After a brief period of respite, tensions are once again building in Brazil at the end of what has been a singularly tumultuous year. Recent moves by Congress to shield itself from anti-corruption investigations have set off the latest round of widespread popular protests, but it was just the straw that broke the camel’s back. A series of missteps, corruption allegations and controversial measures by the government of Michel Temer, combined with continued negative economic forecasts, have been trying the Brazilian people’s patience.
A proposed constitutional amendment that would limit public spending growth, one of the Temer government’s key initiatives, is making waves in Brazil. Some have cheered it, stating that getting Brazil’s finances in order is crucial for the country’s economic recovery. Others however, worry that this extreme measure will ultimately harm the country’s poorest citizens. So who’s right?
The outcome of last Sunday’s municipal elections shows that Brazilians are in a strange political mood. Anyone looking to the election results, which were all over the place, for hints about the 2018 presidential campaign is sure to be disappointed.
There is a saying that the most profitable business in the world is a well-run oil company, and the second-most profitable business is a poorly run one. Well, according to that logic, Brazil’s Petrobras defies categorization. It is a state-owned oil company, essentially a monopoly, in one of the biggest countries in the world, and yet it has been losing money for years. How is this possible?
The acrimonious nature and bizarre ending of Dilma Rousseff's impeachment almost makes you nostalgic for the impeachment of Fernando Collor de Mello, in 1992. Back then, Brazil was united in its disdain for a corrupt president and the process to remove him was relatively swift and uncontroversial. Indeed, perhaps the best way to make sense of the current impeachment and gain some perspective on it is to compare it with this previous episode.
As Brazil’s interim government gets to work, its main task is fixing Brazil’s finances after identifying a record budget deficit. Although the specter of austerity looms large, the good news is that budget cuts don’t need to affect Brazil’s social programs. The country’s real fiscal problems can be alleviated by addressing large-scale inefficient and wasteful spending elsewhere. The following five-part series examines where some of these savings could come from.
This is Part IV of a five-part series entitled "What now? The trade-offs and budget cuts needed to fix Brazil’s finances." Part IV examines the costs of corruption in Brazil, and what can be done about them.
This is Part III of a five-part series entitled "What now? The trade-offs and budget cuts needed to fix Brazil’s finances." Part III examines inefficient and wasteful spending in Brazil's massive government bureaucracy, particularly with regard to public sector pensions, salaries, and other benefits.
This is Part II of a five-part series entitled "What now? The trade-offs and budget cuts needed to fix Brazil’s finances." Part II examines the government's provision of subsidies and tax breaks to companies in Brazil, as well as the indirect subsidies provided to wealthy individuals through the country's educational system.
This is Part I of a five-part series entitled "What now? The trade-offs and budget cuts needed to fix Brazil’s finances." Part I examines spending in the Brazilian government’s premier social welfare program.
As Brazil’s interim government gets to work, its main task is restoring Brazil’s finances after identifying a record budget deficit. Although the specter of austerity looms large, the good news is that budget cuts don’t need to affect Brazil’s social programs. The country’s real fiscal problems can be alleviated by addressing inefficient and wasteful spending elsewhere – this five-part series examines where some of these savings could come from.
Yesterday, lawyer and law professor Janaína Paschoal testified before the Brazilian Senate’s Special Impeachment Commission to explain the request that she filed, along with Helio Bicudo and Miguel Reale Jr., for the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff. Here is a translated and annotated transcript of her remarks.
The Brazilian left, led by the beleaguered Workers’ Party, has furiously and justifiably condemned recent praise for Brazil’s past right-wing dictatorship. Indeed, the Brazilian far right should absolutely be criticized for its reactionary views. But the left should not get a free pass and deserves just as much scrutiny. In fact, given their history of supporting dictators in other countries, the selective nature of the left’s outrage is intellectually dishonest. Likewise, Workers’ Party claims of persecution by the corrupt political establishment belie the party’s own history of malfeasance.
It should be a straightforward yes or no question. But determining the validity of the impeachment in Brazil with regard to whether the president actually broke the law when she used accounting tricks to cover up a budget deficit during an election year is anything but.
The adversarial nature of the massive corruption investigations taking place in Brazil has led the Workers’ Party (PT) to call foul. But given the long list of shady dealings and outright crimes associated with the party, can their claims of persecution be taken seriously?
This week, the Brazilian government announced that it would make an additional 83 billion reais (approximately 20 billion USD) in credit available through 7 initiatives designed to free up credit in different sectors of the economy. The package is intended to provide a stimulus to the Brazilian economy, which is a grave economic downturn.