Defending the Brazilian Real

In: Business and Management

Submitted By Delvern
Words 3236
Pages 13
Executive Summary
Brazil is Latin Americas largest economy and since the 1990’s has shown steady economic reforms. These reforms were necessary as Brazil suffered years of hyperinflation as high as 1000% and deficit spending. The government decided to pursue economic policies that changed the Brazilian economy into a dynamic market based system.
Some of the key policy changes made were the privatization, of state owned enterprises, deregulation that allowed for greater domestic and foreign competition, perusing regional and multinational free trade agreements and the removal of red tape associated with foreign investment. The mainstay of all these reforms was the Plano Real (Real Plan).
This real plan involved the scrapping of the old currency, the cruzeiro and replacing it with a brand new currency the real. The plan was to drive out inflation by adhering to strict monetary policies. The government decided to peg the real to the United States (U.S.) dollar and not allow it to depreciate more than 7.5 % against the US dollar per year. The government also increased the interest rates repeatedly to maintain the value of the real against the dollar.
The economic reforms in Brazil were fairly successful, the country saw the inflation rate drop to 2% by 1998 and the economy grew by 3 to 4% annually as well as foreign investment soaring to $ 22 billion in 1998, but not all was well. Brazil was facing a huge trade deficit due to an overvalued real. There were also huge budget deficits which were structural in nature. These structural problems required that the Brazilian constitution be amended which was proving to be problematic for the government.
The real also faced challenges from the Asian financial crisis which triggered panic selling in all emerging markets. As the money began to flow out of Brazil the real was put under tremendous pressure and when the Russian…...

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