Wednesday, June 1, 2016

David Biller and Blake Schmidt — Brazil's BNDES to Sell Assets, Seeks to Lure Private Investment

Brazil’s state development bank BNDES will sell equity assets and utilize concessions and privatizations as it seeks to attract the private investment needed to pull Latin America’s largest economy out of recession, according to the bank’s new president.…
This is not a coup? The neoliberals rush to privatize public assets and deregulate business and finance.

Brazil's BNDES to Sell Assets, Seeks to Lure Private Investment
David Biller and Blake Schmidt


Ignacio said...

Tom I think you will like this:

Chinese students ‘brainwashed by western theories’, say scholars:

Tom Hickey said...

Thanks, Ignacio. I had seen that. It's perfectly correct that neoclassical-based economics almost destroyed the Russian economy in the transition from the USSR, and the same will happen to China if they get too immersed in it. Neoclassical economics is the recipe for bourgeois economic and bourgeois policy that from the basis of the modern neoliberal state that is run by haute bourgeoisie and for the haute bourgeoisie by privileging capital over labor because "growth" and "efficiency." Distribution is design to be toward the top because those at the top can best handle the resources of the country. It's typical conservative ideology adapted to policy.

If the Chinese cannot see this, all the worse for them. It would also be the worse for the rest of the world, because if China decides to compete on the bas of cowboy capitalism in a few generations they will own everything and have the biggest guns. Then they will collect the bill for all the humiliation that has come their way from the West.

On the other hand, Marxism needs to be updated in light of subsequent work in relevant field, which include economics, psychology, evolutionary theory, sociology, and history. Trying to apply Marx-Engels and Mao by the book isn't going to work either, as Deng showed.

They need to develop a heterodox economics with Chinese characteristics.

Bob said...

Not sure why they are in a rush, if Brazilians do not approve of these changes, they can be rolled back. Or is there a plan to prevent future elections?

Tom Hickey said...

Its difficult rolling bank changes after the fact. That's why the rush to do. Same when the Harvard boyz went to Russia.

Tom Hickey said...

BTW, when Putin kicked out the oligarchs who had been enriched by the Harvard boys rush to privatize for refusing to cooperate with reforms as Russia was disintegrating, Washing and the European vassal states cried foul and accused Putin of being a dictator. That was the beginning of the situation in which Russia finds itself embroiled with the West, largely for refusing to bend over.

Bob said...

The changes in Russia took about 15 years to stabilize, and they did not rollback towards socialism. Brazil is due for another election in 2018 at the latest, and they are not faced with a system change. In other words the aftermath of the collapse of the USSR is not comparable to the situation in Brazil.

They gotta deliver good governance or they're gone. Or the military steps in. This should be old hat by now.

Tom Hickey said...

The changes in Russia took about 15 years to stabilize, and they did not rollback towards socialism.

Um, no. Putin put an end to cowboy capitalism of the Yeltsin years, ended hurried privatizations and nationalized some industries, and stripped the oligarchs of heir assets who would not go along with the reforms and jailed some of them for alleged crimes. While Russia not no return to "socialism" as under the USSR, it was a much more Nordic model that was adopted, greatly increasing welfare while maintaining markets.

Now Russia is forging a particularly Russian society and economy, as China is a Chinese society and economy, and India an Indian society economy. The same is happening in Islamic countries. None of these will be built exclusively in the liberal model of the West, or be "modern" in the Western sense, as the West insists take place to be admitted to the club.

Bob said...

Yeltsin handed the keys to Putin in 2000. It's been 15-16 years.

Each of those countries is forging a particularly capitalist economy and society. The more their citizens consider themselves better off, the more fervent their belief in capitalism. Until the wheels come off, that is.

Russia is a developed, resource-rich country, like Canada. India is a developing country. China has reached their transition from manufacturing to domestic consumption. Each country is at a different stage of capitalism, and their economies will reflect that.

Why is the Nordic model being abandoned in the west? Incentives. The so-called liberal model is also incentive driven.

Tom Hickey said...

An economy that includes markets and prices is not necessarily either capitalist or liberal. Markets and prices, as well as state money and private credit have been around for millennia in all kinds of social, political and economic arrangements.

Russia, China and not "capitalist" economies in the eyes of the capitalist economies of the West, and India is struggling to become a capitalist economy under Modi. We'll see how that goes. So far, he promises have been greater than his ability to deliver on them.

Capitalism, liberalism and "modernity" depend on cultures that are highly individualistic. Russia, China, and India, as well as Islamic societies, are traditional societies. For a vast majority of the populations in these countries, liberalism and modernity are the work of the devil that leading to moral corruption and social degeneration.

W. said that they "hate our freedoms." From their point of view, it is not freedom but license.

Bob said...

The Marxian interpretation defines capitalism as commodity production (M-C-M'), with private ownership and wage labour. With these attributes come the various conflict of interests and the incentive to exacerbate them.

'Modernity' could simply mean a willingness to accept and use technology. Many socialists are technophiles, and they are part of a collectivist movement. Saudi Arabia has a traditional culture and they have embraced technology. Why should a definition of 'modernity' include individualism or 'enlightenment' values?

Tom Hickey said...

By modernity I mean a way of life that is science-based, rational and skeptical, technologically innovative, liberal, cosmopolitan and adapted to markets. — Peter Dorman, Modernity and Capitalism

This is pretty much the Western definition of modernity. It includes liberalism and other characteristics opposed to traditional cultures, such as skeptical and cosmopolitan.

Science and technology are factors in modernity but not the only ones or even the chief ones.

Modernity really begins with Martin Luther's rejection of the "magisterium" of the Church to interpret scripture, replacing it with religious individualism.

This was a key factor, a sine qua non, in the development of individualism as a foundation of Western liberalism and the modernity built on it.

The transition to modernity required the abrogation of the previous traditional religious culture. Russia, India, China, and Islam are highly resistant to this. China is also a traditional culture with no history of individualism and a strong social hierarchy, even in the family by birth order ("number one son, " number two son," etc).

Bob said...

Yet the advent of Islam prompted a surge in scientific research and scholarship. There was a desire to understand the world that God had created.

I don't consider markets, liberalism or cosmopolitanism as necessary components of modernity. A science-based, rational and technologically innovative society can arise without those conceits. This is an attempt to attribute something exclusively to western culture and to re-affirm its superiority. Dorman asks why so-and-so hates their culture, while he can't help but deify it.

Tom Hickey said...

The intellectual tradition of the liberal West attributes modernity solely to itself and a field of research is dedicated to why modernity didn't arise in any other country or region. One of the objectives of neoconservatism is to bring modernity to the rest of the world, whether they want it or not.

Meanwhile, the postmodern left is telling the liberal West to take their modernity and shove it. It's turning everything to shit in the name of another dogma that has no basis.

Bob said...

What would be a middle course to follow? A willingness to discard sacred cows, with an unwillingness to accept new ones?

Tom Hickey said...

What would be a middle course to follow? A willingness to discard sacred cows, with an unwillingness to accept new ones?]

The world is still locked into the moment in the historical dialectic in which late stage capitalism is becoming ripe for replacement by the rise of the next moment. The only contender on the horizon is socialism of some sort. The probably trajectory if peaceful is toward social democracy and then democratic socialism.

However, it may be interrupted by a period of extreme corporate statism that ends in corporate totalitarianism and a subsequent revolution that replaces it directly with socialism without an intervening gradual transition.

This is not something Brazil alone but it is now a global theme.

Global warming, implying increasing scarcity of resources, could change the course of history in ways that can only be imagined now.