By Winston Fritsch
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Additional info for External Constraints on Economic Policy in Brazil, 1889–1930
To sum up, the Brazilian gold standard of 1906 closely linked domestic monetary stability to the behaviour of the balance of payments, in a way which could strongly reinforce the usual expansionary or contractionary effects of, respectively, external surpluses or deficits. Up to the outbreak of war in 1914 exogenous developments affecting the international coffee and rubber markets and the flow of long-term European capital would, therefore, be decisive in determining changes in the level of domestic activity.
Notwithstanding these signs of an upturn in the central countries, small gold losses were allowed to continue and were instrumental in preventing an upsurge of effective demand until export recovery was well under way. The only significant mark left by the crisis was a radical change in the framework of coffee valorisation which shows that the weakness of the scheme lay not only in the capacity or otherwise of the producing states to finance their part in it, but also stemmed from the way the 80 per cent Euro-American share in the purchases was financed.
However, this rapid change appreciation alienated important political support from the government and threw it into open confrontation with domestic producers. The Sao Paulo government, considering that the year's coffee output would be small, announced at once its decision not to apply the export prohibition, thus giving exporters the opportunity to fight the high exchange rates by refraining from selling their stocks and, in mid-September, the majority of the Senate Committee discussing the new exchange stabilisation bill was critical of the government's manipulations and favoured a 16d rate.
External Constraints on Economic Policy in Brazil, 1889–1930 by Winston Fritsch