Stopping the downward spiral of Brazil’s economy will take a bitter combination of tax increases and spending cuts. But highly negative reactions to the latest set of such measures announced in Brasília on Monday suggest that the government of president Dilma Rousseff no longer has the credibility needed to be able to contain the crisis it brought upon the nation through miscalculation, mismanagement and an astounding incapacity to govern.
The measures – centred on the recreation of a tax on banking transactions that was shelved just three weeks ago after being rejected by the business community, the public and vice-president Michel Temer – have little chance of being implemented by such a discredited president and government. Read more
Another week goes by and the outlook for Brazil’s economy gets gloomier still. The consensus on GDP is now for a 0.58 per cent contraction this year, according to the central bank’s latest weekly survey of market economists, while industrial production is expected to contract by 0.72 per cent. Inflation is expected to rise to 7.47 per cent; the central bank’s policy interest rate is seen ending the year at 13 per cent.
The survey was published on Monday after a weekend that saw yet another apparent rift open up at the top of government, along with some surprising behaviour by President Dilma Rousseff. Read more
So much is going wrong in Brazil that it is hard to keep up. For years, critics have accused the government of incompetence. Now its actions are looking catastrophic – so much so that there are good reasons to think President Dilma Rousseff, who began a second four-year term only on January 1, may not last much longer.
Here is our list of 10 things that threaten to bring her down. Read more
Petrobras’s board is set to meet on Friday to appoint replacements for chief executive Maria das Graças Foster and five other senior executives who quit the state-controlled oil company on Wednesday amid the biggest corruption scandal in Brazil’s history.
As well as Ms Graças Foster, Petrobras’s chief financial officer Almir Barbassa and the heads of exploration, refining, engineering, and gas and energy resigned. Resignations will take effect on Friday, according to Petrobras. Read more
After only a few weeks of market-friendly measures, it looks like the late-flowering romance between investors and Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s president, could already be coming to an end.
Rousseff had been widely expected to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos next week. But on Tuesday the presidential palace said she would be going to the inauguration ceremony of Bolivia’s leftist leader Evo Morales, instead.
“What an embarrassment!” exclaimed one Brazilian on Twitter. “This is the reason why people abroad think Brazil is a joke,” wrote another. Read more
There are plenty of misconceptions about Brazil. Many Brazilians have no interest in football, can’t stand samba and would rather spend the weekend in a shopping centre than on the beach. They certainly don’t speak Spanish. When it comes to the economy, though, perhaps one of the biggest myths about the country is that Brazil has an inflation target of 4.5 per cent.
Officially, the Brazilian central bank’s annual inflation target has been 4.5 per cent ever since 2005. However, in reality, inflation data show Brazil has actually been working with a target closer to 6 per cent for the past few years. Read more
Is Brazil’s Workers’ Party, victorious in last month’s elections, ready to back any decision by President Dilma Rousseff to hire Joaquim Levy as finance minister?
Speculation over his likely appointment leaked last Friday into local media, sending financial markets higher.
With a doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago and a previous successful stint as treasury secretary under former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in 2003, Levy seems to be exactly the type of professional that financial markets were hoping might be appointed. Read more
Brazil and Mexico, Latin America’s two biggest economies, are engulfed in high-profile scandals that have involved their presidents and also touched on investor interests. So far, Dilma Rousseff has made a better fist of handling the fallout in Brazil than Enrique Peña Nieto has in Mexico – although that could easily change. Read more
Ministers resign all the time and there’s nothing unusual about one of them handing in his or her notice as the head of government is preparing to unveil a new cabinet for a second term in office. But Marta Suplicy’s resignation as Brazil’s minister of culture on Tuesday had a peculiar sting in the tail.
After the usual stuff about how happy she was to have achieved all she had done in the job, Suplicy delivered what journalists sometimes refer to as a “nut paragraph”: Read more
Brazil’s market has been in a state of mild depression since President Dilma Rousseff was re-elected just over a week ago – only ‘mild’ because many believed Aécio Neves of the business-friendly PSDB party never stood a chance.
However, there is still one topic of conversation guaranteed to raise a hopeful smile or a few extra points on the country’s Bovespa stock index, and that’s Rousseff’s next choice of finance minister. Read more
Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff of the Worker’s Party or PT barely had time to digest her victory in the closest election in a generation on Sunday before rumours about the return to politics of her mentor, former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, began cropping up yet again.
Two of the strongest names in the PT, party president Rui Falcão and senior minister Aloizio Mercadante, declared during an event on Sunday that they would campaign for Lula if he decided to run in the next presidential election. “There is no discussion of any other name in the party [for a future candidate] than his,” said Mercadante. Read more
By Samuel George and Cornelius Fleischhaker
On October 26, 108m Brazilians voted in the second and final round of the country’s presidential election. Incumbent Dilma Rousseff defeated challenger Aécio Neves by a slim but definitive margin (52 per cent to 48 per cent) and she will now remain in office until 2018. The results suggest that this election was not about change but rather the continuation of helping Brazil’s new middle class pursue upward mobility. Read more
What to make of Dilma Rousseff’s acceptance speech on Sunday night as her victory was confirmed in Brazil’s presidential election?
Her calls for unity and dialogue did little to calm investors. The main index on the São Paulo stock exchange fell more than 6 per cent in its first half hour of trading on Monday, bringing to 15 per cent its fall over the past fortnight as Dilma’s chances of re-election increased. Brazil’s currency, the real, fell to R$2.54 to the dollar from R$2.47 on Friday and R$2.40 two weeks ago. Read more
For a few days, it appeared that former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva had disappeared from the campaign for re-election of his comrade and protégé, incumbent president Dilma Rousseff.
But with only five days left before the second-round run-off on October 26, he reappeared in fine form, ripping into rival candidate Aécio Neves of the centrist PSDB in a speech in Pernambuco, the only state in Brazil’s poor and politically important northeast where Dilma lost in the first round of the elections on Oct 6. Read more
Like the country’s soap operas, Brazil’s presidential elections have been full of drama, improbable story lines and last-minute cliff hangers. Monday night was no different.
Just as Brazilians were beginning to wonder whether Aécio Neves of the centrist PSDB party could actually win this Sunday’s vote, a Datafolha poll showed President Dilma Rousseff ahead for the first time since the first round of elections on October 5. The results are still too close to call though, falling with the polling firm’s margin of error. Read more
Brazil’s presidential election is heading for its second-round run-off on Sunday looking like the closest in a generation. As each side struggles for a breakthrough, the rhetoric is getting shrill.
Last week, it was the turn of Aécio Neves, the candidate of the pro-business opposition PSDB party, to exceed the limits of good taste. Angry over the negative campaign being run against him by his rival, the incumbent president Dilma Rousseff, he compared her rhetoric to the work of Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s minister of propaganda. Read more
With Brazil’s 2014 election well under way, the ruling Workers’ Party is already unveiling its heavy artillery piece for the next election – Lula.
Incumbent president Dilma Rousseff, questioned whether she would assist her predecessor and mentor Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva should he stand in 2018, said she “certainly would”. Read more
Campaigning for Brazil’s election run-off has begun again and so has the madness, it seems. While there are fewer clowns and footballers vying for votes at this stage, the country’s presidential candidates are already providing plenty of entertainment.
On Thursday, it was President Dilma Rousseff’s turn. On a visit to Brazil’s poorer northeast state of Bahia, home to many black and mixed-race Brazilians, Dilma tried to win over the locals by telling them she, too, was meio pardinha – a complicated concept in Brazil but one that could roughly be translated as “a little bit black”. Read more
The coalition of small parties behind Marina Silva are edging closer to supporting Aécio Neves of the pro-business PSDB party in the second round-run-off of Brazil’s presidential election.
The Brazilian Socialist Party, the leading party behind the candidacy of Ms Silva, who dropped out after placing third in the first round of voting on Sunday, on Wednesday became the second grouping in her coalition to say it was opting for Mr Neves.
The party said it would support Mr Neves, who placed second in the first round, on condition that “an agreement would be discussed and signed concerning policies, considering the urgency to create the necessary environment for a new cycle of development”. Read more
What went wrong? With the close of the first round of voting in Brazil’s presidential election on Sunday, the two candidates going into the second round, incumbent president Dilma Rousseff of the Worker’s party (PT) and Aécio Neves of the more market-friendly PSDB must now explain their poor performances in their home territories.
Dilma Rousseff, who started her political life in Porto Alegre, the capital of the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, saw Neves win there with 39.5 per cent of the vote to her 37.6 per cent. Meanwhile Neves, who was governor of the mining state of Minas Gerais from 2003 to 2010, lost there to Dilma, by 43.8 per cent to 39.8 per cent of the vote. Read more