Campos, Roberto (de Oliveira) (1917–2001)

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Campos, Roberto (de Oliveira) (1917–2001)

Roberto (de Oliveira) Campos (b. 17 April 1917; d. 9 October 2001), Brazilian minister of planning and economic coordination (1964–1967). Diplomat, economist, professor, public official, and legislator, Campos has been a central participant in Brazilian economic affairs since joining the foreign service in 1939. He is known for his neoliberal (conservative) economic positions, including less state intervention and fewer restrictions on foreign capital investment. He attended many of the international economic conferences held in the 1940s, including the Bretton Woods Conference. As a government economic adviser in the 1950s, Campos helped found the National Economic Development Bank (Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico—BNDE) to finance infrastructure and served as its director-superintendent (1955–1958) and president (1958–1959). He has held many posts in government, acting as ambassador to the United States (1961–1963) and to London (1975–1982), federal senator (1983–1991), and federal deputy (1991–2001).

As minister of planning and economic coordination (1964–1967), Campos was the principal architect of the Economic Action Plan of the Government (Plano de Ação Econômica do Governo—PAEG), which included budget-balancing and restrictions on money-supply growth to fight inflation and institutional reforms to provide the foundation for further economic expansion. Among the reforms enacted were indexed government bonds, called Readjustable Obligations of the National Treasury (Obrigações Reajustáveis do Tesoro Nacional—ORTN), and a general indexation system, termed correção monetária (monetary correction); a noninflationary and regressive wage policy; a weakening of job security; a housing finance system; limited, pro-production land reform; and a central bank. PAEG brought down inflation, but at the cost of an unpopular recession. The reforms established the basic institutional framework for subsequent Brazilian economic life and provided the foundations for the subsequent high-growth period called the Economic Miracle (1968–1974).

He also served as the senator for Mato Grosso (1983–1991) and federal deputy of Rio de Janeiro during two legislatures (1991–1999). In addition, in 1998 he ran for the Federal Senate losing by only a 5 percent margin. His autobiography A lanterna na popa (2001) recounts the economic history of Brazil as well as the various interactions and acquaintances which helped form Campos throughout his life.

See alsoDelfim Neto, Antônio; Economic Development; Furtado, Celso; Simonsen, Mário Henrique.


Israel Beloch and Alzira Alves De Abreu, eds., Dicionário histórico-biográfico brasileiro, 1930–1983, vol. 1 (1984).

Leôncio Martins Rodrigues, Quem é quem na constituinte: Uma análise sócio-política dos partidos e deputados (1987).

Werner Baer, The Brazilian Economy: Growth and Development, 3d ed. (1989).

Additional Bibliography

Perez, Reginaldo Teixeira. Pensamento político de Roberto Campos. Editora FGV, 1999.

                                      Russell E. Smith

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Campos, Roberto (de Oliveira) (1917–2001)

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