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Inglorious RevolutionPolitical Institutions, Sovereign Debt, and Financial Underdevelopment in Imperial Brazil$
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William R Summerhill

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300139273

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300139273.001.0001

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Borrowing on Rua Direita

Borrowing on Rua Direita

(p.80) Chapter Four Borrowing on Rua Direita
Inglorious Revolution

William R. Summerhill

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on Brazil's domestic borrowing. The hypothesis that the Empire was excessively reliant on foreign lending is rejected. For much of the Imperial era the bulk of Brazil's debt was domestic in origin. The volume of domestic borrowing increased more rapidly than the foreign debt, and the cost of new domestic borrowing fell dramatically, especially from the early 1830s to the 1850s. This chapter first establishes the contribution of domestic sources of public finance and outlines the structure of the government's domestic obligations. It then examines government borrowing via apólices, as well as the three large National Loans, i.e. in 1868, 1879, and 1889. It also describes the contours of the primary market for lending, identifying the chief characteristics of the state's lenders, and establishes the government's record as a credible borrower by reference to the increasing volume of borrowing. The chapter concludes by addressing some of the implications of Brazil's experience for the scholars' general understanding of sovereign borrowing.

Keywords:   domestic borrowing, Brazil, apólices, National Loans, public finance, sovereign borrowing

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