Here is why the world’s smart money is being invested in Brazil.

Discussion in 'Economics' started by SouthAmerica, Sep 7, 2006.

  1. Apparently Blair has balls. No other leader does (besides Bush).

    We went to get rid of Saddam (Madd ass). We took their oil.

    Clinton spent all of his time at a weenie roast, (his) while letting
    the terrorists come on over and almost blow up the WTC. He helped
    shrink the CIA. He was a puppet, that's all. No backbone.

    So what are you griping about?

    Chavez or whatever his stupid name is sure made himself out to
    look like a fool now didn't he? He thinks the USA is going to invade
    his country and if we do, gas is going to be $200 a barrel.

    He must be nuts! (or terribly paranoid)...:p
    #51     Sep 21, 2006
  2. Very basic article, but interesting still. Written by Larry Elder:

    Obama in Africa: Is he really for the poor?

    Posted: August 31, 2006
    1:00 a.m. Eastern

    "Village beats the drums for returning son."

    This Kenyan newspaper headline greeted Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., as he arrived, rock-star-like, in that country. Obama, whose father was Kenyan, waved at thousands who stood in line in Nairobi to cheer him on. One Kenyan, after shaking Obama's hand, said, "He's our lion." Another said, "He will help us." After all, how often does the son of a Kenyan get elected to the U.S. Senate?

    Obama's father, also named Barack Obama, once herded goats in Kenya. He won a scholarship to a Hawaiian university, where he met and married Obama's mother, a white woman from Kansas. Obama and his father had a difficult relationship and barely knew each other. His parents separated soon after marriage, and Obama's father returned to Kenya, working as a government economist until his death in 1982.

    On his four-nation tour, Sen. Obama – to highlight the tragedy of AIDS in Africa – planned to take an AIDS test. He criticized Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, whose forced land redistribution caused that nation to plummet into poverty and starvation. Obama even properly attacked Kenyan corruption.

    "If the people cannot trust their government," said Obama, "to do the job for which it exists – to protect them and promote their common welfare – then all else is lost. That is why the struggle of corruption is one of the great struggles of our time."

    But a reporter raised an issue about which Obama possesses more influence – dealing with American protectionism that hurts Kenyan farmers. Why, asked the reporter, do Americans retain farm subsidies and tariffs that prevent Kenyan farmers from competing in the world's biggest market?

    Obama's response? He talked about the soybean farmers in Illinois, and said, "It's important to me to be sure I'm looking out for their interests. It's part of my job." Absolutely incredible.

    For, in July, the European Union and five nations, including the United States and Japan, met in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss the elimination of farm subsidies and agricultural tariffs. After all, in 2002, the World Bank estimated that African exports would increase by almost $2.5 billion if the U.S., Europe, Japan and Canada eliminated their agricultural tariffs. This is especially true as to peanuts and tobacco. African farmers run up against farmers in wealthy nations whose laws ensure their success at the expense of Third World farmers.

    What should Obama have said? "You're right. America is a rich nation. You are a poor one. Poor nations generally turn into rich ones by starting out with agriculture. So when I get back to Washington, I'm going to tell my colleagues about the devastating real-world effect American protectionism has on poor nations."

    Overall, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development says that European farmers get 35 percent of their income from subsidies! American farmers get almost 21 percent. The organization estimates that subsidies cost "rich nation" consumers about $1 billion a day.

    But don't American subsidies go to "poor" mom-and-pop farm operations? No, they don't. According to the National Center for Policy Analysis, farmers with incomes of more than $250,000 a year – the top 10 percent of subsidy recipients – receive more than 72 percent of all farm subsidies. The bottom 80 percent of farmers receive approximately $64 a month.

    Protectionism, or tariffs on incoming goods, protects farmers. Payments to farmers, both directly and indirectly, enable American farmers to charge an artificially low price. After all, the farmers receive taxpayer dollars on the "front end," enabling them to lower prices on the "back end." The government, in 2004, gave farmers $5.3 billion in fixed direct payments. So-called counter-cyclical payments – money given to farmers if the price of goods falls "too low" – equaled $3.6 billion between 2002 and 2004. Farmers also received $9.1 billion in 2004 marketing assistance loans, enabling a farmer to use his crops as collateral. What if the farmer does not produce enough to repay the loan? Well, the government allows the farmer to forfeit the crop – loan canceled.

    Government also subsidizes crop insurance and "sells" water to farmers at up to 90 percent below fair-market value. According to the NCPA, subsidies and import tariffs on sugar, for example, mean Americans pay three times what they would otherwise pay for sugar.

    When politicians defend this corporate welfare, their eyes well up and their voices crack with emotion as they talk about "saving the family farm." But who cared about saving the family hamburger stand from the onslaught of McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King and others? Never mind that greater efficiencies – rather than unfair competition – sparked the decline of the "family farm," just as hamburger franchises and the Wal-Marts of the world compete against the mom-and-pops. We call it capitalism.

    The reporter in Kenya gave Obama an opportunity. The senator, in addition to attacking corruption, could have talked about transparent governments, respect for the rights of religious and ethnic minorities, and the critical importance of free markets. One Kenyan, when asked to explain Africans' enthusiasm for Obama, said, "Call it the donor mentality."

    Indeed, Sen. Obama seemed more interested in a handout, rather than a hand up.
    #52     Sep 21, 2006
  3. .

    September 21, 2006

    SouthAmerica: The United States can use Barak Obama’s prestige in Kenya to build a good relationship with that country. But there is a major problem regarding using that country as a source of sugarcane for the US ethanol industry – Kenya’s location - Kenya is surrounded by trouble in Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, and in Uganda.

    For the United States to develop a reliable source of sugarcane in Africa, there are better choices in the Atlantic side of that continent, places where there is the potential to develop a more stable business environment – area stability it is important, because it helps reduce the risk factor of doing business in the area.

    #53     Sep 21, 2006
  4. The point in the article that I thought people would focus on is the problem we have here because of subsidies and high tariffs on agricultural imports. This is the major problem the US would face if it decided to make a similar switch like Brazil in regards to ethanol use.
    #54     Sep 21, 2006
  5. .

    Drmarkan: The point in the article that I thought people would focus on is the problem we have here because of subsidies and high tariffs on agricultural imports. This is the major problem the US would face if it decided to make a similar switch like Brazil in regards to ethanol use.


    September 21, 2006

    SouthAmerica: I know what you are talking about.

    American farmers are addicted to subsidies which isolate them from competition, and that gives them a major price advantage in world markets when they try to sell their agricultural products.

    Look at what NAFTA did to the Mexican corn farmers, since they adopted the NAFTA agreement. Because of American farm subsidies – that you mentioned above it can give American farmers a 21 percent price advantage against a farmer who does not have the benefit of such a government subsidy – the NAFTA agreement drove thousands of farmers in Mexico out of business when they could not compete with subsidized corn from the United States. NAFTA has been a disaster to Mexican corn farmers, at least a lot of these farmers are close enough to the United States and since they have been driven out business they have been heading to the United States to find a new job.

    NAFTA has been very disrupting to the people in Mexico who make their living out of agriculture products. NAFTA affected in a negative way hundreds of thousands of these people in Mexico.

    Maybe if they were trying to pass NAFTA today, and people knew how much damage NAFTA was going to cause to the Mexican farmers – NAFTA would have been defeat and the Mexican farmers would have been in the streets demanding that their government did not sign that agreement with the United States – or at least delay the signing of the agreement until after the United States eliminated the subsidies that the US government gives to its farmers.

    Sometimes these subsidies gives an incentive to people in making the wrong decision for the country, which it is the case of developing an ethanol industry in the United States from corn, instead of sugarcane which gives you 10 times more ethanol from the same effort, and ethanol made from sugarcane has major benefits in reducing the dependence in foreign oil.

    Ethanol made from corn still requires lots of oil on its production process – it is nothing to write home about, and helps the Unite States very little in reducing its dependence on foreign oil.

    Note: The lost in Mexico is not only related to the loss of jobs in the agriculture sector, by driving thousands of farmers out of business in Mexico.

    Mexico used to have a very rich variety of types of corn that also went out of production when these farmers stoped farming. I understand that we have lost hundred of corn varieties during this short period.

    In the other hand a large portion of corn grown in the United States are of the Frankenfood variety - designed in a laboratory.

    And just time it will tell if there are consequences that will affect us all in the future, by playing god with our food supply.


    #55     Sep 21, 2006
  6. Stop hyping up Brazil's ethanol model, it will do more damage than good. While sugar ethanol is by far more efficient and cleaner than wheat or oil, it does have side effects. Brazil has a lot of environmental & agricultural problems because of their ethanol move.

    Brazil's effort and success should be commended, as they started almost 30 years ago when ethanol was probably the best alternative. But those days are behind us and any country that starts to emulate the ethanol model is doing the wrong thing, or for the wrong reasons. USA's ethanol movement is a perfect example of good intentions corrupted and turned into a scam.

    Any fuel substitute that comes from plantlife is not energy out of thin air. To make ethanol and/or biodiesel a major fuel source, requires serious mono cropping. Sorry, but McDonalds grease oil isn't gonna do the trick by itself.
    Heavy monocropping has its own pollution & soil deterioration problems, which are quite significant. That is how fruitful soil turns to desert & wasteland..
    #56     Sep 21, 2006
  7. .

    Hydroblunt: Stop hyping up Brazil's ethanol model, it will do more damage than good….


    September 22, 2006

    SouthAmerica: I don’t know from which lobby group you come from, but I am not hyping the Brazilian ethanol success as you are implying.

    The Brazilian Ethanol program is the state-of-the-art in energy technology that countries from around the world are studying today – not because that program has been hyped as you are saying, but instead because of its actual results; for its efficiency and actual success in reducing pollution, and also in getting a country such as Brazil free from a dependence from imported oil.

    When you use the word hype, you are implying that the Brazilian ethanol program it is Bullshit instead of a real solution. But 30 years of actual experience and success in Brazil has finally caught the world’s attention. The ethanol program in Brazil it is "The Real Thing."

    #57     Sep 22, 2006
  8. I don't think he knows much about Brazil's situation. It is not similar to the rest of the world. They are indeed much more efficient, both with actual sugar farming, and the conversion itself. Less fertilizer used, waste products are utilized, etc.

    This isn't exactly viable in many (most) areas though, mainly from the growing angle.
    #58     Sep 22, 2006
  9. Just an fyi from Bloomberg:

    Brazil Real Gains as Central Bank Scales Back Dollar Purchases

    By Carlos Caminada

    Sept. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Brazil's real halted three days of declines after the central bank scaled back its efforts to weaken the currency. It still recorded its biggest weekly drop since May.

    The central bank, which had been purchasing the dollar every business day since July 3, refrained from buying the U.S. currency in the spot market for a second day. The bank also sold fewer than expected reverse currency swap contracts, which help investors hedge against a weaker dollar, in an auction today.

    ``The central bank doesn't want to add volatility after the recent rout of the past few days,'' Alexandre Ferreira, vice president for currency trading at WestLB AG in Sao Paulo, said in a phone interview.

    The real gained 0.2 percent to 2.2080 per dollar at 4:15 p.m. New York time, after most trading had ended in Brazil, from 2.2118 yesterday. Earlier it fell as much as 0.8 percent to a three-month low of 2.2304 per dollar.

    For the week, the real has declined 2.6 percent, its biggest weekly drop since May 19. The sell-off was sparked after the nation's electoral court decided to investigate President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's involvement in alleged attempts to incriminate his main contender in the Oct. 1 vote.


    Lula in an interview today with CBN Radio Network denied he had any involvement in the alleged effort to buy documents connecting rival Geraldo Alckmin and Sao Paulo state governor candidate Jose Serra to kickbacks from government contracts.

    ``The concern is that if re-elected, Lula will get there really scratched,'' said Beny Fiterman, who helps manage 3 billion reais ($1.36 billion) in assets with Banco Alfa de Investimento in Sao Paulo.

    The dollar futures contract for Oct. 1 settlement, the most-widely traded on the BM&F commodity and futures exchange in Sao Paulo, changed hands at 2.2115 reais per dollar, compared with 2.2077 reais yesterday.

    The yield to the 2015 call date on Brazil's benchmark 11 percent bond due in 2040 fell to 6.583 percent, and the yield to maturity rose to 8.377 percent from 8.402 percent yesterday, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. The bond's price, which moves inversely to the yield, rose 0.35 cent on the dollar to 129.35.

    The Bovespa index was little changed, falling 31.28, or 0.1 percent, to 34,798.80.

    To contact the reporter on this story: Carlos Caminada in Sao Paulo at at
    #59     Sep 22, 2006
  10. Can somebody tell me about the real estate market in Brazil. Did it rise strongly, or declined, or not a lot of change.

    In other coutries it is often a good indicator for the state of the economy.

    Would like to know how it is in Brazil.
    #60     Sep 23, 2006