The New Development Bank: The start of a new economic consensus?

July 21, 2014

Erica Kliment – Brazil Institute, 7/21/2014

2014 BRICS Summit in Brazil

The leaders at the 2014 BRICS Summit in Brazil

Is the rest of the world ready for a new order upheld by developing nations? In 2010, when former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva invited then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran to the Itamaraty Palace in Brazil, the meeting was highly criticized by the Obama administration. Lula, who had seemed to enjoy international acclaim when dealing with regional politics, was then chastised when he had reached too far out of the western hemisphere. His response was that he was merely attempting to better situate Brazil on the global stage, yet could the criticism have come from the fact that larger power players did not believe Brazil was ready to graduate from the role of regional babysitter?

Four years later, with an unexpectedly successful World Cup under Brazil’s belt and planning on another fruitful mega-event in just two years, the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the developed world seems slightly more willing to accept developing nations’ role in the international sphere. Individually, these nations’ global clout is diminishing with slowing economic growth rates, yet collectively, they have the potential to create a new platform upon which they and future developing nations can flourish. Towards the close of the most recent BRICS Summit, five of those countries reached an agreement that, depending on its success, could bring developing nations to the position they desire – the forefront of international affairs.

During the 2014 BRICS Summit in Fortaleza, the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa jointly created the New Development Bank, a multinational fund of $150 billion in capital to provide stability and finance infrastructure for the five developing nations involved in the negotiations as well as future emerging markets. It will be headquartered in Shanghai with its first president from India, on a five-year rotating schedule, and with Brazil taking chairmanship of the board. Read the rest of this entry »


Brazil’s World Cup Was Never Simple, Always Irresistible

July 18, 2014

Jason Gay – The Wall Street Journal, 7/18/2014

They had a soccer tournament, and the best team won. If only the 2014 World Cup in Brazil were as simple as that.

Let’s look backward—before Germany’s extra-time victory over Argentina in the final, before the host country’s agonizing, indelible 7-1 loss in the semifinals, before the individual greatness of Lionel Messi, Miroslav Klose, James Rodríguez, Neymar Jr. and Tim Howard. Before 20,000 fans jammed Grant Park in Chicago to watch the U.S. team. Before Luis Suárez launched his infamous incisors.

Let’s go back to the beginning, to the original idea: a World Cup in Brazil.

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Brazil tracks World Cup lessons for Rio Olympics

July 18, 2014

Stephen Fottrell – BBC, 7/18/2014

The World Cup may be over, but in just two years’ time Brazil will once again brace itself for an influx of huge numbers of visitors, sports fans and tourists for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The 2014 tournament has generally been regarded as a success, in the face of many doubts inside and outside Brazil.

So what can the country learn from the experience that can help it to host its next major sporting event? BBC Brasil’s Renata Mendonca looks at the lessons learned and the challenges ahead for Brazil.

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Datafolha indicates a draw in the second round between Dilma and Aécio

July 18, 2014

Brasil Post – 7/17/2014

Candidate for reelection in the race for the Planalto Palace, President Dilma Rousseff (PT) fluctuated two percentage points lower in the last study by Instituto Datafolha, revealed this Thursday (17), and she emerges now with 36% of intended votes. Second place in the first round simulation of the presidential elections, Aécio Neves (PSDB) remains with 20%, the same percentage obtained in the last study. Eduardo Campos (PSB), in turn, fluctuated from 9% to 8%.

For the first time, however, a technical draw was registered in a second round simulation. In a possible draw between Dilma Rousseff and Aécio Neves, the current president of the Republic would have 44% of the votes, compared to 40% for the Minas Gerais senator – there is a margin of error of two percentage points more or less. Yet with a possible second round against Eduardo Campos, Dilma would win 45% to 38%.

Based on Datafolha’s research, however, it is not possible to say if there would or would not be a second round if the race were today. Even though the rivals of Dilma, together, amounted to 36%, the same percentage as the PT candidate, the margin of error leaves open the possibility or not of the presidential election between at least two candidates. Read the rest of this entry »


In Brazil, Five Nations Plan Future Together…Again

July 17, 2014

Kenneth Rapoza – Forbes, 7/15/2014

Now that the FIFA World Cup is over in Brazil, it’s back to business in South America’s largest nation. And in the northeastern city of Fortaleza, leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa made more declarations about how they will become a winning team.

There was more talk about creating a development bank to fund projects in each others’ countries, and declarations on teaming up with mega sporting events. The Summer Olympics takes place in Rio in two short years.

Brazil, Russia, India and China have been meeting together for the past six years. South Africa is only a recent partner in what has become an emerging markets G-5 of sorts, with presidents hammering out growth ideas. Historically, the U.S. and former colonial powers in Europe have been the prime source of funding — and still are. But in the last seven years, for instance, China has replaced the U.S. as Brazil’s biggest market, thanks to soybeans and iron ore. And China continues to invest heavily in South Africa mining. Meanwhile, Russia has been touting its growing relationship with Chinese energy companies looking for natural resources and access to new technologies. On balance, however, the BRICS are still beholden to foreign investment from advanced economies, be it portfolio investors or multinationals based in the U.S. and E.U.

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Dissatisfaction with the World Cup grows again at the end

July 17, 2014

Folha de S. Paulo, 7/17/2014

São Paulo – Brazilian dissatisfaction with the World Cup in the country grew with the end of the competition, notes a Datafolha report.

Compared with the numbers calculated in the previous survey, completed between the 1st and 2nd of July, in the middle of the competition, the number of people who said that the Cup brings more harm than good to Brazilians rose eight points, from 46% to 54%. Yet those that think that it brings more good than harm fell nine points, from 45% to 36%.

These post-World Cup numbers are identical to the pre-World Cup numbers. In a study performed between the 3rd and 5th of June, one week before the opening of the Cup, 54% said that the Cup would bring more harm than good to the Brazilians, and 36% said it would bring more good. Read the rest of this entry »


Brazil claims ‘victory’ in World Cup

July 17, 2014

Talia Marcopoto – CNN, 7/16/2014

Brazil’s national football team may have been smoked on the pitch by Germany, but now government officials are claiming a 2014 FIFA World Cup victory of another sort.

According to figures released this week by Brazil’s federal government, the World Cup was a triumph for the country’s transportation and tourism industries.

“We lost the trophy, but Brazil won the World Cup,” said Aloisio Mercadante, Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff’s chief of staff, in a statement.

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World Cup: Why Brazil should have won

July 16, 2014

Richard Allen Greene – CNN, 7/14/2014

It’s all over now. Germany won the World Cup, which can’t have surprised anyone who watched it demolish Brazil en route to the championship.

But according to CNN’s calculations, Brazil should have taken home the trophy.

While Lionel Messi was battling Thomas Muller to be the tournament’s top goal scorer, while Tim Howard and Guillermo Ochoa were batting away shots on goal, while Roy Hodgson and Fabio Capello were stalking the sidelines, CNN was looking at the bigger picture.

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What to Watch at the BRICS Summit in Brazil

July 15, 2014

Molly Elgin-Cossart – Center for American Progress, 7/14/2014

While the drama and sportsmanship of the World Cup has captured the world’s attention for several weeks, an international gathering of a different kind is set to begin in Fortaleza, Brazil, on July 15. After attending the final soccer match at the invitation of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, or the BRICS countries, will meet for their sixth summit.

The summit is likely to be more show than substance—but never underestimate the power of a good show. For a group that began as a mere Goldman Sachs acronym, the BRICS has slowly asserted itself as an economic entity. During this week’s summit, the group is likely to announce its own BRICS development bank with starting capital of at least $50 billion, and it is also cautiously wading into political territory.

What is the BRICS?

The BRICS began as BRICs—or Brazil, Russia, India, and China—an acronym coined by Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill as shorthand for the developing economies with high projected growth. The countries took this constructed association seriously and began meeting formally in 2006. South Africa joined the club in 2010.

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Brazil takes stock after World Cup comes to an end

July 15, 2014

Kevin Baxter and Vincent Bevins – Los Angeles Times, 7/14/2014

As the last of the World Cup visitors headed for the airports Monday, Brazilians began to reclaim the pristine beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema while traffic in Sao Paulo returned to its regular weekday snarl and the seaside hotels in Salvador, Recife and Natal emptied.

After seven years of planning and 31 days of competition, the most expensive soccer tournament in history is over. And the dire predictions that street demonstrations, massive transportation breakdowns and construction delays would disrupt the event proved unfounded, with Brazil’s tournament ranking among the most successful in World Cup history.

“We’ve eliminated the doubts of all who didn’t believe in us,” President Dilma Rousseff told a gathering of foreign journalists.

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