Brazil Conference Blogging
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Jul 24, 2012: Brazil Conference Blogging

**24 July: 9:30 AM:** Welcome back for the second day of our conference.

This morning our keynote speaker, Professor Dani Rodrik of Harvard University, is somebody who is always worth listening to--in fact, worth traveling thousands of miles to listen to. There is so much--I did not know how to introduce him, so I asked him for advice. He replied: "You have said so many things about me over the years! Pick one!"

The one I will pick is this:

Even when it was unfashionable, Dani Rodrik still stuck to his mission and his principles of trying to create space for social democracy in a neoliberal age. The future he has been trying to design for the world is one of rapid growth and shared prosperity--not one in which winners win more, losers lose more, and the middle finds itself lagging behind and without the ability to design its own future. He did so when the global intellectual and political tide was running against his point of view. He continues to do so now. He is one of the few economists most entitled to say to many of the rest of us: "I told you so!" He did indeed. Now he is here to tell us yet more.

Dani Rodrik?

[Later] Thank you very much. Let me continue to use my position of power to retain hold of the microphone. Let me reemphasize two points made by Dani Rodrik and ask him one question.

[Later] We have some written questions--many of them very, very good. Let me just read out an inadequate few of them…

[Later] And that brings us to the end of our time for this panel, and to our coffee break…

**24 July: 10:45 AM:** If I might have your attention for the next panel…

Ever since the start of the British Industrial Revolution, a key element facing the economies of what we now call the Global South has been, on the narrowly economic side, the presence of growth or depression in the Global North and, on the political economy side, first, access or lack thereof to the markets of the global north, and second, the various forms of imperial reach exerted by the global north. As Barry Eichengreen and Wolfgang Munchau emphasized yesterday, the current state of the Global North is not something that we expected even five years ago. On this panel we have Vladimir Popov, Sunil Khilnani, and Ambassador Alfonso Celso de Ouro Preto to discuss these issues from the perspectives of Eastern Europe, India, and Africa. Let me ask each of them to consider yet another aspect of the situation. Michael Kremer of Harvard University and the Brookings Institution has been known to emphasize that even though the Global North's preferred piece of Dutch-Uncle advice is that emerging economies should follow export-led industrialization strategies, there is at any point in time limited space for countries to do so--and right now that space appears to be occupied by China. Can it share? What kinds of futures can these regions design for themselves given the state of the Global North--and given the standing-up and full emergence on the world sage of China?

Vladimir Popov is an advisor to DESA at the United Nations, a sector head at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, and an Adjunct Profesor at Carleton University. I know him best for his unconventional view of global imbalances, for his keen analyses of whether China's path is in fact that special, and for his very skillful explications of the 1998 crisis and its aftermath.

So let me turn to Vladimir Popov…

[Digression on Stalingrad??]

[Later] Sunil Khilnani is Professor of Poliics and Director of the India Institute at Kings College in London. I know him from his very insightful *The Idea of India*. And right now on my bedside table at home is my copy of one of Amazon.com's best books of the month for February 2012, written not by Sunil Khilnani but his wife Katherine Boo, *Beyond the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity*.

Professor Khilnani?

[Later] And back again, demonstrating his amazing diplomatic skills to speak on extraordinarily short notice about events in any and every region of the world, we have Ambassador Alfonso Celso de Ouro Preto to speak on Africa...

[Later] Let me ask each of our three panelists one question each...

[Later] Questions from the floor?

[Later] I wish that we could continue, but it is time for lunch…

**24 July: 1:30PM:** And now we get to the panel that is of the most immediate and practical interest to BNDES, to the Brazilian Development Bank. Latin America's development strategy in general and Brazil's in particular hinge on whether and what room there is in the broader context economy. And for this panel we have José Antonio Ocampo from Columbia University and our Luciano Coutinho from, well, here--from the Brazilian Development Bank.

Luciano Coutinho is our host. He is the President of the Brazilian Development Bank. I remember asking some Washington hands in early 2010 why Brazil had been, relatively, so little affected by the financial crisis. "Good Bagehot-rule central banking", they said. "When private finance vanished, public finance stepped in to keep the flows of finance going". And, they said, a very key player in this was not the central bank but rather the BNDES, the Brazilian Development Bank, and a great deal of the credit was due to Luciano Coutinho. In a very distinguished career in both government and academia, he brings a unique perspective as someone who has been, in universal estimation, extremely successful as both an analyst and practitioner of industrial policy.

Jose Antonio Ocampo was United Nations Undersecretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, and is Professor of Professional Practice and Director of the Economic and Political Development Concentration at the School of International and Public Affairs of Columbia University. As I myself am Director of the International Political Economy Concentration at U.C Berkeley, I can only hope that Jose Antonio is a better academic bureaucratic infighter than I am and gets more support and funding from his university's central administration than I do. He would have been a very good person to break the United States's Bretton-Woods stranglehold on appointments to the Presidency of the World Bank.

Professor Ocampo?

[Later] President Luciano Coutinho--you are the only person here besides Dani Rodrik who I won't dare call time on…

[Later] If I may ask one question, addressed to the two of you…

[Later] Questions from the floor?…

[Later] If I do not call a halt to this session now, we will have no coffee break, and it is very embarrassing for the moderator to start to snore with his face on the table halfway through the final panel. Note that this coffee break is only fifteen minutes.

**24 July: 2:45 PM:** Now we are back for the final session of the conference. Let me start with a general orienting question, addressed to everyone in the round table. The issue is Brazil's place in the global politico-economic order of the future. What do your guesses as to you region's likely future tell us about what Brazil--and the Brazilian Development Bank--should do in order to hedge risks and grasp opportunities. And let me reserve President Luciano Coutinho to the end of this first round, and start with Dani Rodrik?

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