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G-20 Meets in Brazil, Urges Reforms, Presents No Concrete Proposal

Timms, Mantega and Manuel at press conference in Brazil Gathered in Brazil, ministers of Finance and central bank governors of the G-20, the group that includes the 20 main economies in the world, reached a consensus during their meeting this weekend in São Paulo, in the country's Southeast.

They came to the conclusion that reforms are necessary in multilateral organizations like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank (IBRD) and the Foreign Stability Fund (FSF), so that they may answer better to international crises like the present one. One of the conclusions is that emerging nations must have greater participation in these organizations.

"The institutions of Bretton Woods must be completely reformed so that they may more adequately reflect the change of weights of economies in the global economy and answer better to future challenges. Developing and emerging nations must have an active and representative voice in these institutions," says the closing statement of the meeting.

The managing director of the IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the president of the IBRD, Robert Zoellick, and the president of the FSF also agreed that it is necessary to reform multilateral institutions, as agreed by members of the G-20, according to a report by the ministers who were present at the press conference. The managers of these organizations participated in the meeting in São Paulo.

The text also points out that the G-20 plays a "vital part" in the resolution of challenges in the global economy and needs to have its executive capacity expanded. The G-20 brings together the richest countries in the world and the main emerging nations.

The minister of Finance of Brazil, who currently occupies the presidency of the bloc, Guido Mantega, said in a press conference, after the meeting, that a new agreement like the Bretton Woods agreement should take a long time, in the time being, the G-20 "has been placed at the forefront of the process" to fight the international crisis.

"The G-20 has never been as important as it is now," pointed out the Treasury undersecretary of the United Kingdom, Stephen Timms, who also participated in the press conference. Great Britain is going to take over the presidency of the bloc in 2009.

"Financial stability is a global financial asset," added the minister of Finance of South Africa, Trevor Manuel, who was also present at the conference. The African country was in the rotating presidency of the G-20 before Brazil. The idea, according Mantega, is for the bloc to evolve from a forum of ministers and governors of central banks into an organization of heads of state.

Mantega pointed out that several consensuses were reached between rich and emerging nations during the meeting, and added that the crisis arose in developed nations, but that emerging nations are suffering the effects. He said that coordinated global action is necessary to seek a multilateral institution to head the process. "This has not been solved yet, but the G-20 is a strong candidate," he pointed out.

The ministers and central bank governors also decided that countries must adopt anticyclic policies to avoid a global recession, including the relaxing of fiscal and monetary policies, within the unique characteristics of each. He also said that it is necessary to help fight the outflow of capitals from developing nations and that the anti-crisis measures adopted by nations up to now are correct, but not enough.

This week, the member-countries are going to elaborate proposals for the summit of the G-20, to take place in Washington, the capital of the United States, next Saturday. "We are bringing together political conditions to have joint and ordered operation regarding the need for regulation of markets to avoid repetition of crises like this one," said Mantega. "In Washington, there should be political power to progress with a proposal that is ambitions," he added.

To Mantega, moments like the current one are favorable to the promotion of change in international financial rules and in multilateral mechanisms. According to him, the main divergence should take place when talks regarding instruments for stronger regulation and inspection of markets begin.

He said that some countries, like Brazil, defend more rigorous rules, greater transparency, establishments of limits to bank leverage and ways to detect the movements of derivatives on a global scale. Nations where the financial sector is more important, in turn, should be more resistant to harsher rules.

"We must recognize that countries support the financial system, not just for itself, but for the real economy to work," stated Manuel.

After the meeting in Washington, workgroups should be established to transform the proposals into instruments for effective action, which should take place in up to 90 days.

"It is urgent for all countries in the G-20 to see rapid progress, thus the importance of the meeting in Washington," said Timms. "This meeting [in São Paulo] has established solid bases for the G-20 to have better conditions in future," added Manuel. "We are going to change the car tires while it is in movement," added Mantega.

Anba – www.anba.com.br

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  • Show Comments (14)

  • Falupa

    G 20
    It’s important for these nations to come to a decision quick. They need to quit dragging their feet. That’s the problem with the G20 and G7 nobody can react in a timely fashion. It’s always another couple of weeks or so until someone gets something done.

  • Augustus

    Naturally – Joao…
    [quote]The povÀƒ£o will never understand this and I bet you understand their Psychology as I do.[/quote]

    The source of Ric’s amusing quote under a separate thread – lol

  • João da Silva

    Augustus
    [quote]Again, I’m not suggesting that I consider 14.33% as a low rate, I was only presuming it to be much much higher… In fact, I cannot foresee the day when Brazil might realistically have rates below 10%… I fear that the Brazilian banking system is addicted to high rates… [/quote]

    As I said earlier, I do not have a mortgage and dont intend taking one, very soon. I think that Ric is also in the same situation. Ch.C wanted to know the rate and I simulated on the CEFÀ‚´s website. If you want, I suggest you do the same as you are fluent (still) in Portuguese.

    The website is:

    [url]www.caixa.com.br[/url]

    If you want, the next time I visit the bank, I can recheck it for you. BTW, it is better to pay 14.33% (PrÀƒ©-fixado) than to throw money on buying a New car. The povÀƒ£o will never understand this and I bet you understand their Psychology as I do. 😀

  • Augustus

    G20 – Too much talk / no actual results
    I have read extensive editorials from American, British, Indian and Brazilian sources, and they are all vague on this topic…
    For instance, according to a Japanese Editorial “The Yomiuri Shimbun”, it has been stated:

    A joint statement adopted in the meeting pointed out that the current crisis is in part the result of “deficiencies in financial regulation and supervision in some advanced countries,” and called for strengthening the international supervisory framework for financial institutions

    Well, did it require a meeting of G20 to conclude that there have been “deficiencies in financial regulation and supervision in some advanced countries?” Such statement seems fairly obvious too me and most people had reached such conclusion…
    What they did not mention was the fact that some “Emerging Economies” may have deteriorated matters in their country by audaciously presuming that their economies were immune to contagion…

    😉

  • Augustus

    JOAO – Only 14.33%??
    Although I’m totally unaware of what is happening in Brazil, I was surprised by such low rate you quoted.
    [quote]The mortgage rate financed by Caixa Economica Federal (CEF) is currently 14.33% a year[/quote]
    While I also do not know exactly what is the current interbank rate in Brazil, I seem to recall reading recently that the rate was about 13.75% (it’s probably much higher now). Any way, considering 13.75% how could the mortgage rate be so close that that figure?
    Again, I’m not suggesting that I consider 14.33% as a low rate, I was only presuming it to be much much higher… In fact, I cannot foresee the day when Brazil might realistically have rates below 10%… I fear that the Brazilian banking system is addicted to high rates…

  • ch.c.

    Joao and Falupa !!!!!
    Joao
    “The mortgage rate financed by Caixa Economica Federal (CEF) is currently 14.33% a year. The mortgage period is 15 years (Formerly it used to be 25 years). The down payment has to be negotiated with the building company (or the Real Estate Agencies) and varies from one to another. I have seen advertisements for as low as 3% and as high as 20% of the property value. The CEF pays part of it too.
    1) How can the CEF PAY part of it ? they lend “only”
    2) 3 % down payment and “up to” 20 % shows that SUB PRIMES ARE ALL AROUND BRAZIL ! Simple as that ! Smiles
    3) And on top of that you have to pay around 14-15 % interests…plus probably some amortizations (capital repayment)

    4) In my country the mortgages rates are BELOW 4 %, and down payments 30 % ! If you have some additional collateral such as
    a stocks or bond portfolio they may go down to 20 % collateral ! Otherwise….forget obtaining a mortgage ! And this was the case already DURING the rising bull market.

    Falupa
    Sorry but it is NOT to the countries with already the lowest rates to do something but to the countries with HIGH RATES. Especially Brazil with the World Highest Interests Rates……after inflation !
    Australia, China, South Korea and others PLUS ALL developd nations have cut their rates more than once. In fact the developed nations rates are now well BELOW their inflation rate.

    Therefore the countries blocking the lendings are NOT the developed nations !

  • João da Silva

    Ch.C
    [quote]Joao, once more (I did not see your answer) :
    What is the mortgages rates in Brazil and the down payment needed [/quote]

    I thought you had read RicÀ‚´s answer to your question. I donÀ‚´t have a mortgage an I am not looking for one ! The mortgage rate financed by Caixa Economica Federal (CEF) is currently 14.33% a year. The mortgage period is 15 years (Formerly it used to be 25 years). The down payment has to be negotiated with the building company (or the Real Estate Agencies) and varies from one to another. I have seen advertisements for as low as 3% and as high as 20% of the property value. The CEF pays part of it too.

    As I said, I am not looking for a mortgage and I obtained the info by feeding some relevant data into the simulator in CEFÀ‚´s website.If you need furthr info, please ask. But I need to know the name of the city where you would be interested in obtaining a mortgage loan and the value of the property.

  • ch.c.

    Joao…
    special gift…just for your information to watch…concerning specialty coffee in Brazil.
    http://globoruraltv.globo.com/GRural/0,27062,4370-p-20081107,00.html

    What you should know is that most high prices coffee are produced in very small & limited quantity.
    Usually well below 1000 sacs/year/producer.

    When our trees will mature, in 2 years, our farm should produce over 20’000 sacs at prices…around the top of what you see in the video.
    The only difference is that in the video it is “farm prices” when for us it is ex our Genoa warehouse ! But we dont roast our beans. We let this to roasters. Otherwise they wont buy our beans at all because we would be treated as competitors not wholesale suppliers ! And every roaster likes the roasting somewhat differently and with different packaging and their own marketing and distribution channels.
    And there is no way we are going to compete in a Brazilian contest ! Discretion and low key is our style. We have no intention to give “bad” ideas to others !!!!! smiles
    We certainly dont want competition to know what and how we do and what our prices are.

    This year was the first production and sales. And everything is going according to plans. We produced 20 sacs per hectare and should have around 50 – 60 sacs PLUS…per hectare BY NEXT YEAR !!! And we have 400 hectares planted !!!! smiles

    😉 😉 😮

  • ch.c.

    Any interesting scandals on Strauss-Kahn ? Smiles
    But read the news ! Fairly recents ! 2 weeks old or so !
    This said his wife is really great looking ! But as most males…..hunters we remain ! Even more so, when we work in another city
    that our regular city where Mrs is ! smiles
    😀 😉

    On a more serious note, on my thread above, I am UNFORTUNATELY once more right. Brazil always expect OTHERS to do something, but Brazil IS NOT WILLING TO DO ANYTHING…AS USUAL !
    Need a proof ? But Meireles was on Brazilian TV tonight ! Wasnt he ? smiles

    Here is some interesting FACTS, wether some brazilians junkies (not Joao) like it or not :
    ” Brazil will consider an economic stimulus plan after seeing how the government’s efforts to unfreeze credit markets take hold, Central Bank President Henrique Meirelles said.
    ” Meirelles, in an interview with Television, said lending is “slowly recovering”
    “We have to see effects of all this in the real economy to see whether other steps will be necessary,” Meirelles, 63, said when asked whether Brazil should consider an economic stimulus package.

    Finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 nations said in a statement today from Sao Paulo that fiscal polices were an “important instrument” to help get through the crisis. China today pledged to spend $586 billion to bolster growth in the fourth-largest economy and prevent the world from falling into a recession. The International Monetary Fund and U.K. Primer Minister Gordon Brown have been campaigning for a coordinated fiscal stimulus plan that would span the globe.

    Brazil will be affected by a “substantial slowdown” in global growth next year, Meirelles said. Brazil, Latin America’s largest economy, will probably grow more than the global average of about 2 percent, he said.

    “The crisis has to be taken very seriously, but each country will adopt its own liquidity, expanding policies depending on their individual situation,” Meirelles said.

    Most Latin American countries, including Brazil and Mexico, don’t have large enough surpluses to support additional spending, and may have trouble financing such a plan as investors stay away from emerging market debt, said Gray Newman, chief Latin America economist at Morgan Stanley.

    “With the exception of Chile, for everyone else in Latin America fiscal stimulus is a way to describe additional debt financing,” Newman, who is based in New York, said in a telephone interview. “In the global context, there’s a limited appetite for new debt.”

    Stimulus Spending

    Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega said today that the government is prepared to boost public spending to sustain economic growth “if needed.”

    Inflationary pressures caused by a two-month, 20 percent tumble in the local currency are making it harder to loosen real interest rates.

    Brazil’s central bank cited “relatively widespread” inflation in its decision Oct. 29 to leave its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 13.75 percent.”””””””””””””

    LULA always want TO TELL OTHERS WHAT TO DO….but is NEVER GOING TO DO FROM HIS SIDE !!!!
    Funny that due to inflationary pressures rates wont go down in Brazil, but went down in some others emerging nations such as
    India, Australia, South Korea and China who all cut their rates MORE THAN ONCE in just the last 2 months !!!!!

    Never ever trust a Brazilian remains my golden rule. Proven once more !
    Brazil criticize developed nations for their agricultural subsidizes, while Brazil subsidizes nearly ALL INDUSTRIES, including Agriculture. Even your oil price was capped at the 2005 level…until early 2008.
    Even Odebrecht got a BNDES subsidized loan & rate for infrastructure work in Ecuador !

    Joao, once more (I did not see your answer) :
    What is the mortgages rates in Brazil and the down payment needed ?
    Thank you
    😉

  • João da Silva

    Ch.C
    [quote]Especially Strauss-Kahn, chief of the IMF ! [/quote]

    Please do share with us the personal details you have discovered about this fellow. Any interesting scandals ? I am sure young Jonathan is as anxious as I am to hear more details. 😉

  • ch.c.

    Their parting gifts were detergent packs!!
    Used for the orgy in the saunas !
    😉
    Especially Strauss-Kahn, chief of the IMF !
    😀

  • jon

    Their parting gifts were detergent packs!! 😀

  • ch.c.

    countries must adopt anticyclic policies to avoid a global recession, including the relaxing of fiscal and monetary policies
    WHAT A GOOD IDEA….COMING FROM BRAZIL !
    Eventually you no longer will have the World Highest Ibeterest Rates for Your Government borrowings in,,,local currency-
    And eventually, the Brazilian consumers will no longer have to pay interests rate of 35 % on cars, 55 % on consumers goods and 230 % for overdrafts.

    ACTION NOW ?
    Or Simple promises…as usual from your Government leaders and liars ?

    Facts are that Your companies and financial institutions have to rely on a foreign currency borrowing…at a lower rates than your own local rates. And this despite your inflation is about the same as other emerging countries, which by the way dont lend either much more but at a somewhat more acceptable interest rate than Brazil !!!!

    Hmmmmmm

    As I said, there will be a lot of talks, lots of promises, lots of agreements…but nothing much in reality !
    No doubt, the next meeting on the 15th of November with the Presidents this time, will be more or less the same.

  • João da Silva

    [quote]”The institutions of Bretton Woods must be completely reformed so that they may more adequately reflect the change of weights of economies in the global economy and answer better to future challenges. Developing and emerging nations must have an active and representative voice in these institutions,” says the closing statement of the meeting.

    [/quote]

    What a joke, what a joke.If the members of this G (20-1) had participated in this forum and listened to the advices of Ch.C and my (excellent) self, they would have averted the “Economic Melt down”. Why are they insisting to hold a conference next Saturday in Washington D.C ? The logical place is Bretton Woods in NJ.

    As a protest, I am not going to attend this conference. 😀

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