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Video: Brazil's Economic and Political Scene

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Speakers:

  • João Augusto de Castro Neves, Director, Latin America, Eurasia Group
  • Mauro Leos, Vice President, Sovereign Risk Unit, Moody’s Investors Service
  • Vladimir Werning, Head, Latin America Research, J.P.Morgan
  • Brian Winter, Vice President of Policy, Americas Society/Council of the Americas; Editor-in-Chief, Americas Quarterly (Moderator)

When asked about which economy is doing well in Latin America, J.P. Morgan's Vladimir Werning answered: "A small island—we don't know the name—somewhere." In the context of this darker outlook for the region, Brazil sees problems cropping up, including a hostile relationship between Congress and the executive branch, a major corruption scandal affecting the infrastructure and energy sectors, and low government approval ratings amid a battle to approve fiscal reforms and austerity. With all this in mind, a September 22 panel discussed what's in store for the country.

"We were all wrong," said AS/COA Vice President Brian Winter, about past optimism on Brazil's economic expectations. Panelists agreed fiscal reforms need to happen and Moody's Mauro Leos said that the agency thinks it is unlikely that the country's budget will add up without unpopular taxes and cuts in social programs spending. Still, the country is not going through an institutional crisis, said Eurasia Group's João Augusto de Castro Neves. Panelists agreed impeachment is not a solution for Brazil's problems and that fiscal adjustments would allow a positive agenda to resurface.


Infographic: A History of Credit Ratings in Latin America, 2000–2015