Brazil Is Still the Country of the Future

Tyler Cowen – Bloomberg, 08/11/2016

Brazil, it is often and not quite fairly said, is the country of the future and always will be. As the Olympics focuses global attention on the country, it’s worth exploring the various ways in which this maxim is — and may not be — true.

The puzzle with Brazil is neither its successes nor its failures, but rather the combination of the two. The country has such a dynamic feel, and in the postwar era it saw many years of double-digit economic growth. The Economist featured the country on its cover in 2009 as the next miracle take-off, and in 2012 Germany’s Der Spiegel published a long article titled “How Good Governance Made Brazil a Model Nation.”

Yet Brazil never caught up to the developed world: Its gross domestic product per capita falls about 4 to 7 times short of the U.S. — about where it was more than a century ago. It is now experiencing one of the most severe depressions of any country in modern times. The president, Dilma Rousseff, is in the midst of an impeachment process. The combination of corrupt and violent police, muggings of athletes, polluted water and inadequate facilities have led many to wonder whether Brazil can pull of the Olympics without major embarrassment.

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Brazil analysts forecast slower inflation and deeper recession

David Biller – Bloomberg, 03/28/2016

Brazil analysts trimmed their 2016 inflation forecast after price increases slowed more than all analysts expected in March and the economy showed signs of a deeper contraction.

Economists lowered their 2016 inflation forecast to 7.31 percent, from 7.43 percent previously, according to the weekly Focus survey conducted March 24. They also pared their 2016 economic outlook to a recession of 3.66 percent, and lowered their 2017 growth forecast to 0.35 percent from 0.44 percent the prior week.

Brazil’s inflation in the 12 months through mid-March fell more than all economists forecast, making its return to single digits for the first time since October. The currency this month also gained most among 16 major currencies as the market gauged a greater probability President Dilma Rousseff will be impeached. While markets responded positively to the political strife engulfing the capital, it is weighing on the outlook for economic rebound.

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Brazil graft case sets back economy

Marla Dickerson/Rogerio Jelmayer – The Wall Street Journal, 02/01/2015

A corruption scandal at state-controlled Petróleo Brasileiro SA has created political headaches for President Dilma Rousseff . Now it’s threatening Brazil’s economy.

What began as a probe of money launderers operating out of a gas station has reached the executive suites of Petrobras and the nation’s best-known construction firms, which prosecutors accuse of ripping off the oil giant. The fallout is battering some of the nation’s most important business sectors.

Petrobras, Brazil’s largest company and a major source of capital investment, is in chaos. Still scrambling to calculate the extent of the massive fraud, it has canceled planned projects and delayed payments to accused contractors, setting off a chain of defaults and credit downgrades.

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Brazil to shed light on ‘dirty war’ abuse

Shasta Darlington – CNN News , 8/3/2012

Sao Paulo, Brazil (CNN) — After years of trying to put the past behind it, Brazil has created a truth commission to investigate crimes committed during a painful period in history known as the dirty war.

Hundreds of people disappeared or were killed during a 20-year military dictatorship that ended in 1985. Violent student protests and an armed underground movement were squashed in brutal crackdowns.

Some 9,000 people were jailed and tortured. Among them was a young leftist guerrilla, Dilma Rousseff, who went on to become the current president of Brazil.

Rousseff inaugurated the commission in May.

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Serra, sliding in Brazil polls, hits Rousseff record

Stuart Grudgings – Reuters, 08/18/2010

Brazilian opposition candidate Jose Serra on Wednesday accused rival Dilma Rousseff of neglecting investment and economic reform but struggled to land the heavy blows that could help revive his fading chances of winning the presidential race.

The former Sao Paulo state governor went into Brazil’s first online presidential debate needing a sparkling performance hours after the third opinion poll in a week showed the ruling coalition’s Rousseff with a decisive lead and heading for a possible first round victory on Oct.3.

But he mostly held back from the risky, all-out attack on Rousseff that some analysts had predicted, underlining the difficulty he faces in running against the political heir of hugely popular President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

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