The Nature of Government Finance in Brazil

Posted: 2 Feb 2015

See all articles by Felipe Rezende

Felipe Rezende

Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Date Written: April 25, 2009


The aim of this paper is to focus on the institutional process by which the Brazilian government spends, borrows, and collects taxes. I am going to evaluate the conventional view that taxes finance government spending, that bond sales are financing operations, and that the Brazilian federal government is operationally constrained. This view arises from a misunderstanding of both treasury and central bank operations. Balance sheets are used to show the reserve effects of the treasury and central bank operations and to explain the cooperation between the central bank and the treasury. It concludes that logically taxes and bonds can not finance government spending and that a sovereign government that issues its own non convertible currency can not become insolvent.

Keywords: fiscal policy, monetary operations, monetary policy, government liabilities

Suggested Citation

Rezende, Felipe, The Nature of Government Finance in Brazil (April 25, 2009). Available at SSRN:

Felipe Rezende (Contact Author)

Hobart and William Smith Colleges ( email )

Geneva, NY 14456
United States

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