Controlled inflation is the most important for jobs, says Campos Neto about Lula’s plan

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The president of the Central Bank, Roberto Campos Neto, defended this Thursday (29) the main objective of the monetary authority, to keep inflation under control, as the most important thing for the generation of jobs.

The position opposes statements by former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT), who defends in the electoral campaign that the concern with the job market is among the priority goals of the autarchy.

Campos Neto affirms that the promotion of employment is already a secondary goal of the BC and that keeping prices under control is the most relevant both for the job market and for long-term investments in the country.

On Tuesday (27), during an interview with SBT, Lula said that, if elected, he intends to negotiate new attributions for the monetary authority. “The BC’s purpose is to bring inflation under control and the only mechanism it has is to raise interest rates,” he said.

“It is necessary to create another mechanism, the BC needs to assume another responsibility. The same bank that has the power to tax and set an inflation target must set an economic growth target and the employment target that we are going to create,” said Lula.

Today, inflation targets are set by the CMN (National Monetary Council). The collegiate body is currently chaired by Minister Paulo Guedes (Economy) and composed of the president of the BC and Esteves Colnago, special secretary for the Treasury and Budget of the Ministry of Economy.

The PT has already made similar statements on at least one other occasion, when talking to social media influencers in April. This time, the former president also said that he intends to dialogue with Campos Neto, whom he referred to as a reasonable person to talk to and a competent economist.

Despite Lula’s statements, the view on eventual changes linked to the BC is not a consensus in the PT. Economists working on the party’s campaign say that trying to modify the monetary authority could mean spending political capital and creating difficulties in the relationship with Congress in the beginning of a government that will have other priorities.

“We understand that the most important thing to generate employment, to generate sustainable growth is to have inflation under control”, said the BC president during an interview with journalists this Thursday to release the quarterly inflation report, after being asked about the matter.

“Even in other countries where this is not so implicit, we understand that, in the end, priority is given to this factor. Without a price balance, it is difficult to achieve the other objectives”, added Campos Neto.

At a dinner with businessmen this week, Lula also spoke about the BC’s autonomy. According to the former president, Campos Neto has no more independence than Henrique Meirelles had when he took command of the BC in his government, between 2003 and 2010.

Without commenting on Meirelles’ passage through the post, the current president of the municipality said he had “total autonomy” since he took over the command post in 2019, even before the law was passed, in force since 2021.

“Approval brings an additional benefit. As this independence is laid down in the law, it means that some risk premiums that may occur in the market in times of turmoil do not happen in the same magnitude, they are reduced. This ends up facilitating the transmission mechanism of monetary policy . It generates efficiency”, he said.

The law determines fixed terms of four years for the president and the directors, which can be renewed only once and do not coincide with that of the President of the Republic.

This Thursday, Campos Neto said again that he has no interest in being kept in charge of the BC after 2024, when his first term ends.

Pix is ​​an achievement of BC employees, says Campos Neto

As for the political use of Pix by President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) in his reelection campaign, Campos Neto said that the instant payments system is an achievement of BC officials, who worked “day and night” during the pandemic to launch the tool. in November 2020.

“Pix is ​​an achievement of the Central Bank, of the employees of the Central Bank”, he said. “Pix will continue to exist even when I am no longer here, Pix was not my project,” he added.

In May, BC servers published a note of repudiation against the political use of Pix by the government or its allies.

“This instant payment system was created and implemented by the analysts and technicians of the Central Bank of Brazil, that is, by public servants of the State, not by the current ruler or by any other government”, said Fábio Faiad, president of Sinal (National Union of Employees of the Central Bank), at the time.

The BC ordinance that established the working group to develop Pix was published on May 3, 2018, when the monetary authority was commanded by Ilan Goldfajn, during the government of Michel Temer (MDB).

The launch of Pix took place in November 2020, under the Bolsonaro government. At the time, the president made a public statement confusing the payment system with a topic related to civil aviation.

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