The political landscape in Brazil has become the biggest risk factor for investors. Within the big four emerging markets, Brazil is the most diverse and, according to Transparency International, the least corrupt. But 2015 has shaped up to be the year that threw all that off a cliff. A crisis involving Brazil’s beloved state-run oil firm, Petrobras , has made Brazilian politics into Latin America’s Greece.
President Dilma Rousseff was accused by the federal accounting court of cooking the government’s books. That’s an impeachable offense. Too bad the guy leading the charging on kicking Dilma out of office is Eduardo Cunha, arguable the biggest white collar criminal in the capital. A lobbyist told a federal court that he gave Cunha $5 million in bribes. Swiss bank authorities said it’s all true, because the man has a cool five million bucks sitting in Switzerland. Brazil is harkening back to its old Banana Republic days. The good news is, the judicial system is doing its job. Oligarchs are going to jail. Political figures are falling like leaves in a New England autumn.