmare in Brazil would end at the exact markings of the electoral calendar, we hit our faces against the wall. Shocked by the covert operation of the scracho of the headquarters of the Three Powers in Brasilia, which attested to both their internal misalignment and the institutional extravasation of other powers that were manifestly insubordinate. Criminal and administrative proceedings involving pro-coup acts create the illusion of a proportionate and preventive response. Convinced institutional evolutionists claim that the failure of the plot of the coup would have been a success in the sense of vaccinating the body politic against new attacks.

The allowed advance is backwards, like a traumatized Angelus which, looking ahead to the horizon of the fascistization of the political sphere, nestles unconditionally between the ultraliberal and post-social devices that are at the origin of that same foreseeable fear. In this way, the controllers and replicators of this convulsive order deepen the permanence of their formulas of exception, dictating what would be supposedly ineradicable milestones of the country's maturity, which in turn have financial normalization as a condition ("financial deepening").

In the form of an endless matryoshka, the condition of the condition of the legal rooting of the requirements of the financial system is the constitutionalization of ultraliberal macroeconomics and its vaunted “pro-investment ambience”. Doubtful bonus of the doubt: either it is a condition for the end of military, paramilitary and market tutelage, or it would be the very consecration of all these tutelage.

Endless leniency with Jair Bolsonaro, whether during his presidential term or at this time, is not gratuitous. There is no market agent in Brazil who disdains so much effort made in recent years to suppress social obligations and non-mercantile discretionary margins over the budget and public finances. How can we qualify economic agents that promise redoubled chaos if privileges acquired and/or promised in the “Bridge to the Future” program (2017-2018), later transmuted into “Plano Mais Brasil” (2019-2022), are threatened?

The regime of social extermination, with its three vectors of collective destruction: untying, releasing, releasing, continues to be indispensable. An example of this is the recent positioning of chief economists of two emerging banks in the Brazilian financial system. Both prove how advantageous the functional exchange between high finance and public agencies that should regulate them is. I will use official communiqués made by them shortly after the crazy operation of the extremists on duty just to illustrate the argument presented here.

 

The business of neo-fascism and coup d'état by other means

On January 9th, Caio Megale, chief economist at XP, apparently diverted the subject by calling attention to what would be fundamental at that moment: “the search for sustainable fiscal balance”.[I] Paso doble to maintain the pressure and the urgency: what does not come through guns, let it come through interest rate blackmail associated with speculative flights. Here is the self-fulfilling prophecy released by XP: “Since the start of negotiations for the [transition] PEC, interest rates on futures markets have risen by almost four percentage points – with an estimated impact of R$160 billion on debt service. XP's economics team projects a 10 percentage point increase in the debt/GDP ratio over the next two years”.

The blackmail about what the future “sustainable fiscal balance” can and should be is a recurring formula in the kidnappers' communications to the victims' families regarding the ransom due: “Uncertainty puts pressure on financial assets, maintaining higher interest rates and interest rates. exchange rate more devalued than adequate for the country”.

The biased threats continue: “The ceiling was the first step in a deeper adjustment process. While it was working, it was necessary to move forward in untying, de-indexing and releasing the structure of public spending in the country, under penalty of pressure from mandatory spending and investments ending up imploding the ceiling”.

In fact, the regret embodies what would be a solution to the continuity of Paulo Guedes' economic policy, the same one that deepened the apartheid of the country, produced a social and health catastrophe during the pandemic and brought to light racism and supremacism of all kinds. As if this policy had not been defeated at the polls. This demonstrates that the country's merchants do not deal well with changes in political power that interfere with the configuration of economic power. Therefore, market fascism is not a force of expression, but an expression of the predominant physiognomy of the actions and monopoly structures of capitalism in Brazil.

The second character, chief economist at BTG, Mansueto Almeida, is even more emblematic of the concatenation of market positions with those of the coup itself. It was Mansueto Almeida, literally, the bridgehead between Temer-Meirelles and Bolsonaro-Guedes in achieving the most cherished pro-market reforms: the constitutionalization of the spending cap, the deleveraging of the BNDES and the Social Security Reform.

Mansueto Almeida's oracle, which is worth what it weighs, is projected in a detailed modulation of the prices of future scenarios. In a “macro” report, completed in the second half of January 2023, reference is made to the set of measures announced by Fernando Haddad that signal a recomposition equivalent to what would be the last “gap” in the spending ceiling: “In fact, the package did not significantly change our projections for fiscal variables and will not prevent a strong growth in gross debt in the coming years: we project a debt increase from 73,9% of GDP at the end of 2022 to 78,2% in 2023 , and 82,4% in 2024. Thus, a fiscal adjustment plan that signals a path of public debt stability in the medium term is still essential, and the uncertainty regarding the government's commitment to this plan brings a scenario of risk unnecessary".[ii]

The symmetry of the positions is by no means accidental and confirms the dominance of the agenda of capitals that owe their rise to the unconventional methods in which they figure: conducting mergers and acquisitions and privatizations in which large lots of wealth are traded in a concentrated manner. , the promotion of triangulation between government economic agencies, parliament and investors and, consequently, the accurate anticipation of investment decisions based on the feedback of privileged information.

 

Deprivatize, definancialize and demilitarize

Let us remember that the election result expresses a resounding no to Jair Bolsonaro and his sponsors. Stratifying this plebiscitary vote, one notes a predominance of women, young people, black people, residents of the outskirts of metropolitan regions, popular classes in general with a high concentration in the Northeast region and part of the North region. They are the segments that understood in their own bodies what four more years of necroliberalism would mean.

There is a non-negligible “uncover effect” that strains the country’s alignment with the modus operandi totalitarianism of the market, which includes conspicuous consumption, segregated cities, violence and torture in the slums, peripheries and frontier areas of commodities. Lula, therefore, catalyzes a powerful refusal that represents a release of creative and contesting energies, silenced and criminalized in recent years.

It is not by chance that scammers do not let their guard down; there is a real fear of a counter-wave that decouples economic and political structures consolidated since the 1990s. When Lula affirms and reiterates that health and education are not expenses and that the expense is the payment of interest on the public debt, the entire oligopolistic edifice shudders. When he puts inflation targets and employment targets on an equal footing, and questions the Central Bank's autonomy to obey private banking, stock exchanges and the dollar skyrocket, indicating how destabilizing such sacrilege is.

However, if Lula invokes the “stupidity” of the spending ceiling, he should not allow his Finance Minister to allow himself to be pushed to mend or mitigate barely measurable gaps in the framework of this stupid immobilization of public finances. Nor should she allow the new fiscal framework project to emerge as another constraint on essential and strategic investments in the name of the sacred duty of keeping the financial expenses of the debt up to date.

It is right that society, its articulations, forums and parties call and self-call for this. But the President cannot leave half truths in the air without, at the same time, opening participatory spaces so that the same truths can be said in full. Any gesture towards formalizing popular participation will be in vain without spaces for repoliticizing monetary, exchange rate, tax and credit policies.

What goes through the creation of spaces for social control and popular participation on the decisions of the COPOM-Monetary Policy Committee, the Treasury Secretariat of the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank instances for the supervision of Private Banks, the BNDES Board of Directors , Banco do Brasil and Caixa Econômica Federal, among other spaces for formulating economic policy.

The discussion about what should be limited and what should be expanded in terms of State action and its relationship with the market must be socialized, with the prior preparation of independent technical studies and their subsequent comparison in public hearings that lead to a popular consultation that focuses on the control and fate of public finances in Brazil.

*Luis Fernando Novoa Garzon Professor at the Department of Social Sciences at the Federal University of Rondônia (UNIR).

Notes


[I] https://www.infomoney.com.br/colunistas/caio-megale/a-busca-pelo-equilibrio-fiscal-sustentavel/

[ii] https://research-content.btgpactualdigital.com/file/2023-01-20T190955.989_Relat%C3%B3rio%20Macro%20Mensal%20-%20Janeiro.pdf?39a756d10a912e0886ec7b558ea97c85

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