Archive for setembro \30\UTC 2011

Exclusive Interview: José Carlos Cavalcanti on Brazil’s Northeast Silicon Valley

setembro 30, 2011

Está no ar uma entrevista exclusiva que concedi ao Conselho das Américas.  A entrevista tratou da informática de Pernambuco, do Porto Digital, e de outras coisas relacionadas.

Para acessar a entrevista, é só clicar aqui, ou acessar o link:

Formação de Profissionais de TICs no Brasil: uma questão de quantidade ou de qualidade?

setembro 26, 2011

Já está no ar a nova newsletter da Creativante, intitulada “Formação de Profissionais de TICs no Brasil: uma questão de quantidade ou de qualidade?“, e que você pode acessar aqui!

End the Fed’s Dual Mandate And Focus on Prices: John B. Taylor

setembro 21, 2011

No momento em que o Banco Central do Brasil tomou recentemente uma decisão controversa de abaixar a taxa de juros, levando à suspeição do seu compromisso com o regime de metas de inflação, eis que vem dos EUA uma advertência (publicada no nada mais nada menos de um dos mais respeitados economistas do planeta!

End the Fed’s Dual Mandate And Focus on Prices: John B. Taylor

By John B. Taylor Sep 16, 2011 3:27 PM GMT-0300

In 1977, Congress first gave the Federal Reserve a dual mandate to promote both “maximum employment” and “stable prices.” At the Republican presidential debate on Sept. 12, the major candidates argued that the Fed should instead focus squarely on the goal of long-run price stability.

Responding to a question about the Fed, Rick Santorum said: “make it a single charter instead of a dual charter” institution, and no candidate disagreed. Most piled on. “Its focus needs to be narrowed,” said Herman Cain. “We need to have a Fed that is working towards sound monetary policy,” said Rick Perry. “The Federal Reserve has a responsibility to preserve the value of our currency,” said Mitt Romney.

Some worry that a single focus on the goal of price stability would lead to more unemployment. But history shows just the opposite. A single mandate wouldn’t stop the Fed from providing liquidity, or serving as lender of last resort, or reducing the interest rate in a financial crisis or a recession. But it would make it more difficult for the Fed to engage in the kinds of discretionary actions that frequently have resulted in higher unemployment.

Several times in the 1970s the Fed increased money growth, trying to reduce unemployment. But the unintended consequence was actually to increase joblessness: Higher and higher inflation rates eventually required a painful disinflation, with unemployment rising above 10 percent. From 2003 to 2005, the Fed kept interest rates extra low, partly out of concern about employment. But those extra-low rates exacerbated the housing boom, leading to a bust — a big factor in the financial crisis that eventually caused a devastating increase in unemployment.

By contrast, for most of the 1980s and 1990s — starting when Paul Volcker became chairman — the Fed stressed the goal of price stability in its actions. The result was much lower unemployment than before or since.

The dual mandate language is based on an outmoded concept of a tradeoff between inflation and unemployment. Moreover, too many goals blur responsibility and accountability. The dual goal enables politicians to lean on the Fed, and people often cite it as an excuse for unconventional policies.

Indeed, one of the reasons for the growing interest in removing the dual mandate is the extraordinary discretionary actions the Fed has taken in the past few years — including large-scale purchases of mortgage-backed securities and longer-term Treasuries, a strategy commonly called “quantitative easing.”

The Fed has explicitly used the dual mandate to justify these unusual interventions. During the 1980s and 1990s, Fed officials rarely referred to the dual mandate (even in the early 1980s, with unemployment rates as high as today). When they did so, it was to make the point that achieving price stability was the surest way for monetary policy to keep unemployment down.

Research by Daniel Thornton of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis establishes these differences. Thornton traced references to the dual mandate in the written releases of the Federal Open Market Committee and documented a historically significant shift in its language. Until very recently, policy statements and directives from the Fed didn’t explicitly mention the “maximum employment” part of the dual mandate in the Federal Reserve Act. The committee’s members preferred to emphasize the goal of price stability and its role in creating strong economic and employment growth.

In fact, Thornton found no references to “maximum employment” in the Fed’s written directives and statements from 1979, when Paul Volcker took over as Fed chair, until the end of 2008, just as the Fed was embarking on its first large-scale asset-purchase program, now known as QE1. It increased its references to maximum employment in the fall of 2010 as it embarked on QE2.

Some argue that a single mandate wouldn’t have prevented the recent trend toward highly discretionary monetary policy. Professor Greg Mankiw of Harvard University argues that “If the Fed’s mandate were different, monetary policy today might well be the same. That is, with inflation now below its target, the Fed could be pursuing QE2 even if it were operating under the proposed mono mandate.”

But Thorton’s careful historical research suggests otherwise.

(John B. Taylor is the Mary and Robert Raymond Professor of Economics at Stanford University and the George P. Shultz Senior Fellow in Economics at the Hoover Institution.)

To contact the author of this blog post:

Palestra humorada

setembro 21, 2011

Eu já visto muita coisa, mas esta palestra é hilariante!

Doug Zongker’s “Chicken chicken chicken”. Presented at the AAAS humor session, February 16, 2007. See for a PDF

Startups: será que elas continuarão sendo os maiores fornecedores de empregos nos EUA

setembro 19, 2011

Já está no ar a nova newsletter da Creativante, cujo título é “Startups: será que elas continuarão sendo os maiores fornecedores de empregos nos EUA?”, e que você pode acessar aqui!

Debatendo o Plano Brasil Maior

setembro 15, 2011

No próximo dia 20/09 estarei debatendo o Plano Brasil Maior na AMCHAM-PE.  O convite partiu do Comitê de Tecnologia da Informação da AMCHAM, e o convite (infelizmente somente para sócios da AMCHAM) pode ser acessado aqui!

Uma Teoria Sobre o Crescimento das Startups (Empresas Nascentes)

setembro 12, 2011

Já está no ar a nova newsletter da Creativante, cujo título é “Uma Teoria Sobre o Crescimento das Startups (Empresas Nascentes) ” , e que você pode acessar aqui!

Identity Economics (Economia da Identidade)

setembro 5, 2011

Já está no ar a nova newsletter da Creativante, cujo título é “Identity Economics (Economia da Identidade)“, que você pode acessar aqui!

The Natural Forces of Market Concentration (in the cellular industry)

setembro 4, 2011

Novo post (de ontem) do blog do Prof. Mark Perry (!


The Natural Forces of Market Concentration


Country   HHI Index, 2009
China 6,772
Portugal 5,843
Switzerland 4,296
South Africa 4,152
Turkey 4,076
Japan 3,591
Spain 3,401
United Kingdom 3,401
Russia 3,383
France 3,346
US – Proposed 3,320
Canada 3,247
Italy 3,243
Israel 3,115
Germany 2,936
Australia 2,853
Taiwan 2,801
US – Now 2,744
Argentina 2,499
Brazil 2,396
India 1,614


NEW YORK TIMES — “The [AT&T-T-Mobile] merger would increase the concentration of the cellular industry in the United States to 3,320, by the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI, a measure of market concentration), up from 2,744 before (see chart above). But note that even if AT&T does not acquire T-Mobile, the American wireless market is and will remain highly concentrated. An international comparison of market concentration, published this week by the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information, shows that the wireless markets in most nations are highly concentrated.
In fact, the merger would move the United States from “toward the bottom to well in the middle of the pack” in terms of consolidated market power in the wireless industry, said Eli Noam, an economist at the Columbia University Business School and director of the telecommunications research institute (see chart above).
In telecommunications, the market concentration itself is not surprising. The telephone business, after all, has long been one of the classic examples of an industry that exhibits the forces that lead toward “natural monopolies,” or at least oligopolies. Those forces include high fixed costs — the investment needed to build out networks — and the efficiencies that come from providing services to millions of customers.
The drive to build out more sophisticated, higher-speed wireless networks will considerably increase the capital costs for network carriers. “That will almost certainly increase the natural forces of market concentration,” Mr. Noam noted.
MP: Maybe it would be best that the Department of Justice do nothing about the ATT-T-Mobile merger. As long as there is open entry to the wireless services industry, and the incumbent firms have no legal protection against current or future competition, what’s the problem? The natural forces of market competition are usually the best and most effective forms of regulation.

Update: Don Boudreaux argues in this video that the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile would make the wireless market more competitive, benefiting consumers.


Starting Smaller; Staying Smaller: America’s Slow Leak in Job Creation

setembro 1, 2011

Mais um estudo da Kauffman Foundation nos EUA: “Starting Smaller; Staying Smaller: America’s Slow Leak in Job Creation“.

Este estudo mostra que os novos negócios nos EUA, que continuam a gerar o grosso dos ganhos em empregos líquidos na economia, nos anos recentes têm se iniciado com menos trabalhadores que a norma, e que também estão adicionando menos trabalhadores à medida que eles crescem.

O estudo pode ser baixado em:

Seria interessante o SEBRAE Nacional (, a “Agência de Apoio ao Empreendedor e Pequeno Empresário”, apresentar alguns estudos sobre o Brasil nesta direção!

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