June 4, 2023

Mercadante tries to revive BNDES from O Antagonista’s past

The amount of debt that the financial institution took on with the Chinese bank alone is 50% more than the total obtained in the whole of last year, when just over R$19 billion was borrowed in operations with multilateral institutions. If the loan materializes from the Chinese bank, since it still depends on the approval of the CAE (Committee on Economic Affairs) of the Federal Senate, the amount must exceed R$30 billion, at the current exchange rate.

According to Mercadante, the money will be used to finance infrastructure projects, energy transition and manufacturing. In the opinion of Ari Francisco de Araújo, economics course coordinator at IBMEC in Belo Horizonte, the action indicates an attempt by the government to attempt to replicate an earlier context. The government should take care of adjusting taxes, budget, etc. The problem lies in this focus on higher expenditures, ”he points out. “Basically, it seems that these resources will be used as in the past by BNDES to serve national companies, that is, to carry out financing with interest subsidized by the population to serve sectoral lobbies,” Araujo recalls.

It is also worth noting that the Central Bank of Brazil has been warning for months about the risks of having to keep interest rates high for a longer period due to so-called quasi-fiscal policies. Apparently, Mercadante isn’t worried and has already begun inflating BNDES toward past glories.