Why Rousseff’s Minister of Finance comes from her opponent’s team?

Joaquim Levy, Brazil’s new Minister of Finance was not long ago working for Aecio Neves, Dilma Rousseff’s rival in the presidential elections. Neves commented Levy’s nomination by saying that “it is the same as nominating a CIA agent to run the KGB”.

Image: pjpontes.blogspot.fr

Why on earth would president Rousseff appoint him Minister of Finance? Journalist Miriam Leitão answered the question: she heard reality, the most inescapable of counselors.

Levy is a respected economist with a PhD from the University of Chicago. The Wall Street Journal wrote that: investors cheer the new Economy czar. He has participated in presidents Cardoso and Lula’s administration. In addition, he was an official of the IMF, and worked at the European Central Bank,having worked in the division of Capital Markets and Monetary Strategy. The funny thing is that this profile is of what would bec called inside the PT as: neo-liberal, therefore completely against the left-wing credo of Lula’s party.

The big questions now are:

1. Will he and his team have autonomy to choose the course he thinks right?

2. Will the public banks collaborate with the Ministry of Finance?

Elections brought economic debate to the outdated ideological conflict. Miriam Leitão brilliantly defined the issues: I will never understand the supposed socialist thinking that stability is a right-wing agenda. Whatever side of the political field one prefer to be …  this is a matter of logic: it is better to have stability than to have inflation; better to have transparency than the lack of information; better to have controlled spending than uncontrolled. Let’s see how things work out for Levy and for us, Brazilians who want a better and more equal society.

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Brazil in 2010: the new Eldorado?

I just came across some photos I took in 2010. They show a number of magazines that had Brazil in their cover. All of them were quite positive about the potential of Brazilian economy.

Let’s register this historical moment in time.

Brazil: now is the moment

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Brazil: the country were the left got it right

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The French magazine Le Point had nothing less then: Brazil, the new Eldorado.

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A test for Brazilian democracy

Amidst a history full of oligarchies and military coups, Brazilian democracy emerges and give signs of maturity. An exciting presidential race challenges the supremacy of popular party PT, in office after 12 years. But what could be an easy reelection has become a nightmare for Lula and his party. President Dilma Rousseff (PT) is struggling with scandals in oil public company, Petrobras. Her administration is said to be the 3rd worst ever in terms of economic growth in Brazil. GDP is down and inflation is up.

Photo: Jornalggn

Candidate Aecio Neves (PSDB) made a spectacular turn in the week before the first round. He didn’t wave his elegant and constant attitude when Marina Silva took his place as second in the race. He kept his cool and honored his pedigree as grandson of an icon of the democratization of Brazil, Tancredo Neves.

The PT fights back with ideological catchphrases, opposing capitalism versus socialism, the rich against the poor. The tactics is to associate their opponents and critics with capitalists who think only of their own wealth and don’t care about social programs.

Under president Lula, a declared leftist politician, the liberal macro economic discipline was maintained. Under president Rousseff, things changed significantly as the ideological attitude regained status fueled by the results of social programs.

The confusion of better social levels, corruption and the ideologies revival can be a sign of the pluralism of Brazilian political scene. Or it may also mean a setback to populism. The rise of Aecio Neves is hope that a larger portion of the Brazilian society is immune to those old tricks. If this is true, Brazil will show a mature sense of democracy, way past the paternalist populism that outlives in some South American countries.

 

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Brazil presidential elections: Where will Marina voters go?

Ibope and Datafolha polls both shows Aecio Neves with 51% of valid votes, while Dilma Rousseff has 49%. Where will Marina Silva’s voters go?

First take of  Ibope poll: 64% of Marina Silva’s voters in the first round choose Aecio in the second round. Only 18% say they will vote for Dilma Rousseff. 10% blank/null and 8% have not decided.

Photo: G1news

Marina is delaying the announcement if she will support Aecio Neves. What reasons motivate Marina’s voters in the first round?

Your thoughts are welcome in the comments space below. Let’s try to understand what forces and ideas are in play.

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TED Global in Rio

 For the first in Brazil, TED Global will take place in Rio October 6-10th 2014.

The first day was dedicated to projects of the young proteges  “adopted” by the foundation that organizes the event. The so-called TED Fellows – twenty new researchers and activists in different areas – showed brief presentations of their projects. From urban art to marine biology.

More about this: http://conferences.ted.com/TEDGlobal2014/

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IMF predicts Brazilian GDP will grow only 0.3% in 2014

For the sixth time in a row, the International Monetary Fund cuts down its forecast for 2014 economic growth in Brazil. In July IMF projected an expansion of 1.3%, now it expects only  0.3%.

This figure, if  confirmed, will be the second worst GDP result since 1998. The poor performance for this year will only be better than the 0.3% drop recorded in 2009.

Amidst presidential elections, the economy is one of the top issues to be discussed.

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Brazilian design context targets the American furniture market

Table of Gustavo Martini

The Brazilian furniture industry in the South city of Bento Gonçalvez (Rio Grande do Sul) will hold a contest to develop a line of Brazilian furniture designed to please the American taste.

A team of American consultants  will assist competitors to adapt their products to trends, preferences and requirements of the American market.

The Project Orchestra Brazil exists since 2006 and promotes the competitive insertion of supplying the furniture industry in the international market. The project has the participation of 72 companies and 38 design studios. In 2013, the participating companies reported significant increase in exports. Compared to 2012, exports increased 14.6%, completing four consecutive years of growth. In 2014, the project will participate in fairs FMC China (China), Intermob Istanbul (Turkey), Sicam Pordenone (Italy) and Fenafor Peru (Lima).

The initiative is a partnership between (Apex-Brazil) Brazilian Agency for Export Promotion and the Association of Furniture Industries of Bento Gonçalves (Sindmóveis).

 

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