Como a nova entrevista sobre o Brasil colocou Ruchir Sharma em evidência novamente, seguem alguns trechos de seu livro Breakout Nations que falam de nossa situação econômica:
Crony capitalism is a cancer that undermines competition and slows economic growth. That is why the United States confronted the problem and moved to take down the robber barons by busting up their monopolies in the 1920s.
Foreign money-flows into Brazilian stocks and bonds climbed heavenward, up more than tenfold, from $5 billion a year in early 2007 to more than $50 billion in the twelve months through March 2011.
Brazil is the un-China, with interest rates that are too high, and a currency that is too expensive. It spends too little on roads and too much on welfare, and as a result has a very un-China-like growth record.
Since the early 1980s the Brazilian growth rate has oscillated around an average of 2.5 percent, spiking only in concert with increased prices for Brazil’s key commodity exports. This is not the profile of a rising economic power.
Since the crises of the 1980s Brazil’s government spending as a share of its economy has climbed steadily from nearly 20 percent—pretty typical for the emerging markets—to around 40 percent in 2010, among the highest in the developing world.
Between 1980 and 2008 Brazil’s productivity grew at an annual rate of about 0.2 percent, compared to 4 percent in China, a reflection of the fact that China was not only putting more people to work in factories and investing heavily in better equipment, as well as better roads to get the factory goods to market, but also figuring out how to make those workers and those machines work more efficiently.
Brazil’s economy seems to be hitting its limits on every front, as the aging airports of Rio and São Paulo—unimproved for decades now—struggle to keep up with increasing traffic, schools fail to graduate enough skilled workers, and businesses operate near capacity.
Unemployment has fallen to a decade-low 6 percent, but businessmen now complain that they have no choice but to hire unprepared and unqualified applicants. The average student in Brazil stays in school for only seven years, the lowest of any middle-income country;
Specifically the share of that overall investment devoted to new infrastructure—roads, railways, ports—is just 2 percent of GDP in Brazil, compared with an emerging-market average of 5 percent, and 10 percent in China.
The broad measure of how fully an economy is employing its total stock of labor and equipment—a number called the capacity utilization rate—is running at a very high level of 84 percent in Brazil, or about 5 percentage points higher than the average in other emerging markets.
Brazil’s puzzle is particularly difficult to solve because inflation kicks in at such a low rate of economic growth, so to fight inflation authorities raise interest rates quickly in an expansion cycle, pushing up the value of the currency and capping the potential speed at which the economy can grow.
Despite Brazil’s role as a major exporter, it is still one of the most protectionist “normal” economies in the world, short of the oddball cases, like North Korea.
If Brazil does not carry out the reforms, it will be hard-pressed to grow even at 4 percent per year—less than half as fast as China’s recent growth. Unless God really is Brazilian.