The authors trace the history of one of the largest development banks in the world, Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social. In its various phases since the 1950s, the history of the BNDES has mirrored the vision of development held by the leaders of the Brazilian economy. It moved from support for industrialization based on import substitution to relieving private companies of their foreign-denominated debt, to facilitating privatization and finally to carrying out industrial policy initiatives. While it undoubtedly contributed to economic growth in Brazil, the country has yet to fulfil the original vision of development with an endogenous technical progress and social justice.
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