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As razões ocultas da flutuação cambial
Autor(es): Eduardo Strachman
Valor Econômico - 21/10/2009


A desvantagem do câmbio flutuante é que fica difícil calcular a rentabilidade dos investimentos

Acompanhamos indignados ou resignados as decisões do Copom acerca da Selic e as flutuações do câmbio, no Brasil. Porém, normalmente não notamos quem se beneficia de juros elevados e, sobretudo, de flutuações do câmbio. Escrevo sobretudo porque me concentrarei nos efeitos dessa flutuação, conjugados aos rendimentos das taxas Selic elevadas. Pois, a fim de melhor compreender a política econômica, é preciso notar ganhadores e perdedores. Para muitos, isso é um chavão, o que não torna a afirmação menos verdadeira.

Dados recentes mostram que, entre as moedas com (razoável) importância internacional, o Real é a que mais flutua, ou seja, nas fases de apreciação da moeda brasileira - ainda que o dólar venha apresentando há tempos tendência de perder valor - o Real é a que mais se aprecia, mais também do que as moedas latino-americanas. E já havia sido assim, em outros ciclos de apreciação, de outubro de 2002 a agosto de 2008, quando a moeda brasileira chegou a valores reais bastante próximos ao de seu ciclo anterior de apreciação, de junho de 1994 a julho de 1996, quando alcançou seu valor mínimo (medido pelo IPCA) frente ao dólar, com 68,31% do valor de junho de 1994.

Em julho de 2008, o Real alcançou 71,24% daquele valor, 71,69% em agosto; mas, com a crise do "subprime", nos EUA, passa a 79,7% em setembro, até chegar a 100,79% em dezembro e cair novamente, até os 77,45% de agosto de 2009, os quais são sobrepujados no começo de outubro.

Se medirmos pelos preços por atacado, o valor mínimo do Real ocorre em novembro de 1994, com 72,91% do valor de junho, passando a flutuar entre este percentual e 84,88%, até a forte depreciação de janeiro de 1999. O Real atinge seu mínimo em julho/agosto de 2008, com 55,88% e 55,48%, respectivamente, sofrendo majorações até dezembro de 2008, quando atinge 74,75%, voltando a declinar até os 61,94% de agosto de 2009.

Após esse detalhamento de índices, voltemo-nos a algumas manchetes: "Real segue como a moeda que mais valoriza no mundo neste ano" (14/02/2005), em uma comparação com 16 moedas; "Real tem a maior desvalorização entre moedas latino-americanas em 2008" (9/10/2008), com -26%, em outubro, seguidos pelas moedas do México (-16,3%), Chile (-16,2%), Colômbia (-13,4%), da União Europeia (-6,7%), Argentina (-2,2%), Venezuela (estabilidade) e Peru (+0,5%). E, depois, de novo, apresenta a maior valorização de todas as moedas, que não acabou, mas atingiu seu pico no começo de outubro, com 35,6%, entre 16 moedas. Então, o Real é a moeda que mais flutua, no mundo (11/5/06), o que deve ter uma função, já que há outras moedas seguindo regimes de câmbio flutuante.

Atores responsáveis e beneficiados por esta excessiva flutuação, no Brasil, não cansam de repetir a arenga de que o câmbio é flutuante, portanto, não há o que fazer. Contudo, moedas importantes atuam sob um regime de flutuação "suja", no qual a moeda flutua, mas os BCs intervêm, a fim de manter a paridade dentro de certas bandas, até mesmo com objetivos simultâneos em relação a metas de inflação. Afinal, o câmbio é uma das variáveis que podem fazer com que tais metas sejam ou não atingidas. Por que o Brasil não segue mais fortemente esse tipo de política, em vez de o BC apenas intervir no mercado em certos momentos, para logo desistir?

A resposta pode estar nos ganhos que as operações de câmbio proporcionam, tanto a bancos e instituições financeiras quanto a empresas do setor não-financeiro. Ora, quando se percebe que as tendências de apreciação/depreciação do Real são longas no tempo, largas em amplitude e bastante marcadas, há uma propensão aos agentes econômicos iniciarem especulações entre a nossa e outras moedas. É por isso que, de fevereiro de 2006 a outubro de 2007, os ganhos em dólar de aplicações em títulos públicos brasileiros pós-fixados, denominados em reais e atrelados ao IPCA, atingiram 89%, para isso ajudando a isenção camarada do IR a aplicadores estrangeiros. Mesmo os títulos prefixados renderam, no mesmo período, 64% para aplicadores estrangeiros ("Folha de S. Paulo", 22/10/07). É por isso também que agentes importantes especulam com relação ao valor da moeda, com poucos casos desastrosos de movimentação desta em direção inesperada, como em setembro de 2008. Assim, com a volta dos mercados à normalidade, volta-se a apostar em ganhos em transações cambiais.

Certamente há teoria econômica para explicar vantagens de um câmbio totalmente flutuante - por exemplo, a compatibilização mais fácil entre objetivos domésticos e externos, é o que ensinam os manuais de economia - mas também as desvantagens. A principal é a dificuldade de realizar cálculos de rentabilidade da produção e de investimentos produtivos, pois a comparação internacional de preços de importação e de exportação torna-se muito complexa e incerta, além de variar entre extremos muito favoráveis e desfavoráveis. Os setores mais penalizados são os de bens comercializáveis, sobretudo os industriais. Pois decisões que exigem horizontes mais longos de expectativas, principalmente para investimentos com maior prazo de maturação, podem não ser tomadas (setores de bens de capital, principalmente os mais pesados, e de insumos e bens de consumo duráveis mais intensivos em capital), mas tão somente aquelas que podem ser mais facilmente deslocadas pelos países vizinhos ou pelo mundo (setores de bens de consumo não duráveis e de insumos e outros bens de consumo duráveis menos intensivos em capital).

A flutuação do Real denota também a fragilidade política de nossa indústria, incapaz de se fazer ouvir quanto a políticas monetárias e cambiais, visto também que delas aufere fortes ganhos. Logo, temos um círculo vicioso, em que o câmbio obsta o desenvolvimento industrial e o menor peso econômico e político da indústria obsta um câmbio mais racional. Porém, a taxação de 2% de IOF sobre aplicações de curto prazo, a partir de 20/10, vai na direção correta, ao reduzir o diferencial de juros entre o Brasil e o exterior, sem aumentar o custo de capital no país.

Eduardo Strachman é professor assistente e coordenador do Programa de Pós-Graduação em Economia da UNESP).

e-mail: robertotroster@uol.com.br

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http://seekingalpha.com/article/167468-dollar-crisis-more-like-dip-...


Dollar Crisis? More Like Dip Buying
by: World Bank Crisis Talk October 20, 2009

One sign of crisis abatement is the downward slide of the U.S. dollar. As the market rediscovers its appetite for risk, the dollar's appeal as a safe haven currency diminishes. Indeed, the dollar has become the de facto carry trade currency.

The market has renewed its faith in emerging markets, and the U.S. has more tools to repair its trade balance and begin a phase of export-led growth? Is this a win-win situation? Not quite.

Although the dollar may be weakening, this weakening hasn't stopped central banks from accumulating more dollar reserves. In fact, dollar weakness may be accelerating accumulation.

Last week, several emerging market countries intervened in currency markets in order to prop up the dollar (or, rather, to push down their own currencies). This involves buying dollars: Russia recently picked up $1.4bn in a single day, and $4bn in the same week.

What are central banks doing with these dollars? Most of them are tucking them away for a rainy day, having seen the benefits of such accumulation during the crisis.

A few months ago, Deutsche Bank released a report which prescribed forex accumulation as a necessary strategy for future emerging market growth and stability:

The amount of FX reserves in relation to external financing requirements is still crucial to the assessment of countries’ resilience to external shocks. From a policy perspective, accumulating FX reserves still seems to be pretty good insurance.

Rebecca Wilder, writing in yesterday's Angry Bear, agrees:

Key markets in Asia (China, or South Korea) and Latin America (Brazil) remained rather resilient to the credit crunch late in 2008 due to sufficient (even excessive) reserves holdings. Brazil, for example, was able to supply private-sector financing needs by draining FX ($USD) reserve holdings. South Korea and other Asian economies, too.


Record inflows of late into EM financial markets (bonds and equities) are providing plenty of liquidity and contributing to reserve accumulation of late. However, having sufficient FX reserves has proven to be the best insurance out there against a stoppage in external financing. And as long as inflation pressures remain muted, acquiring reserves is not too costly economically (there are administrative costs, though, from sterilization when U.S. Treasury rates are near zero.)

Targeted reserve accumulation, in whatever currency but still heavily weighted in $US, buffered EM countries from catastrophe and is not going away.

Wilder notes that reserves in Brazil are now 230% higher than they were in 2007, 197% in China, 190% in Thailand, and 163% in Hong Kong. Reserves in South Korea grew by 26 percent in the first three quarters of 2009, Taiwan's by 14 percent. Indeed, the total supply of global reserves has tripled since 2000.

If pressure on the dollar continues, and countries such as China maintain dollar pegs (while other simply try to limit the appreciation of their own currencies), reserve accumulation is likely to accelerate.

Four months ago, in reaction to the Deutsche Bank report, I concluded:

The question remains as to how central banks' desire to purchase this kind of (fx) insurance can be squared with the need to resolve global macroeconomic imbalances.

This question still remains.

Exibições: 52

Comentário de Alexandre César Weber em 22 outubro 2009 às 1:00
Oil - Will it Be Priced in Currencies Other Than the U.S. $?
by Julian D. W. Phillips















We sent you this Alert on the 6th October, based on a report from a leading British newspaper, the "Independent": - Further to our Alert of the 20th August 2009 we have just received newspaper news [we need to hear this from the States involved first before it is accepted] that we have been forecasting for some years: -

"China, Russia, Japan & France are working with oil producers in the Middle East to permit currencies other than the U.S. $ to be used to pay for oil. This basket of currencies will include the Japanese Yen, the Chinese Yuan, and the €. It is reported in leading U.K. newspapers that this payment may be in a 'new' currency that is made up of these currencies. It is also reported that a new, unified currency planned for nations in the Gulf Co-operation Council, including Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar would form part of this 'basket' While we wait for confirmation from the countries involved, the news is in the market place and affecting gold strongly now. The most likely candidate for the 'new' money is the old Special Drawing Right of the International Monetary Fund. With the Chinese Yuan heading for one of the component parts of the Special Drawing Right in its next review by the I.M.F., the move would also incorporate the U.S. $, but break the link between oil and the $ a feature of the monetary world that has persisted for around 40 years now." -

Russia and Saudi Arabia have denied this news already and it is likely that if there is any truth to the story it will not be publicized this way. However, it remains expected by the market eventually and because of this the gold price is moving through overhead resistance! It is as if to say we expect it, so it is time to discount it now!

Once proved true and if true now, the era of uncertainty and monetary instability will be exacerbated by this break, taking the $'s prime support away from it and exposing it to the criteria that measures all other global currencies. This accounting will be bad for the $ and very, very positive for gold!

True or False?

The weight of China's growing power demands that the Yuan come onto the world monetary stage. The weight of $ reserves [$2 trillion+] demands that the $ retain its buying power while being slowly eased to one side. The weight of China's economic power [which still has a huge way to grow] demands that it issue the Yuan internationally and allow exchange rate forces to impact upon its exchange rate value. With its Balance of Payments strength, the Yuan should rise, but if the Yuan were issued freely abroad, the market would not let it appreciate so much. So why are they concerned about the $ oil price?

It is rapidly being accepted that the future points to the waning economic power of the U.S. and the rising economic power of the East. For over 40 years the oil price has been made in the U.S. $ almost exclusively. With the U.S. sitting with major economic problems and yet providing the globe with its reserve currency the world is realizing that the global reserve currency should be independent of any single currency, particularly under one nation's exclusive influence. But it is also true that any transition must be done slowly to allow the 'departing' currency to retain its buying power on the way down. This is the dilemma facing the world.

With the world running on oil the world must run on the $ so long as it is the sole price of oil.

If there is to be an eventual new basket of currencies [whether under the umbrella of the I.M.F. as an S.D.R. or not] as the 'new' global reserve currency, a lessening dependence on the $ has to follow. Likewise, trade between two nations outside of the U.S.A. should be permitted in the currencies of the two countries concerned or in the 'new' global currency and not rely on the $. This should include oil too.

The world cannot use the $ as the only oil currency if oil producers are to receive a well priced amount for a barrel of oil, if that currency is declining steadily. The international power that the currency of oil brings is enormous! Should that power lie with a nation who is experiencing monetary problems, alone? What is certain is that further global monetary changes must come. The story from the Independent whether true or false, is saying what we are all saying!

The longer the changes take, the greater the future currency uncertainty and greater international frictions will be on that road.

As to present realities? Russia is ready to consider using the Russian and Chinese national currencies instead of the dollar in bilateral oil and gas dealings, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday. On Tuesday Russia and China agreed terms for Russian gas deliveries at a level of up to 70 billion cubic meters a year. China also imports oil from Russia. "Yesterday energy companies, in particular Gazprom, raised the question of using the national currency. We are ready to examine the possibility of selling energy resources for rubles, but our Chinese partners need rubles for that. We are also ready to sell for the Yuan," Putin said. The Russian prime minister said the issue would be addressed among others at a meeting of Shanghai Cooperation Organization finance ministers, who are to convene before the end of the year in Kazakhstan.

The real issue

If oil is not priced in the $, the $'s exchange rate value will drop like a stone. This is because a large proportion of U.S. dollars is used in oil transactions by all countries. Oil producers need a strong $ to get the largest amount of income for their oil. If the € climbs 20% against the $, oil becomes 20% cheaper in Europe. If oil were priced in a 'basket' of the world's most used currencies, oil producers would find protection against one of those currencies weakness. So it makes sense to oil producers to receive other currencies on top of the $.

As to a country whose currency is rising against the $, the oil price they get charged drops so reducing petrol's cost. In many countries the local oil/petrol price is a very newsworthy item.

Hence the exchange rate complication enters the world of commodities. Yes, market forces will shove the $ price of an item up, if the $ falls, but many feel that the $ has no business in the formula at all. If the U.S. $ is sidelined in global matters, international trade would be easier and the rest of the world not burdened with the ailments of the U.S. $. But it is also a power play. For a change of oil currency to take place, without monetary disturbance, it must take a long time together with a willingness, on the part of the U.S., to relinquish such power. Will it?

Relevance to the Gold Price

The concept of a world without one superpower dominant, has always been a temporary situation and one preceded or followed by war. In a world where economics and money dominate, the same principle applies. Whatever happens, uncertainty reigns until Pax Romana or Pax Americana, or any other Pax persists. The difference this time is that the war will be fought in the global economy and in foreign exchanges.

In such a world, national monetary certainty is illusive. It is in this type of world that gold reigns supreme because it is trusted all the world over as being untied to any government. It is the currency that enemies can pay each other in.

So whether rumors are true or not, the environment in which they are taken, seriously defines their relevance. The concept of oil priced in currencies other than the $ will happen, it is simply a case of when. Meanwhile, it is time to get ready for that day. and possibly to an eventual five figures, so long as governments will allow its individuals and institutions to do so?

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