By Felipe Rezende
This series will discuss at length the underlying forces behind Brazil’s current crisis.
Building on Keynes’ investment theory of the cycle, Minsky’s work suggests that the structure the economy becomes more fragile over a period of tranquility and prosperity. That is, endogenous processes breed financial and economic instability. While Minsky adopted Keynes’ “investment theory of the cycle”, he added a financial theory of investment, with a detailed exposition of the theory in his book John Maynard Keynes (1975), which put at the forefront the interrelation between investment decisions and the financial structure designed to allow economic units to take positions in assets by issuing debt. In this regard, debt accumulation is at the core of Minsky’s instability theory. His financial theory of investment incorporated Kalecki’s approach in which aggregate profits are created, mostly, by the autonomous components of demand (Minsky 1986, 1989). One can add to this analysis Godley’s three balances approach, which explores the interlinkages between the government sector, the private sector, and the external sector. This means that a surplus must be matched by an equal deficit and flows accumulate to stocks.