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The Monetary and Fiscal History
of Latin America: Brazil
Márcio Garcia Diogo Guillén
PUC-Rio
Gávea Investments
Patrick Kehoe
University of Minnesota
The Monetary and Fiscal History of Latin America:
A comparative case study using a common approach
April 11–12, 2014
INTRODUCTION
Brazilian Hyperinflation:
Protracted and Resilient
• Lasted a decade
• Why? Indexation made hyperinflation possible
without output collapse;
• 5 failed attempts to stabilize;
• The last attempt worked: Real Plan (July, 1994);
• Inflation has been controlled for the last 2 decades;
• Money and inflation: annual inflation rates are well
explained by static link with annual money growth.
Not Classic Sargent-Wallace Fiscal
Dominant Stabilization
• Standard fiscal-driven-stabilization logic assumes that money
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
printing ends when a large credible fiscal adjustment is made;
Brazilian Real was not like that;
Money hyper-printing stopped in the Real Plan
But fiscal situation deteriorated markedly under this plan
Saw higher operational deficits (primary+real interest on debt)
Only five years after stabilization did fiscal stance improve;
Punchline: While fiscal stance eventually improved, there was
no “deliberate and drastic” fiscal measures associated with the
end of the Brazilian hyperinflation.
Is Brazil a Pro-Friedman, Anti-Sargent-Wallace case?
Brazilian Stabilization:
Deindexation and Stop Money Printing
• Stabilization displays a close static link between
money printing and inflation;
• The fiscal deterioration, from 1995 to 1999,
somehow did not derail stabilization.
Plan of This Talk
•
•
•
•
•
•
History of the Brazilian hyperinflation;
The 5 failed Stabilization attempts;
The Real Plan: Why did it work?
Because cut money growth;
Didn’t cut deficits;
Tight contemporaneous link between money
and inflation.
BRAZILIAN HYPERINFLATION:
HISTORY
BRAZIL: PRICE LEVEL (in log)
Consumer Price Index (log(Jan, 1985)=1)
10
Real
9
Summer
Cruzeiro
Collor II
8
Bresser
Collor I
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
Source: Consumer Price Index (IPCA) from IBGE
BRAZIL:
PRICE LEVEL (in log) and INFLATION (% per month)
10
90.00
Real
9
80.00
Summer
Cruzeiro
8
Bresser
Collor II
Collor I
70.00
7
60.00
6
50.00
5
40.00
4
30.00
3
20.00
2
10.00
1
0.00
0
-10.00
Source: Consumer Price Index (IPCA) from IBGE
Brazilian Hyperinflation
• Lasted much longer than classic
hyperinflations.
Classical Hyperinflations
Av Monthly
Av Monthly M
Inflation Rate (%) Growth (%)
Country
Beginning
End
Pt/P0
Austria
Oct. 1921
Aug. 1922
70
47
31
Germany
Aug. 1922
Nov. 1923
1x1010
322
314
Greece
Nov. 1943
Nov. 1944
4.7x106
365
220
Hungary 1
Mar. 1923
Feb. 1924
44
46
33
Hungary 2
Aug. 1945
Jul. 1946
3.8x1027
19800
12200
Poland
Jan. 1923
Jan. 1923
699
82
72
Russsia
Dec. 1921
Dec. 1921
1.2x105
57
49
Brazil
Jan. 1983
Jun. 1994
1.4x1010
20
19
Why Brazilian Hyperinflation
Lasted So Long?
• Indexation makes possible to cope with
hyperinflation;
• No collapse of GDP growth.
Annual Inflation and GDP Growth
3000.00%
10.00%
GDP
Growth
8.00%
2500.00%
6.00%
4.00%
2000.00%
2.00%
1500.00%
0.00%
Inflation
-2.00%
1000.00%
-4.00%
-6.00%
500.00%
-8.00%
0.00%
-10.00%
Jan-80
Jan-81
Jan-82
Jan-83
Jan-84
Jan-85
Jan-86
Jan-87
Jan-88
Jan-89
Jan-90
Jan-91
Jan-92
Jan-93
Jan-94
Jan-95
• Even during hyperinflation, no collapse of GDP growth
Annual Inflation and GDP growth
%
%
3,000.00
8.00
2,500.00
6.00
2,000.00
4.00
1,500.00
2.00
1,000.00
0.00
500.00
-2.00
0.00
-4.00
Annual Inflation
GDP growth
Why no collapse GDP growth:
Indexation
• Started in late 60s;
• Idea: isolate real economy from inflation;
• Advocated by Milton Friedman;
o “2nd best to price stability”;
• Mixed blessing:
– Easy to live with high inflation, but
– Made inflation fight more difficult and politically
less desirable.
• One of the reasons inflation lasted longer.
Why Didn’t Brazil Endogenously
Dollarize
• In most other hyperinflation, agents gave up holding
local currency and used dollars;
• Didn’t happen in Brazil because bank deposits were
protected against inflation;
• To provide those inflation-protected deposits, banks
held gov’t bonds that were either indexed to
inflation or of very short maturity;
• Punchline: Brazil avoid dollarization by engineering a
domestic substitute to its hyperinflated currency, i.e.,
a domestic currency substitute
How to Stop Printing Money?
• The Brazilian Central Bank could not raise much the
real interest rate (passive monetary policy) or many
banks would fail;
• So, money printing could not stop cold-turkey;
• What made possible the end of passive monetary
policy was the end of indexation through the
transformation of an indexed unit of account pegged
to the US dollar (the URV, Real Unit of Value) in the
new currency, the Real.
Inflation History from 1980
• 1980-85: Crawling towards hyperinflation;
• 1985-94: Five failed plans
o 1986: Cruzado
o 1987: Bresser
o 1989: Summer
o 1990: Collor I
o 1991: Collor II
• 1994: A successful plan: Real Plan
Jun-95
Collor II
Jan-95
Aug-94
Mar-94
Oct-93
May-93
Dec-92
Jul-92
Feb-92
Sep-91
Summer
Apr-91
Nov-90
Jun-90
Jan-90
Aug-89
Bresser
Mar-89
Oct-88
May-88
80.00%
Dec-87
Jul-87
Feb-87
Sep-86
Apr-86
Nov-85
Jun-85
Jan-85
Aug-84
Mar-84
Oct-83
May-83
Dec-82
Jul-82
Feb-82
Sep-81
Apr-81
30.00%
Nov-80
Jun-80
Jan-80
Monthly Inflation
90.00%
Real
Collor I
70.00%
Cruzado
60.00%
50.00%
40.00%
Monthly
Inflation
20.00%
10.00%
0.00%
Jan-14
Jan-13
Jan-12
Jan-11
Jan-10
Jan-09
Jan-08
Jan-07
Jan-06
Jan-05
Jan-04
Jan-03
Jan-02
Jan-01
Jan-00
Jan-99
Jan-98
Jan-97
Jan-96
C II
Jan-95
Jan-94
Jan-93
Jan-92
CI
Jan-91
S
Jan-90
BR
Jan-89
80.00
Jan-88
CRZ
Jan-87
Jan-86
Jan-85
%
90.00
Monthly Inflation
REAL
70.00
60.00
50.00
40.00
30.00
20.00
10.00
0.00
THE PREVIOUS 5 FAILED PLANS
Five Failed Plans
• Many were ambitious
… but all failed
Five Failed Plans
• Many were ambitious
… but all failed.
• Main weakness: continued printing money
Details of the Five Failed Plans
Cruzado Plan (1986)
• Froze Prices and wages, but:
– Wages were raised at the beginning of the plan;
– If inflation>20%, wages automatically adjusted;
•
•
•
•
•
•
Pegged exchange rate to $;
Changed currency (cut 3 zeros);
Forced interest rate conversion;
Ended Central Bank automatic finance;
No effective major change in fiscal policy;
In 10 months, back to double-digit monthly inflation.
Forced Interest Rate Conversion
• Existing contract: example
– Suppose cruzeiro interest rate: 14% per month;
– Borrowed 1000 cruzeiros just before the plan;
– Owed 1,140 cruzeiros in one month.
• Under plan:
– Forced conversion into cruzado contract;
– 0% interest rate in new currency;
– Now owe 1 cruzado in a month.
End of Central Bank automatic finance
• Before the plan:
– Commercial government bank (Banco do Brasil)
gave subsidized loans to both private agents and
the government;
– Central Bank printed money to cover subsidies.
• Plan:
– Forbade this practice.
Jul-92
Apr-92
Jan-92
Oct-91
Jul-91
Summer
Apr-91
Jan-91
Oct-90
Jul-90
Apr-90
Jan-90
Oct-89
Jul-89
Bresser
Apr-89
Jan-89
Oct-88
Jul-88
Apr-88
Jan-88
Oct-87
70.00%
Jul-87
Apr-87
Jan-87
Oct-86
Jul-86
60.00%
Apr-86
Jan-86
Oct-85
Jul-85
Apr-85
Jan-85
Oct-84
Jul-84
Apr-84
Jan-84
Oct-83
20.00%
Jul-83
Apr-83
Jan-83
Monthly Inflation
90.00%
Collor II
80.00%
Collor I
Cruzado
50.00%
40.00%
30.00%
Monthly
Inflation
10.00%
0.00%
Bresser Plan (1987)
• Froze prices;
• Adjusted wages based on the average of the
three previous months;
• Raise real interest rates to a positive value;
• Fiscal: intended to keep nominal deficit to 3.7%,
but actual nominal deficit was 33%.
• In 3 months, back to double digit monthly
inflation.
New Constitution (1988)
• Worsened fiscal situation and made harder to
adjust labor and spending:
– Increased expenditures and transfers from the
central government to states and municipalities;
– Reduced work week from 48 to 44 hours;
– Increased firing costs and overtime compensation;
– Earmarked revenues.
Summer Plan (1989)
•
•
•
•
•
•
New Constitution 1988;
Froze prices (designed to last 4 to 8 weeks);
New currency: cruzado novo (cut 3 zeros);
Fixed exchange rate (1 Cruzado Novo = US$1);
De-indexed prices;
Ambitious fiscal and monetary reform:
– Congress refused.
Collor I Plan (1990)
• Froze Prices and Wages;
• New Currency: Cruzeiro;
• Monetary Component:
– Suspension of convertibility of 80% of all financial
assets for 18 months.
• Fiscal Component:
– Ambitious fiscal plan:
• Privatizations: some succeeded.
• Other fiscal reforms: short-lived.
Collor II Plan (1991)
•
•
•
•
Froze Prices;
Fixed exchange rate;
Opens up the economy;
Fiscal:
– reduce government expenditures:
• firing civil servants (many got reinstated in courts);
• closing public services (many reopened);
• privatization of state owned enterprises.
THE REAL PLAN: WHY DID IT WORK?
Why the Real Plan worked
• Because stopped printing money;
• NOT because of credible fiscal reform;
• In fact, fiscal policy got worse during first 5
years of the plan;
• Consistent with Friedman;
• Not consistent with Sargent Wallace fiscal
dominant regime;
• Is consistent with SW money dominant regime;
• Tight money now means low inflation now.
Jan-14
Jan-13
Jan-12
Jan-11
Jan-10
Jan-09
Jan-08
Jan-07
Jan-06
Jan-05
Jan-04
Jan-03
Jan-02
Jan-01
Jan-00
Jan-99
Jan-98
Jan-97
Jan-96
C II
Jan-95
Jan-94
Jan-93
Jan-92
CI
Jan-91
S
Jan-90
BR
Jan-89
80.00
Jan-88
CRZ
Jan-87
Jan-86
Jan-85
%
90.00
Monthly Inflation
REAL
70.00
60.00
50.00
40.00
30.00
20.00
10.00
0.00
TIGHT CONTEMPORANEOUS LINK
BETWEEN MONEY AND INFLATION
Annual Inflation and Money Growth
3500.00%
3000.00%
2500.00%
Inflation
2000.00%
1500.00%
Monthly
growth of M0
1000.00%
500.00%
0.00%
Jan-80
Jan-81
Jan-82
Jan-83
Jan-84
Jan-85
Jan-86
Jan-87
Jan-88
Jan-89
Jan-90
Jan-91
Jan-92
Jan-93
Jan-94
Jan-95
-500.00%
• Money growth and inflation graph (annual tracks)
Annual Inflation and Money Growth
3000.00%
CRZ
BR
S
CI
C II
REAL
2500.00%
2000.00%
1500.00%
1000.00%
500.00%
0.00%
Money Growth
Annual Inflation
Monthly Inflation and Monthly Growth of M0 (5 month moving average)
90.00%
Summer
80.00%
Bresser
Real
Collor II
Collor I
70.00%
Cruzado
60.00%
50.00%
40.00%
Inflation
Monthly
growth of M0
30.00%
20.00%
10.00%
• Money growth and inflation (monthly dances)
Jun-95
Jan-95
Aug-94
Mar-94
Oct-93
May-93
Dec-92
Jul-92
Feb-92
Sep-91
Apr-91
Nov-90
Jun-90
Jan-90
Aug-89
Mar-89
Oct-88
May-88
Dec-87
Jul-87
Feb-87
Sep-86
Apr-86
Nov-85
Jun-85
Jan-85
Aug-84
Mar-84
Oct-83
May-83
Dec-82
Jul-82
Feb-82
Sep-81
Apr-81
Nov-80
Jun-80
Jan-80
0.00%
Monthly Inflation and Monthly Growth of M0 (5 month moving average)
100.00%
90.00%
CRZ BR
S CI
C II
REAL
80.00%
70.00%
60.00%
50.00%
40.00%
30.00%
20.00%
10.00%
0.00%
Monthly Growth of M0
Monthly Inflation
Fiscal Improvement Pre-Real
Fiscal Deterioration Under Real
7.5
CRZ
S
BR
5.5
CR II
REAL
CR I
5.1
3.7
3.9
3.9
3.5
1.5
1.3
0.7
0.0
0.5
0.6
0.5
0.4
-0.4
-0.5
-2.5
PSBR - Operational
Seigniorage
5yr Average - PSBR Operational
5yr Average - Seigniorage
Annual Money Growth and Inflation
3000%
CRZ BR
S
REAL
CI
C II
2500%
2000%
1500%
1000%
500%
0%
Annual M Growth
Annual Inflation
Public Debt Increased Under Real Plan
BRAZIL : PUBLIC NET DEBT
(% GDP)
70.00
CRZ
B
S
C1
C2
R
60.00
50.00
40.00
30.00
20.00
10.00
0.00
1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
-10.00
-20.00
Public Foreign Net Debt
Public Domestic Net Debt
Public Total Net Debt
Real Plan
• Ingenious mechanism (URV) to get relative prices
“right” in the new currency, the real;
• Exchange rate ceiling: 1 real = 1 dollar:
– Given high interest rates, capital flew in and parity to
dollar became credible, serving as a nominal anchor;
• Fiscal:
– Suspension of part of earmarked transfers to states and
municipalities to get fiscal surpluses;
– Extra taxes on financial intermediaries;
THE URV (became the Real)
• Real Unit of Value: 1 URV = 1 US$;
• March-June 94: new unit of account with
stable purchasing power;
• Labeled prices in both URV and cruzeiro real;
• Idea:
o Paid for goods only in cruzeiro real;
o Prices in unit of account URV were stable;
o Replaced URV with real on July 1, 1994.
Conclusion
• In the Brazilian hyperinflation experience, the link between
inflation (and, therefore, seignorage) and money growth is
contemporaneous;
• On the other hand, fiscal improvements in the early 90s did
not help on the inflation front, until the 94 Real Plan, while
the marked deterioration of the fiscal stance from 95 to 99
did not derail stabilization.
• Friedman-like monetary dominant regime fits data better
than fiscal dominant regime as in “unpleasant arithmetic”
or “end of 4 big inflations”.
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