UK

Manuel Rodrigues

Systemic Management

BIOGRAPHY – Manuel Rodrigues

Manuel Rodrigues, is a Lecturer in Finance. He has a PhD in Management, specialized in Finance. He also graduated in Civil Engineering from Portugal’s Instituto Superior Técnico (University of Lisbon) followed by a Master in Business Administration (MBA) at Spain’s IESE Business School – Universidad de Navarra – and US’ Kellogg School of Management, in Chicago . He develops research on the speed at which information is disseminated in the financial markets.

LECTURE

Public Finance Balance and Intergenerational Equity

To many it is scary to think about how short Human Life is. In fact, the whole society has organized itself around an increasingly hurried world, in an authentic race against time. A new “ephemeral” order manifests from artistic production to finance. The modern-contemporary artistic production developed in the last decades has as a central characteristic to capture “the moment”. This artistic order contrasts with the tradition of fine art, analyzed by Hegel, that privileged the absolute and atemporal value. In public finances, the present moment is also overvalued (compromising the future). States have excessive levels of expenditure, companies financial management is centered in the short/medium term, and families try to anticipate consumption to the detriment of saving. In order to achieve that governments have persistent public deficits – a deficit that transitions to future generations. Companies over-indebtedness put jobs and firms’ ongoing concern at risk. Families raise more debt to finance consumption. Governments, Companies, and Families have never had so much debt. The global debt reached a new peak in 2021 of 355% of the World Gross Domestic Product representing a total of 281 trillion dollars. The world is going through the greatest level of debt of all time in history.

All this debt leaves a heavy bill for future generations conditioning the actions of Governments, Companies, and Families for many generations to come. Our legacy to future generations is a world with many more challenges than the one we got from our ancestors – not respecting “the balance between giving and taking”. “The principle of intergenerational equity implies not to over-charge the present generation with current expenses that generate future wealth and whose cost can be supported through time, but also not overload the future generations making it pay expenses that benefited the previous generation”.

This intergenerational equity principle, understood as cooperation between generations results in article 13th (no.2) of the Portuguese Budget Law (“Lei de Enquadramento Orçamental”) and is and has relevance in public investment, in human capacity investment, in charges with the public debt, and in pensions.

It is of utmost importance to find solutions for the global economic and finance vulnerabilities and how they affect the life of the World Population. It is necessary to establish a balance where finances only give numerical expression to many other dimensions including environment, public health, and food security.

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