Should one worry about Brazilian democracy?

One of the pillars of Brazilian good economic phase is a political stability built over more then 30 years. A turnaround case from the dark 70ths when democracy was “constrained” by the military regime.  Now, signs of concern arise as recurring news about corruption raises the yellow flag.

The issue got the attention of CNN. A special report asks if Brazil will become a Venezuela! Here are the arguments:

“While Brazil ascends economically, Mexico appears mired with slow economic growth, high unemployment and escalating drug violence. Yet, in terms of politics, it is in Mexico that democracy is likely to consolidate, while Brazil is at somewhat greater risk from increased corruption and authoritarianism.”

Published by Hildete Vodopives

Hildete de Moraes Vodopives is founder of Brazil Global and of the Harvard Strategists Group. She has a PhD in Economic History and advises companies and investment agencies in international business development.She served as Corporate Relations Director and later, on the board of the Brazilian Investment Analysts Association (APIMEC).

3 thoughts on “Should one worry about Brazilian democracy?

  1. That’s certainly an interesting correlation I had not noticed before: Democracy in the Mexico and US (let’s call that the X axis) and on the Y axes there are (slow) economic growth, (high) unemployment, and (huge) illegal drug trades. Given the relatively squalid poverty in Mexico–and in some quarters in the US–in comparison to the arguably, relatively genteel poverty of Brazil, it seems the data suggest we should be careful before blindly following US-style democracy in other parts of the world.


  2. One of the dangers of following quick paced journalism is their focus keeps shifting… And they tend to report what is in the blinder version of the reactions happening only now instead of the peripherial vision of history, today, directives, and proactives.

    If a developing sovereignty has a problem with corruption, and not much is being done or said about it, then reports of such are dismissed for many reasons, and unfortunately most of the time it is accepted as part of their development and growth.

    However, when that sovereignty decides it is time to address the corruption – whether quietly or with great fanfare – it can appear that the present and previous administration MAY be guilty of allowing such to occur. If the approach is done quietly, it is usually done for one of two possible reasons — either they are guilty themselves of such and want to avoid drawing attention… OR, they are wise in not letting the enemy within the state know what is happening, when it is happening, and who is next…

    Quick grab journalism can sensationalize the smallest of infractions and make it appear anything but what it is — this is a known fact even in sovereignties supporting free press. The focus should not be on the event of the moment — that is only an attention grabber. The focus should be on the event, the history as well as who is influencing whom…

    When the news media discover and maintain a focus on who is influencing whom, how they are influencing others as well as who is doing what, then corruption becomes difficult to keep from the general public.

    As for what is happening now, just follow the money and who collaborates with whom… And those that practice ommission are just as guilty as those that practice commission of unethical deeds.


  3. Brazil may be betting too heavenly on future oil revenue. Currently the country is exporting 100,000 barrels a day and by 2020 expects to increase that number to 4.9 million. As Petrobras attempts to execute this mission it will have to borrow massive amounts of capital from abroad. If the herculean mission is not executed as planned, Brazil could find itself overburdened with debt to foreign entities. Global borrowing cost will remain low. Given the prospects of a oil pay day Petrobras should not have much trouble leveraging it future revenue in exchange for capital today (which it has already done). That said, the cost of any delays in the development schedule will not only affect Petrobras but the entire Brazilian economy. The scale and size of Brazil oil field development has the potential to be a big pay day or and financial cartography. Proceed with caution.


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