Será a Indústria Financeira Demasiado Competitiva?

NOVA DELI – Muitos economistas defendem uma regulamentação que tornaria a actividade bancária "aborrecida" e, mais uma vez, pouco competitiva. Após uma situação de crise, é comum ouvirem-se apelos no sentido de se limitar a concorrência. Durante a Grande Depressão, o director da National Recovery Administration ("Administração de Recuperação Nacional") norte-americana argumentou que as entidades empregadoras se viam forçadas a despedir trabalhadores como resultado "da doutrina criminosa de competitividade selvagem e feroz [de] cada um por si e salve-se quem puder". O director apelou para a necessidade da existência de práticas colusivas no ambiente empresarial, sendo os lucros obtidos a partir dos consumidores repartidos entre as entidades empregadoras e os trabalhadores.

Sempre existiram preocupações relativamente aos efeitos negativos da concorrência, mesmo por parte daqueles que não estão convencidos que o diktat governamental pode substituir mercados, ou que a bondade intrínseca do homem é um agente de motivação mais forte do que a recompensa monetária e a punição. No entanto, é o tema dos efeitos da concorrência nos incentivos à inovação que tem gerado uma controvérsia mais acesa.

O grande economista austríaco Joseph Schumpeter acreditava que a inovação era uma força muito mais poderosa para o aperfeiçoamento humano do que a concorrência de preços comum entre as empresas. Quando jovem, Schumpeter parecia acreditar que os monopólios refreavam o incentivo para inovar - especialmente para inovar radicalmente. Simplificando, um monopolista não gosta da ideia de perder os lucros de monopólio de que dispõe, ao empreender uma prática de inovação que canibalize o seu negócio.

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