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This chapter covers the main events in Brazil’s monetary and banking history between 1850 and 1860. It starts with the abolition of the slave trade and the ensuing freeing up of capital, which was ultimately recycled by an incipient banking system consisting of deposit and discount banks that also issued short-term script (vales) used as money. In chartering a semi-official bank in 1853 (the third Bank of Brazil), entrusted with a monopoly of note issues, the government sought to regulate the money supply and the rate of exchange. The authorization granted in 1857–8 to new banks of issue to operate in competition with the Bank of Brazil coincided with the spread of the 1857 financial crisis in Brazil. This led to an orthodox reaction against plurality of note issue.
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According to a businessman testifying before the commission set up to investigate the causes of the 1857 commercial crisis, approximately 15 to 20 thousand contos (£1.8–2.4 million) were freed from the slave trade in 1851 and 1852. Relatorio da Commissão de Inquerito de 1859 ( undated, p. 104).
Vales were short-term promissory notes that circulated locally, performing a similar role to banknotes.
A native of the province of Rio de Janeiro, Itaboraí was one of the three leading Conservative representatives of that province in Parliament. He formed, alongside Euzébio de Queirós and Paulino José Soares de Sousa (Visconde de Uruguai), the “Saquarema trinity”, which would exercise considerable political influence in the Empire between 1840 and 1870. Itaboraí was a Mathematics graduate from the University of Coimbra, and held the Navy and Finance portfolios on many occasions. It was in the latter capacity that he gained his reputation for austerity and technical expertise, making him, arguably, the most respected authority in financial matters during the period. It was said that whenever cabinet re-shuffles occurred, the first thing financiers in London would ask was if Itaboraí had been appointed Prime Minister or Minister of Finance, given his reputation as a firm conductor of economic policy de Lyra ( 1978, pp. 287–8).
Ibid. ‘What would be the use of withdrawing from circulation, at the cost of great sacrifice, five or six thousand contos in paper if the vacuum thus created were to be filled by an equal amount of banknotes, which also represent paper money?’ (ibid., p. 37). Itaboraí was referring to Law 401 (of 11 September 1846), which established the new gold parity between the milréis and sterling at 27d (Art. 1). Article 2 authorized the government to withdraw from circulation whatever amount of paper money was necessary to keep the rate of exchange at that level.
Ibid., pp. 167–73.
This confirms the opposition’s claims that the Senate bill was no more than ‘a government bill in disguise’. See session of 17 June, in Annaes da Camara dos Deputados 1853 (hereafter, ACD), Tome II, p. 232.
See the summary of the parliamentary debates in Franco and Pacheco ( 1979, pp. 334–48).
Debate held in the Chamber of Deputies on 7 July, in ACD 1859, Tome III, p. 54.
See Table A6 in the Statistical Appendix. From 1830 to 1886, the financial year in Brazil ran from 1 July to 30 June. From 1888 onward, it would coincide with the calendar year.
PRO, Foreign Office, 13/303, Jerningham to the Earl of Clarendon, Rio de Janeiro, No. 34, 11 June 1853.
Vales, in turn, only circulated locally.
Relatorio da Commissão de Inquerito de 1859 ( undated, p. 104).
See Table A4 in the Statistical Appendix.
Mauá’s Bank of Brazil was the third institution to bear that name, after the original 1808 bank, which closed its doors in 1829, and a failed attempt to incorporate a national establishment in 1833. Yet, it was the second bank actually to operate under that name.
Barman ( 1981).
Dividends paid out to shareholders of the Commercial fell from a high of 13.6% in 1850 to an average of less than 9% in the following three years. Cavalcanti ( 1893, Vol. 2, p. 152). Figures for Mauá’s Bank of Brazil are incomplete and do not allow a comparison to be made.
‘The discount rate rose from 4–5% to 10–11% and, worse yet, both banks were so over-committed that they ceased to discount even the best paper. As their liquid assets shrank, so by their statutes the banks were forced to withdraw their credit notes from circulation, thus further shrinking the money supply’ (Barman 1981, p. 245).
The amount of Treasury notes in circulation decreased by almost 10% between 1845 and 1850, from 50.4 thousand contos to 46.9 thousand contos. The increase in the issues of vales in the same period (from 600 to 1,100 contos) did not make up for the reduction in government legal tender in the economy. See Peláez and Suzigan ( 1976, Table IV.2, p. 79). Specie in circulation (estimated at 10–20 thousand contos) complemented the monetary base in the early 1850s.
Shortly before the act that created the third Bank of Brazil was passed, the government approved the statutes of a new bank in the city of Rio de Janeiro, the Banco Rural & Hypothecario. With a capital of 8000 contos, divided into 20,000 shares of 400$000 each, it had its application to engage in the issue of vales denied by the Council of State. The latter was a college of experienced politicians, who exercised substantial influence in the political arena. The Emperor, at the suggestion of the Prime Minister, appointed its 24 members (12 regular and 12 alternate) for life. This comprised the full Council— Conselho Pleno. Council members advised the monarch on the exercise of his Moderating Power, thus having a say in a host of important issues. Reports on submissions to the four standing committees (Seções) into which the Council of State was divided (Empire, Justice and Foreign Affairs, War and Navy, and Finance) often served as the basis for executive decrees. See Rodrigues, ed. ( 1978) (hereafter, ACE).
The dangers potentially arising from this provision, news of which had already been circulating before the Bank was established, did not go unnoticed by the British Chargé d’Affaires to the Court of Brazil. ‘The Imperial Government will have the national bank more or less under their control; and if at some future period any Brazilian Minister find it convenient to abuse this power, and use it for their own ends and purposes, to the detriment of the community in general, I fear some danger may be apprehended not only for the commercial prosperity, but even perhaps for the peace and universal welfare of this Empire’ (PRO, Foreign Office, 13/303, Jerningham to the Earl of Clarendon, Rio de Janeiro, No. 52, 8 July 1853).
As already noted, the reason for this awkward disposition stemmed from the sheer scarcity of gold in the country, which precluded the adoption of a fully gold-backed issue.
Tellingly, notes issued by the third Bank of Brazil bore the inscription “At the Bank of Brazil the bearer of this (note) shall be paid the amount…” ( No Banco do Brasil se Pagará ao Portador Desta a Quantia de, in the original). No explicit mention, therefore, of the possibility of redemption of the note into gold. See Maldonado and Antunes ( 2018).
According to the said article, ‘The Government is authorized to retire from circulation the amount of paper money deemed necessary to raise and keep it at the value provided for in the preceding Article (that is, 27 pence to the milréis)’; ‘for this purpose it will be allowed to undertake the necessary credit operations’. Law 401, of 11 September 1846. Brasil, Leis e Decretos, Coleção de Leis e Decretos.
Law 1223 of 31 August 1853.
On 1 October, the Mauá Bank started operations in Rio.
The newly created Bank of Brazil was also unpleased by the idea of limited partnership banks ‘compet(ing) in circulation, without the burden that the Law placed on corporations in general, and on this Bank in particular’. Banco do Brasil, “Actas das Reuniões da Directoria”, session No. 80, 22 August 1854, AD 001/11-A. These minutes of the meetings of the board of directors of the Bank of Brazil will henceforth be referred to as Banco do Brasil, “Actas”.
See Resolution No. 375, 16 December 1854, in Imperiaes Resoluções do Conselho de Estado na Seção de Fazenda (hereafter, SFCE), Vol. III, pp. 352–55. It is worth noting that among the three councillors to sign the resolution was Itaboraí, the architect of the third Bank of Brazil who, from the outset, showed clear independence of opinion regarding the operations of his brainchild. For a survey of the Finance Standing Committee’s deliberations on monetary matters, see Villela ( 2000).
See also Banco do Brasil, Relatorio Apresentado á Assembléa Geral dos Accionistas do Banco do Brasil pelo Presidente do Banco 1855, p. 4. Hereafter, Banco do Brasil, Relatorio.
By then, according to the internally appointed Bank inspectors, virtually all Treasury notes in Rio either had been exported to the interior or had found their way into the Bank’s vaults (ibid., p. 7).
Partly due to the sheer difficulties of communication at the time, the caixas enjoyed considerable autonomy from the head office. Not only did they issue notes in their respective regions but they also had their own statutes and board of directors appointed by the head office. The provincial offices of the Bank of Brazil were created by Decree 1490, of 20 December 1854 (in Ouro Preto), and Decree 1580, of 21 March 1855 (in Salvador, Recife, São Luís, Belém, Porto Alegre and São Paulo). The latter decree transformed the earlier banks established in those provincial capitals into caixas filiais of the Bank of Brazil. The São Paulo and Porto Alegre offices of the Bank were formerly branches of the “second” (Mauá) Bank of Brazil. Given the delay in procuring notes for the caixas—which ended up being imported from Britain, and still had to be signed by the respective directors—they would not start their operations until the early months of 1856. See Franco and Pacheco ( 1979, p. 404).
Decree 1581, of 2 April 1855.
‘It seems beyond doubt that as long as we (in Rio) cannot pay with our products those […] which we consume from the North, or as long as the discount rate is lower in this market than in those of the said Provinces, the migration of precious metals and Government paper will go on unabated to those points in the Empire’ (ibid.).
Early in that year the government assented to a request to allow the substitution of Bank of Brazil notes of 50$000 denomination for those of the Treasury deposited in provincial offices ( tesourarias provinciais) and the Amortization Office (Caixa de Amortização). Banco do Brasil, “Actas”, session No. 209, 7 January 1856, AD 002/11-A.
“Parecer da Commissão Nomeada pela Directoria do Banco do Brasil em Sessão de 22 de Abril de 1857 para Propor os Meios Mais Adequados para a Conservação do Fundo Disponível”. Museu Imperial de Petrópolis, Arquivo da Casa Imperial, bundle 124, document 6202.
Ibid. The Bank implemented both recommendations soon afterward. The discount rate was raised from 8% to 9% on 5 May, and the rate of interest on dinheiro a prêmio set at 7% on 9 June.
Meanwhile, vales issued by private banks (but not joint-stock banks), businesses, and individuals would still be circulating, with major implications, as will be seen later in the book.
Symptomatically, the hallmark of his administration, he explained, would be conciliation, imprinting that ‘spirit of moderation that is synonymous with conservative opinions’. Paraná concurrently held the Finance portfolio during the better part of the first Conciliação cabinet, and through a strict fiscal policy, managed to achieve a substantial budget surplus in the 1856–7 financial year. See Table A6 in the Statistical Appendix.
According to Nabuco, in appointing Souza Franco to head the Finance portfolio in 1857, Olinda was choosing a colleague, albeit of a different party. Most important from the point of view of subsequent events, the choice, still according to Nabuco, had been a conscious one. Olinda, who earlier had strongly criticized Paraná’s Conciliação initiative, opted for appointing a known Liberal to a key post in the cabinet, something that his predecessor had not attempted. Surely, Souza Franco’s heterodox views on banking policy could not have been lost on the old Conservative chief when he chose him for the post. For details on the whole Conciliação period, see Iglésias ( 1972) and Nabuco ( 1997, Vol. I, pp. 163–74). The other portfolio occupied by the Liberals was the Ministry of War, headed by Jerônimo Francisco Coelho.
The six new banks eventually given the go-ahead, and the dates of the decrees approving their statutes and authorizing their incorporation, are as follows: Banco Commercial & Agrícola (in the Court, on 31 August 1857); Banco Commercial do Rio Grande do Sul (based in Porto Alegre, on 24 October 1857); the Novo Banco de Pernambuco (in Recife, on 11 November 1857); Banco do Maranhão (in São Luís, on 25 November 1857); Banco da Bahia (in Salvador, on 3 April 1858); and the Banco Rural & Hypotechario (which was founded in 1853 in Rio, and to which the right to issue notes was now being granted) on 27 February 1858.
Law 556, of 25 July 1850.
Two years later, Minister of Finance Ferraz would still be referring to the problems caused by the shortage of currency in activities such as the cattle trade in the province of São Pedro do Sul, where the Bank of Brazil maintained one of its caixas filiaes. Still, the fact that notes from other provinces could not circulate locally did not deter gaúcho traders from making use of them at discounts of 3% to 4% of their face value. RMF 1859, p. 69.
Quotations in the Rio stock exchange show a stable milréis, hovering around par, until mid-December. Arrival of the steamer Medway in Rio on 12 December, bringing news of the increase in Bank rate to 10% in London, led to the subsequent fall in the exchange rate from 26 1/4 d to 23d. RMF 1857, p. 7. Exchange-rate quotations are in Arquivo Nacional, Junta de Corretores, Livro de Registro Official, various issues, P8 13, p. 203.
The hide trade in Rio Grande do Sul, for instance, was severely hit upon receiving news of the crisis overseas. See Parliamentary Papers 1861, LXIII, Report by the Hon. H. P. Vereker, British Consul at Rio Grande do Sul, on the Trade of that Port during the year 1858, p. 5.
The Bank’s directors were well aware of the challenge that lay before the institution. ‘If the board of Directors of the Bank, on the one hand, was under the rigorous obligation to protect its reserve fund, on the other it was most willing to help out commerce, which […] is wrestling with great difficulty as a result of the sudden withdrawal of the capital which used to aid it, and of the complete stagnation of exports. However, these two terms are so inter-linked when it comes to a bank of issue that the Board of Directors should see to both simultaneously and, therefore, raise the discount rate, satisfy the needs of foreign trade, and serve domestic trade liberally’. Cf. Banco do Brasil, Relatorio 1858, p. 6.
This increase should not be considered a seasonal phenomenon, as in previous years there had been little change in the Bank’s portfolio at the end of the year.
One of the major sources of demands for loans from the Bank of Brazil at the time was the house of A. J. Alves Souto & Co., which suffered a run during the whole month of December, but managed to survive. As will be seen in the next chapter, the house of Souto would find itself at the epicenter of a major panic in 1864.
Session No. 332, extraordinary meeting of the Board of Directors. A similar proposal put forward by the Discount Commission of the Bank for the appreciation of the Board of Directors, on 11 November, had been rejected. See Banco do Brasil, “Actas”, 1857–8, AD 003/11-A. This fact was overlooked by Cavalcanti, who maintained that suspension took place on the 11th, in which he was followed by Peláez and Suzigan; see Cavalcanti ( 1893, Vol. 2, p. 213) and Peláez and Suzigan ( 1976, p. 88).
These 3000 contos represented the amount of Treasury notes that the Bank had already withdrawn from circulation, and which, according to Article 60 of its statutes, served as a ceiling to the guarantees that the government could provide on such occasions.
For the full texts of the memoranda exchanged between the Bank of Brazil and the Minister of Finance, and between the latter and the Mauá, MacGregor Bank, see the Annex in RMF 1857, pp. 1–13.
See “Reserved Memorandum” from Souza Franco to José Pedro Dias de Carvalho (acting president of the Bank of Brazil), 4 December 1857, ibid., p. 6.
As noted by a contemporary, it was generally in the weeks between 15 June and 15 July, and 15 December and 15 January that the money market was at its tightest, because of the resources needed by the government to pay interest on its bonds ( apólices), and by banks and other corporations, for payment of dividends. Testimony offered by an unnamed foreign businessman, in Relatorio da Commissão de Inquerito de 1859 ( undated, Annex A, p. 38).
Banco do Brasil, “Actas”, session No. 446, 30 March 1859, AD 004/11-A.
The Committee was formed by Itaboraí, the Marquês de Abrantes, and the Visconde de Abaeté. Itaboraí would retain his seat in the Council of State (and its Seção de Fazenda) almost uninterruptedly from 1853 until his death in January 1872. From this position, as well as in the Senate, the Bank of Brazil, and the Ministry of Finance (which he would head again from July 1868 to September 1870), he was able to establish himself as Brazil’s leading financial expert of the time, helping to shape both policy and debate on monetary and banking matters.
Itaboraí would repeat these arguments in a speech in the Senate on 17 April 1858. See Annaes do Senado do Império (henceforth, ASI), Tome I, pp. 85–6.
This assessment, of course, involved giving priority to external (exchange rate) stability, to the detriment of internal balance. The Bank of Brazil thought differently, as it was not willing to cause further hardship to the market by raising the rate of discount.
PRO, Foreign Office, 13/352, Scarlett to the Earl of Clarendon, Rio de Janeiro, No. 73, 13 July 1857. Speaking in the Senate on 17 May 1858, Itaboraí apologized to his colleagues for not having resigned immediately after the cabinet of May 1857 came to power and, with it, Souza Franco, ‘with whose economic ideas (I) could not agree’. ASI 1858, Tome I, p. 82. During the same session Itaboraí and Souza Franco exchanged ironies about this point:
‘I do not intend to impute all blame (for the mismanagement of the 1857 crisis) on the Bank. More appropriately, it should be ascribed to the Minister of Finance’.
‘I impute it to Your Excellency’s influence, for to this day you govern the Bank more than myself’.
‘I will leave this aside to be judged by the public and the directors of the Bank’.
‘Your Excellency is heard (there) more frequently than me’ (ibid., p. 85).
On the following day, they resumed the exchanges:
‘No matter what Your Excellency may say, at present you govern the Bank more than me’.
‘Then, why is it that I censure its acts’?
‘The father, even when he is his child’s best friend, also slaps him when he deserves it. And I believe that it is the excessive love that the senator has for his child that makes him so severe’ ( ASI 1858, Tome I, p. 103).
Article 2 of the contract celebrated between the government and the Bank of Brazil on 29 August 1857 determined that government deposits earn a rate of interest equivalent to three percentage points below the going rate of discount practiced by the Bank. Additionally, Article 5 required the Bank and its provincial offices to charge this rate of interest when discounting Treasury bills ( letras). See “Contracto com o Banco do Brasil para o deposito dos saldos disponiveis”, in Banco do Brasil, Relatorio 1858, pp. 45–6.
Responsibility for defending the exchange rate was still a matter of dispute. For the Bank of Brazil, ‘it (seemed) that in spite of the creation of (the Bank), it (was) the government’s duty to comply with the letter of the Law of 11 September 1846, and undertake the credit operations necessary to maintain the equilibrium of the exchange rate’. Cf. memorandum No. 10, in RMF 1857, p. 12.
Banco do Brasil, Relatorio 1858. Apparently, the directors of the bank were confident that the government would accept their counter-offer, as suggested by their decision to authorize the vice-president to prepare the operation with the sale of bills on London, pending confirmation from Souza Franco. Banco do Brasil, “Actas”, session No. 365, 12 March 1857, AD 003/11-A.
The Bank’s reluctance to cooperate was stressed by Cavalcanti ( 1893) and by the British Chargé d’Affaires in Rio, who blamed this attitude on its ‘feeble Direction’. PRO, Foreign Office, 13/362, Scarlett to the Earl of Malmesbury, Rio de Janeiro, No. 38, 14 May 1858.
Anticipating that the amount put by the Treasury at his disposal would not be enough to sustain (let alone appreciate) the rate of exchange, the Barão gave instructions to his London office to procure more resources. Finally, he went as far as putting his own (substantial) private fortune at the service of the operation, if need be (ibid.).
The coffee harvest would begin in June, when the Mauá, MacGregor Bank sold the last drafts on London. Levy ( 1972, pp. 23–4).
See Table A5 in the Statistical Appendix.
Coffee shipments to Rio occurred throughout the year, but peaked between August and November. Sweigart ( 1987, p. 111).
An adversary of the Conciliação initiative, ironically, Teixeira Jr. would later marry a daughter of the Marquês de Paraná, chief architect of the attempt at reconciliation between Conservatives and Liberals in the mid-1850s. See de Lyra ( 1978, p. 174).
Speaking in the Chamber of Deputies, on 29 May, Mauá took the opportunity to reveal that before embarking on the operation to raise the rate of exchange he personally made three last-minute efforts to convince the Bank of Brazil into accepting Souza Franco’s final offer to no avail (ibid., p. 150).
Born in the city of Rio de Janeiro in 1812, Francisco de Sales Torres Homem graduated from medical school and became a journalist under the protection of the highly respected man of the press, Evaristo da Veiga. During a stay in Europe, he was exposed to the literature on Political Economy, a topic in which he would later stand out in the Brazilian political scene, more for his raging speeches than for technical command. Originally, a fervent Liberal, author of a pamphlet ( Libelo do Povo) which attacked the Emperor’s Moderating Power like no one before, Torres Homem would switch sides and join the Conservatives in the mid-1850s, going on to become one of the leading politicians in his new party. See de Lyra ( 1978, pp. 266–7).
Banks created by decree began issuing notes in 1858. By the end of the year, these issues amounted to 8.6 thousand contos or 8% of total note circulation (Treasury notes + banknotes) at the time.
For Cavalcanti, however, opposition to the banks created by decree arose out of ‘subservience to the Bank of Brazil, a misunderstanding as to the (alleged) perils of plurality of issue or, as seems more likely, partisan reaction’. See Cavalcanti ( 1893, Vol. 2, p. 128). Later events lend credence to the interpretation of a political motivation behind many of the attacks on the banks of issue or, more specifically, on Souza Franco.
In a private letter to a friend, the Emperor clearly stated that ‘(he was) against the economic ideas of Souza Franco’. Pedro Calmon, cited in Caldeira ( 1995, p. 354).
Rather surprisingly, this decision did not seem to disturb the inspectors of the Bank of Brazil. As stated in their 1859 annual report, the drop in the volume of Bank notes in circulation should not be imputed to the new limit set by the government, but rather to the competition that had come about with plurality of issue. Banco do Brasil, Relatorio dos Fiscaes 1859, p. 5.
In this respect, the government was addressing, even if unwittingly, the problem posed by the drain of Treasury notes to the provinces where there were no banking institutions, as reported in Banco do Brasil, Relatorio dos Fiscaes 1859, p. 2. This blatant contradiction on the part of Torres Homem—who, while opposed to banks of issue, saw no harm in chartering deposit and discount banks—will be explored later in the book.
On the occasion, Torres Homem was criticized for presenting the bill in his capacity as a national deputy, not as Minister of Finance. As such, the bill did not need to be accompanied by any supporting documentation and explanations as to its merits. See session of 30 June, in ACD 1859, Tome II, p. 232.
Session of 6 June 1859, in ACE, Vol. V, pp. 95–104.
That was Jequitinhonha’s position (ibid., p. 100). One of the longest exposés came from General João Paulo dos Santos Barreto, who offered a passionate defense of free trade, including in the realm of banking. He nevertheless admitted his ignorance about the subject under discussion, adding that most of the information he had obtained came from his son-in-law, a stockbroker in Rio (ibid., pp. 103–4).
Ibid., p. 101. This statement lends support to the idea that members of the Council more often than not professed a vision of the State in their meetings, rather than taking the opportunity to put forth parochial interests. In this case, Uruguai sided with hard money when clearly soft money would have helped alleviate at least part of the problems in the coffee sector.
The report clearly acknowledged the dual aspect of inflation on the government budget. If, on the one hand, rising prices reduced government expenditure in real terms it also corroded the real value of its tax revenues (ibid.).
In a sample of the monetarist tone of most early-twentieth-century authors, it was remarked that the Torres Homem bill ‘soon met the greatest and rudest opposition from the advocates of inflation and a depreciated currency, who have always been numerous in Brazil’. See Ortigão ( 1914, p. 59).
In a striking “Keynesian” insight into the matter, a contemporary remarked that ‘the provisions of the (Torres Homem) bill, however much they lacked the capacity to increase the value of our circulating medium directly, should bring about this desired result in an indirect way, through general impoverishment, the ruin of public and private fortune, and the retreat of industry and commerce’. Cf. Milet ( 1875, p. 37).
In the first of three voting sessions required by the statutes of the Chamber of Deputies, the bill received 61 votes in favor and 51 against. See Andrada ( 1923, p. 116). The Conservatives at the time held 92 seats in the lower House. As regards the discussion of the bill in Parliament, a contemporary noted that ‘the support which sixty deputies and some of the most distinguished characters in the Senate have lent to the ideas of Mr. Torres Homem, in spite of the immediate harm which they bring […], serves to show that the bill will be rejected as inopportune and in breach of the rights of the existing banks, rather than for its ineffectiveness and for being contrary to the principles of political economy’ (ibid., p. 31).
Rio’s main financial paper commented that ‘the expected reaction’ (to the Torres Homem bill) took place in the Chamber. ‘Interests hurt by the bill reacted with the strongest possible force. Liberal opinion maintained its opposition in the name of the principles of its school, of the faith in contracts, and acquired rights. Many Conservative deputies who had supported the previous (Olinda) cabinet were convinced that they should reject the bill, as being ill suited to cure the current evils. The financial question was linked to the question of conciliation and centralization (...), as well as the dispute between the cabinet that had ceased to exist in December 1859 and its opponents’. Jornal do Commercio, 7 January 1861.
Caixas econômicas, or savings banks, operated by making depositors shareholders in the enterprise. In the case of those created in the province of Bahia, capital was invested mostly in urban mortgages and stocks. Interest received from these operations, net of administrative charges, was distributed semi-annually among shareholders (or depositors), in proportion to their capital. Parecer sobre Caixas Econômicas ( 1882).
Metalistas would come to designate advocates of convertibility and, more generally, of hard money, that is, monetary restraint and a high exchange. Conversely, their ideological foes, papelistas, sided with expansionist monetary policies, a slipping exchange, and, at times, fiduciary paper. The differences between metalistas and papelistas will be explored further in Chap. 5.
Ibid. The trade deficit for the 1857/58 financial year stood at £3.8 million, up £2.5 million from the year before, while service of the foreign debt remained constant at 3.7 thousand contos (approx. £420,000). Data on foreign trade in Brasil, IBGE ( 1990, p. 522). Figures (in contos) for foreign debt payments from Balanços da Receita e Despeza do Imperio.
There is, of course, the possibility that high interest rates and a large supply of money may coexist, given imperfections in the capital market.
Law 1083 of 22 August 1860. The nickname is attributed to a French author (Joseph Garnier) who, writing in 1860, first referred to it as the Loi d’Entraves. See Cavalcanti ( 1893, Vol. 2, p. 265).
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- From Plurality of Issue to Monopoly and Back: 1850–60
André A. Villela
- Chapter 2
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