by Isabela Messias, MIA candidate 2017 at SIPA
Brazil has been going through a lot lately: an impeachment process, a corruption scandal and an economic crisis that has plunged Brazilian GDP by 3.8 percent in 2015. Worldwide, a number of newspapers and TV channels have been discussing the crisis and its negative consequences for the country. Media outlets have mentioned the possible effects the crisis may have on Brazilian democracy, on the future economy, on investments, and on many other areas and sectors. Continue reading “Saving the Lost Generation”
By Marina Lafer, MPA Candidate at SIPA, Columbia University
In 2004, belonging to a social and economic environment in which people were constantly raising doubts over the efficacy of Lula’s policies as Brazil’s President, I remember myself having a bad – unsupported – impression over Bolsa Familia, a program that aims to provide small cash transfers to extremely poor families, conditioned to keep their children in school and take them to preventive health check-ups. At the time of its creation, I was only fourteen years old and had the conception that it was not addressing the poverty issue. Additionally, I believed that the amount of money spent on the program was too great and by compromising that investment with one policy, the Government left many public problems unattended. Continue reading “Brazilians Have A Civic Role In Keeping the “Bolsa Familia” Program”
Brazil Talk in 90 Seconds is a series of videos, one every week, with news analysis from Brazil. This week we talk about the reform of the pension system. On Wednesday, government officials met with members of Congress and union leaders to discuss seven proposals to pension reform. This is a very urgent and controversial topic because Brazil’s pension deficit increases by 50% every year. Yet, any reform that scales back benefits will be extremely unpopular, particularly in an election year and during economic crises. Moreover, the government does not have the support of President Rousseff’s own party – Partido dos Trabalhadores – and other parties on the left, which will make a reform less likely to be approved by Congress.
Brazil Talk in 90 Seconds is a series of videos, one every week, with news analysis from Brazil. This week we talk about the pessimistic economic outlook after Carnaval celebrations. GDP is expected to shrink between 3% and 4% in 2016 and inflation is projected to continue rising until the end of the year. In the meantime, Rousseff’s administration decided to postpone the announcement of spending cuts until March, raising speculations that the government is ready to reduce costs as required.
by Silvio Ramirez
Brazil is South America’s largest economy, the seventh largest economy in the world, and was considered, for many years, as a favorite for investors. For the past decade, Brazil has benefited from a global commodities boom. During President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s two terms in office, Brazil enjoyed rapid economic growth by capitalizing off of soaring commodities prices and a booming China willing to purchase iron ore, oil, and soya beans from Brazil. Brazil’s commodities boosted tax revenue and the Lula administration was able to create a government cash-transfer program that helped 30 million Brazilians escape poverty. As a result, consumer spending expanded. More recently, however, Brazil’s economy has started to tank due to the commodities bust and China’s sluggishly performing economy. Making matters worse, Brazilian officials are indecisive on what actions to take to enhance economic performance.
Continue reading “Brazil Enters a Recession and Officials are Divided Over How to Resolve It”