At the same time, while we undertook privatizations, we did not forget about the need to foster competition in the private sector. We also saw the importance of maintaining active instruments of public credit – such as our National Bank of Economic and Social Development and the Banco do Brasil – that would allow our national companies to restructure themselves. In some cases, we created a mixed, private/public system for former state monopolies such as Petrobras.
In addition, from 1994 through today, Brazil nurtured policies that would ensure a real increase in the minimum wage and, starting in 2000, created a social safety net – including the well-known “Bolsa Familia” program that links welfare payments to school attendance, reducing poverty and inequality a little as well.
The current global scenario is an uncertain one. The financial regulation proposed at G20 meetings is facing obstacles to implementation because of diverse national interests. Each central bank operates as it sees fit. The Federal Reserve floods the United States and the world with dollars, and it conducts operations typical of commercial banks without worrying about orthodoxy.