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Rousseff Eyes Measures to Shield Brazil From ‘Monetary Tsunami’

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff slammed expansionary monetary conditions in Europe during a visit to Germany, saying her government may take more measures to stem currency gains being fueled by “protectionist” policies in rich nations.

Rousseff, speaking to reporters in Hanover before a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, dismissed speculation that Brazil would impose a minimum period for foreign investment to remain in the country.

“I’m not defending a quarantine,” Rousseff said.

Still, to protect itself from a “monetary tsunami” unleashed by rich countries, “Brazil as a sovereign nation will take all necessary measures to protect its economy,” she said. An example of the type of measures Brazil can take is the recent increase in the financial transactions tax to limit foreign investment inflows, she said.

On March 1, Brazil extended to three years the maturity of foreign loans affected by a 6 percent transaction tax. Previously loans of only up to two years were levied at that rate. The real has rallied 7.4 percent this year, more than all 16 major currencies tracked by Bloomberg after the Mexican peso.

Rousseff said policy makers in Europe and the U.S. were seeking to “artificially devalue” their currencies in a bid to stimulate growth. That in turn is causing “extremely toxic” effects in emerging markets.

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