30 dezembro 2008

Coisas que é bom saber, lá como cá (ou como a banca se consolida e se agiliza o ajuste directo de empreitadas públicas)

Was the 'Credit Crunch' a Myth Used to Sell a Trillion-Dollar Scam? Even as the media continue to repeat the claim that credit has frozen up, evidence has emerged suggesting the entire story is wrong. [...]

For the most part, the press has continued to echo Bush's central assertion that there's a "credit crunch" preventing even qualified borrowers -- that's the key point -- from getting loans, and it's now part of the conventional wisdom.

But a number of economists are questionioning the factual basis of the credit crunch narrative. Columnist David Sirota recently looked at those claims and concluded that Americans "had been punk'd" -- that "the major claims about a credit crisis that justified Congress cutting a trillion-dollar blank check to Wall Street were demonstrably false," and the threat of a systemic banking crash was used by the Bush administration to overcome popular resistance to the "bailout."

It's a reasonable conclusion; this is an administration that used the threat of thousands of al-Qaida sleeper cells in the United States to sell Congress on the Patriot Act, the specter of mushroom clouds rising over American cities to push through the Iraq war resolution and the supposedly imminent crash of the Social Security system to push for privatizing Americans' retirement savings. [...]

The credit crunch narrative -- and the justification for creating Paulson's $700 billion TARP honeypot -- is built on three related assertions: 1) banks, fearing that they'll be unable to meet their own financial obligations, aren't lending money to one another; 2) they're also not lending to the public at large -- neither to firms nor individuals; and 3) businesses are further unable to raise money through ordinary channels because investors aren't eager to buy up corporate debt, including commercial paper issued by companies with decent balance sheets.

Economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minnesota's research department -- V.V. Chari and Patrick Kehoe of the University of Minnesota, and Northwestern University's Lawrence Christiano -- crunched the Fed's numbers in an examination of these bits of conventional wisdom (PDF), and concluded that all three claims are myths. [...]

Dean Baker, while arguing that "the main story is that people don't have money and therefore want to spend," acknowledged that "some banks are undoubtedly anticipating more write-offs from other loans going bad, so they will hang on to their capital now rather than make new loans." And, as Sirota notes, some of the institutions that are relatively healthy are reportedly holding cash in anticipation of picking up weaker banks on the cheap.

2. Decreto-Lei que estabelece medidas excepcionais de contratação pública, a vigorar em 2009 e 2010, destinado à rápida execução dos projectos de investimento público considerados prioritários

Este diploma vem estabelecer medidas excepcionais de contratação pública por forma a tornar mais ágeis e céleres os procedimentos relativos à celebração de contratos de empreitada de obras públicas e de contratos de locação ou aquisição de bens móveis e de aquisição de serviços relativos a projectos de investimento público considerados prioritários para o relançamento da economia portuguesa, em linha com o plano de relançamento da economia europeia adoptado pelo Conselho Europeu de 11 e 12 de Dezembro de 2008.

Estão abrangidas por este diploma, em particular, pela sua urgência, as medidas constantes dos eixos prioritários da «Iniciativa para o Investimento e o Emprego», adoptada pelo Conselho de Ministros de 13 de Dezembro 2008 (Modernização das escolas; energia sustentável; modernização da infra-estrutura tecnológica – redes banda larga de nova geração; apoio especial à actividade económica, exportações e pequenas e médias empresas; apoio ao emprego).

O regime excepcional agora aprovado vigorará em 2009 e 2010 e, no essencial, prevê:

(i) A possibilidade de ser escolhido o procedimento de ajuste directo, no âmbito de empreitadas de obras públicas, para contratos com valor até 5 150 000 euros e, no âmbito da aquisição ou locação de bens móveis ou da aquisição de serviços, para contratos com valor até 206 000 euros;

(ii) A redução global dos prazos dos procedimentos relativos a concursos limitados por prévia qualificação e a procedimentos de negociação de 103 dias para 41 dias, ou de 96 para 36 dias quando o anúncio seja preparado e enviado por meios electrónicos.