President Jair Bolsonaro immersed the government in a new policy. This time, with the economic agents. The head of Palal do Planalto called on Thursday the president of Petrobras, Roberto Castello Branco, to determine that he would maintain the 5.7 percent increase in diesel fuel announced this day. The order had a negative impact on the markets and meant a decrease of 7.75% in the value of the preferred shares of the State (see table below). The political class also manifested and charged the coherence of economic liberalism defended by the government in practice and not only in the discourse, since the president's speech represented a direct interference in a strategic decision. The measure, however, mitigated the atmosphere of rebellion among truck drivers, who are discussing a new paralysis.
Two meetings were convened. In the first, he met with ministers of the Civil House, Onyx Lorenzoni, Defense, Fernando Azevedo, Mines and Energy, Bento Albuquerque, Regional Development, Gustavo Canuto, Secretary General, Floriano Peixoto, and the Secretary of Government. , Santos Cruz. In the second, he spoke with Azevedo and the minister of the Office of Institutional Security (GSI), Augusto Heleno, head of the portfolio whose function is to prevent the emergence of crisis and to articulate his management.
The meetings set a new meeting for Tuesday, in order to continue discussing the decisions about the process. I participate in technical ministries such as Albuquerque and Infraestructura, Tarcsio de Freitas, as well as Petrobras technicians. The government, however, discards meetings as a form of intervention. "The president understands that Petrobras, a public company, subject to market regulations, should not be subject to political interference in its gesture," said the spokesman of the presidency, Otvio Rgo Barros.
The spokesman acknowledges that the pricing policy has never been discussed and that, precisely for this reason, the government proposes not imposing the intervention, it will only seek the dialogue and identify technical aspects for the decision on the readjustment policy carried out by Petrobras to fuels. . The government is in a hurry, because political pressure is already boiling.
Romero Juc, MDB's national president, warned that intervention in the State's price policy is not the one that strengthens the company. "We have seen this in the past and the result we all know. This is not liberal, consistent with the government's electoral discourse. I have to think," he said on Twitter. Deputy Vinicius Poit (Novo-SP) understands that the rise in fuel prices is really something that is taken in everyone's pocket, but evaluates this in economic populism and interventionism that has to do so. enter the scene "Here, the solution is going through a greater competition and a privatization of Petrobras than the money they have cents," he reflected.
The intervention of Bolsonaro, which would have been suggested by Lorenzoni, reminds the freezing of prices to the government of former president Dilma Rousseff, which affected the readjustment of gasoline when the price of the barrel of oil increased in the international market. The president of the Republic was defended. He admitted that he called Castello Branco and said he would not be an interventionist and will do practices that he "made in the past." "But I want the Petrobras number to clarify why the readjustment of 5.7%, when it is expected that this year's inflation will be less than 5%. If I convince myself, well. If you do not convince me, it's fine "he said yesterday when he imposed on Dilma and again used the usual argument of the economist. "Who understood that the economy sank Brazil, is not it?" Experts have sunk in Brazil, "he stressed.
Loss of R $ 32.4 billion
In resurrecting the policy of former president Dilma Rousseff to insure fuel prices, President Jair Bolsonaro's intervention in Petrobras has shaken the market, the state and the fuel sector. Yesterday, the oil company lost a value of R $ 32.4 billion from the fall in oil prices. Ordinary fell 8.54% and preferred 7.75%.
The measure goes against the liberal agenda of the Minister of Economy, Paulo Guedes, who said that Washington did not know the subject. The president of the Central Bank, Roberto Campos Neto, acknowledged that the liberals defend the least possible intervention in the control of prices. For the economist Alexandre Esprito Santo, the branch, the intervention, if not well explained by the government, goes against the proposal of liberalism that he chose to Bolsonaro. "It was a tough move, perhaps one of the worst of 100 days of government, driven by the maturity of Monday options," he said.
According to the economist at BlueMetrix Assets, Renan Silva, the change in nothing is unhealthy. "In what the market wants to feel, investors are sensitive to this type of news," he said. The dollar closed at R $ 3.89, 0.83%, also as a result of Bolsonaro's decision, according to the director of Mirae Asset, Pablo Spyer. "The perception of risk has increased against foreign investors," he said. According to the chief economist at Ativa Investimentos, Carlos Thadeu Filho, the impact was great, but "worse" than a possible paralysis of truck drivers. "A strike can complicate 1% of the gross domestic product (GDP) of a year j. It has chosen correctly," he said.
For the president of the Brazilian association of fuel importers (Abicom), Srjo Arajo, the intervention worsens the conditions of competitiveness of the sector. "In our calculation, the delay of R $ 0.14. Petrobras' readjustment, of R $ 0.12, would still be little," he said. The associates have operations paralyzed, because the state has practiced the prices below the import. "Of the nine, half did not matter one liter this year," he lamented.
At the end of the day, Petrobras sent a statement from the company's president, Roberto Castello Branco: "I received a phone call from President Bolsonaro, who warned me of the risks of the increase in oil prices. Consider the president's concern legitimate. Petrobras then decided to suspend, for a few days, the readjustment. I reiterate that the company is totally autonomous for decision making. "