Dissident Brazil central bankers may be inhibited by disclosure

Matthew Bristow, Raymond Colitt – Bloomberg, 05/16/2012

Brazil’s central bank will begin publishing board members’ votes on interest rates, a move that Goldman Sachs Group Inc. says could inhibit board members from going against President Dilma Rousseff’s desire for lower rates.

The decision to disclose how policy makers vote, which takes effect at the board’s next meeting on May 29-30, will improve the policy committee’s decision-making process and fulfills a new federal mandate guaranteeing greater access to information, the bank said in a statement yesterday.

Rousseff, members of her cabinet and union allies of her Workers’ Party have repeatedly called for lower borrowing costs even as economists warn that cutting interest rates too fast threatens to further stoke inflation in Latin America’s biggest economy. The central bank has signaled that it may cut interest rates below its record low 8.75 percent from its current 9 percent, even though economists expect inflation to exceed the 4.5 percent target this year and in 2013.

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