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”.
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Elections brought economic debate to the outdated ideological conflict.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.