Brazil Enters a Recession and Officials are Divided Over How to Resolve It

by Silvio Ramirez

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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”

Despite protests and widespread scrutiny, Brazil continues to face ‘giant’ dilemma

A culture of corruption and a weak judicial system hinder Petrobras probe

by Enrique Xavier López

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In Giant—George Stevens’ 1956 Hollywood blockbuster—oil tycoon Jett Rink, played by 24-year-old James Dean, is a man blinded by greed and corruption. In this classic rise-and-fall story, Rink is able to extend his wealth and influence beyond the oil business, where even the sitting governor and U.S. Senator of Texas are at his every beck and call. The climactic scene unfolds when Rink, who in his youth was a poor wildcatter, attends an Austin gala honoring his success. After a brief squabble with his longtime rival, Bick Benedict, Rink staggers into the party drunk, takes his seat at the head table, and then passes out. All the politicians and guests leave in disgust, and an almost incoherent Rink ends up speaking to an empty room.

Continue reading “Despite protests and widespread scrutiny, Brazil continues to face ‘giant’ dilemma”

Will Dilma Rousseff be able to foster foreign direct investment to save the fiscal package and resume economic growth?

by Cassiano Alves and Leticia Corrêa

On June 28th, President Dilma Rousseff landed in the United States for an official visit, leaving behind an economy in imminent recession and a country in political crisis after the corruption scandal involving state-owned oil company Petrobras.

Speculation over Mrs. Rousseff’s impeachment resurfaced after a national magazine reported that Ricardo Pessoa, the owner of construction company UTC Engenharia, told authorities that the president’s campaign in 2014 received illegal donations. UTC Engenharia is one of the firms accused of forming a cartel and paying kickbacks to politically appointed directors at Petrobras.

Continue reading “Will Dilma Rousseff be able to foster foreign direct investment to save the fiscal package and resume economic growth?”

Rollercoaster Elections in Brazil

by Eloy Oliveira


In the most curious Brazilian election of the last two decades, President Dilma Rousseff will faceoff with the Social Democrat candidate, Senator Aécio Neves, and not Marina Silva, as predicted by many political commentators.

To understand the current situation, we must look back four years when Rousseff was first elected president. Continue reading “Rollercoaster Elections in Brazil”