Exclusive: Brazil’s PSDB party would support Silva in runoff

August 20, 2014

Brian Winter – Reuters, 8/20/2014

The Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB), the country’s biggest opposition group, would formally support environmentalist Marina Silva in a runoff vote for the presidency if its own candidate fails to qualify, a party source told Reuters.

Such an alliance would reduce President Dilma Rousseff’s chances of winning a second term by bringing together large, disparate groups of voters who are clamouring for change after more than a decade of Workers’ Party rule.

The election is being closely watched by investors who are also hoping for a change in government after almost four years of stagnant growth and state intervention in the economy under Rousseff’s left-leaning administration.

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Former Brazil President Lula Campaigns for Dilma Rouseff’s Re-election

August 20, 2014

Hispanically Speaking News, 8/19/2014

Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, one of Brazil’s most popular politicians, came all-out Tuesday in favor of the campaign to reelect his successor, Dilma Rousseff, assuring voters they can support her without qualms.

With the campaigns for the Oct. 5 elections starting Tuesday on television, the ideal medium for getting political messages across in Brazil, Lula burst onto the small screen with a powerful message in favor of a second four-year term for his political protege.

“Everyone knows that my second term was better than the first” and “that’s how it will be with Dilma,” Lula said, appealing to what Brazilians remember about his 2003-2011 tenure.

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Silva Economy Adviser Warns Against Brazil Currency Intervention

August 20, 2014

Paula Sambo – Bloomberg, 8/19/2014

Policies to control inflation with a stronger real pose a threat to Brazil’s economy, Eduardo Giannetti, who is economic adviser to potential presidential candidate Marina Silva, said.

“The currency intervention in Dilma’s government was to contain domestic prices,” he said today at an event in Sao Paulo about the administration of Dilma Rousseff, cautioning that he was speaking on his own accord and not as Silva’s adviser. “That is an action that generates distortions and is a worrying framework for the country.”

Silva, 56, became the wild card in Brazilian politics after her running mate, presidential candidate Eduardo Campos, died in a plane crash last week. She replaced Senator Aecio Neves as second in polling for the Oct. 5 vote and is statistically tied with Rousseff in a possible runoff, according to public opinion research company Datafolha.

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New species of non-venomous snake discovered in Brazil

August 20, 2014

Odisha Sun Times, 8/20/2014

Scientists from four Brazilian institutions have announced the discovery of a new species of non-venomous snake that inhabits the savannas in the central part of the country.

The new serpent has been dubbed Atractus Spinalis and belongs to the Dipsadidae family, found in several countries of the Americas and some Caribbean islands.

The snake was found and identified by scientists of the federal universities of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, who carried out their studies in collaboration with researchers from the Brazilian National Centre for Research and Conservation of Reptiles and Amphibians, and with the support of the Boticario Group Foundation for Nature Protection.

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Brazil Eases Credit Rules to Inject $4.5 Billion in Economy

August 20, 2014

Matthew Malinowski and Karen Eeuwens – Bloomberg, 8/20/2014

Brazil’s central bank has eased rules on reserve requirement for a second time this quarter in a bid to boost credit in a slowing economy.

The bank published the rules in today’s Official Gazette, altering rules for payments on non-cash deposits. The changes will channel about 10 billion reais ($4.5 billion) into credit, the bank said in a statement published on its website. The move follows the bank’s decision in July to free up 30 billion reais, according to the statement.

President Dilma Rousseff’s administration is struggling to contain above-target inflation without causing growth to deteriorate further. The central bank has kept the benchmark interest-rate at the highest level since 2012, after lifting the key rate by 375 basis points in the year through April. The moves haven’t improved the economic outlook, according to analysts surveyed by the central bank, who forecast growth will slow and inflation will accelerate this year compared to last year.

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Brazilian national team brings in 13 new players after disastrous World Cup

August 20, 2014

Nick Schwartz – USA Today Sports, 8/19/2014

Although the host country managed to finish fourth, the World Cup was an unmitigated disaster for the Brazilian national team. After an embarrassing 7-1 loss to Germany 7-1 in the semifinal after a crucial injury to Neymar, the Brazilians bowed out with a lifeless 3-0 loss to The Netherlands in the third-place game. Manager Luiz Felipe Scolari resigned, and it was clear that changes to the squad were needed.

1994 World Cup winner Dunga took over as manager for the second time in his career — he managed Brazil from late 2006 to 2010, when he was fired after the World Cup in South Africa — and he announced a complete overhaul to the team Tuesday. Brazil will come to the United States in September for friendlies against Colombia and Ecuador, but just 10 players remain from the 23 that played in this summer’s World Cup.

Neymar, Oscar, David Luiz, Hulk, Ramires, Willian, Fernandinho, Luiz Gustavo, Maicon and Jefferson remain.

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‘Made In Brazil’ Under Pressure, Study Shows

August 20, 2014

Kenneth Rapoza – Forbes, 8/19/2014

Brazil is more than samba and soccer. But the airplanes it makes and the soybeans it grows are coming under increasing cost pressures, making a number of manufacturers there lose ground to competitors in the U.S.

A new study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), made public on Tuesday, said that Brazil was one of a handful of 25 major exporters that was losing its competitive edge to other countries in the Americas.  In this case, the U.S. and Mexico are often beating Brazil to the punch.

“Improving the productivity of each worker is becoming an increasingly important factor in manufacturing competitiveness across the globe,” said Michael Zinser, a BCG partner. “This is especially true as the once-considerable wage gaps between developed and developing economies continue to shrink.”

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Haitian Migrants Turn Toward Brazil

August 20, 2014

Emily Gogolak – The New Yorker, 8/20/2014

At 7:30 on a recent morning, dozens of people were already outside the Brazilian embassy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, a white stucco building in the suburb of Pétionville. Often there are hundreds, some with visa appointments, and many more waiting in hopes of one. Workers hurried up the slope to the upscale enclave from the dusty downtown below; Jalousie, a shantytown of pastel-painted cinderblock homes, hovered above. “Today makes one year and six months that I’ve been coming here every day,” said Saintadele Ladouceur, a thirty-nine-year-old mother of two. She is from Delmas, one of the Port-au-Prince districts hit hardest by the earthquake in 2010.

The 7.0-magnitude quake, which leveled much of Port-au-Prince and its surroundings, killed an estimated two hundred and thirty thousand people, and left more than a million and a half homeless. It was, as Paul Farmer has put it, an “acute-on-chronic” event: there were countless chronic problems in Haiti, but they became acute after the earthquake. The World Bank estimates that about eighty per cent of the population lives on less than two dollars a day.

At just past eight o’clock, a call of “Silence. Silence. Silence!” rose from the crowd outside the embassy. The phone lines had opened, and anyone with a cell phone was trying to get a visa appointment. The embassy does not have an online system for the visa process because applicants have limited access to computers. Embassy officials also decided that it would be better to give everyone a chance each day than to set appointment times weeks or months in advance. There was a collective sigh of frustration: a busy tone. The officials told me that, on an average day, they miss more than twelve hundred calls. With a staff of six, they can take no more than forty appointments daily.

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Lula urges Brazilians to give Rousseff a second term

August 19, 2014

Fox News Latino, 8/19/2014

Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, one of Brazil’s most popular politicians, came all-out Tuesday in favor of the campaign to reelect his successor, Dilma Rousseff, assuring voters they can support her without qualms.

With the campaigns for the Oct. 5 elections starting Tuesday on television, the ideal medium for getting political messages across in Brazil, Lula burst onto the small screen with a powerful message in favor of a second four-year term for his political protege.

“Everyone knows that my second term was better than the first” and “that’s how it will be with Dilma,” Lula said, appealing to what Brazilians remember about his 2003-2011 tenure.

Read more…


Brazilian Economic Policy Secretary Optimistic About Growth

August 19, 2014

Paulo Trevisani – The Wall Street Journal, 8/19/2014

True to its habit of offering a steady flow of rosy economic forecasts, the Brazilian government is expecting the second half of 2014 will be better than the first, a top official said Monday.

Brazil’s economy expanded by a meager 0.2% in the first quarter of this year compared with the previous quarter. Second-quarter results aren’t out yet, but analysts expect them to be about as bleak.

That’s disappointing for officials hoping the economy would grow faster this year than the modest 2.5% pace clocked in 2013. In the central bank’s latest weekly survey of about 100 private-sector economists released Monday, the group projected gross domestic product would rise 0.79% this year, down from its prior forecast of 0.81%.

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