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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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the new political circumstances a new phase for the Bank. Its statutes were sanctioned on October 12, 1808 by the king and the company, calling itself Banco do Brasil, proceeded with ever increasing activity. The sometimes considerable needs of the Court, as well as those of the State, the Bank protected really valuable deposits, in part against mortgages from future State collections. Many foreign traders then wanted to experiment with the security of the company by suddenly presenting a large amount of Bank notes; Since, however, the payment was made with cash, for which probably also the close connection with the Royal Mint must have cooperated, the Bank thus obtained the firmest credit, especially in the country, although not substantiated by any solid guarantee that it was known, and without special relations with other similar establishments. In the most recent events of the year 1821, when the king returned to Portugal, before his departure, he withdrew a large sum from the Bank, for which he had pledged a portion of the Corna diamonds, which he then took back to Europe. As it turns out, this great embezzlement seems to have strongly shaken the foundations of the institution.

The sum of money circulating in Rio cannot be determined with certainty, especially since from time to time fabulous amounts have been taken out of the country, whose departure has long been felt for everyone. As we have already noted, the East Indian and Chinese sailors carried cash out of the port, sometimes Spanish piastras, sometimes Portuguese gold; As a result, there was such a sudden shortage of cash that not only did gold take an extraordinarily high rate of exchange, but also brokerage transactions for cessation or endorsement rose to 20 and 22 per cent. Under these circumstances, it sometimes took many months until the shortage of cash passed. Also the operation of the Mint, buying Spanish escudos and reforming them in three patacas currency to put into circulation 160 more expensive cruzeiros, seems to have caused a momentary lack of operating capital in Rio. The Praca do Comercio rate in use here for cash, but not for transactions, it is twelve per cent. This is in relation to the daily wage, which for a rented black is 160 to 240 cruzeiros, for a European worker is from one to two Spanish escudos.

Neither the state of commerce nor the system of impasses embarrass the industries of Brazil, that is, although a great amount of goods and art products are imported, articles that could be produced in the country, until now have not been produced, more because of the lack of artists and workers than by the pressure of the market, which becomes more expensive

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