L. E. Melin and Franklin Serrano
Blaming International Conditions
Poor Political Judgement
As a result of being associated with recession, unemployment and corruption by voters, the PT-led government faced the lowest popular approval ratings in Brazilian politics since the early 1990s ”
The Right: Divided and Jockeying for Position
1. See F. Serrano and R. Summa, Aggregate Demand and the Slowdown of Brazilian Economic Growth from 2011-2014, Centre for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), Washington DC, August 2015.
2. This particular instance of rating-agency theoretical innovation was spotted by M. Vernengo in “From BBB-razil to BB+razil or the meaning of investment grade.”
3. See Jefferson County School Dist. v. Moody's Investor's Servs., 988 F. Supp. 1341, 1348 (D. Colo. 1997), aff’d, 175 F.3d 848 (10th Cir. 1999).
4. See “Crise é momento importante para "repensar o país", afirma Levy.”
5. Besides removing Vargas in 1954, the moral crusade against corruption was a key tool again in toppling President Goulart (who championed a “trade-unionist republic”) in '64, and in preventing the election of Lula da Silva and his left-wing coalition in '89, before reappearing unsuccessfully to try to impeach then-President Lula in 2005, and again, more forcefully, in the last few years.
6. President Cardoso (who championed privatization and the Washington Consensus agenda in Brazil from 1995-2002) admits in his recently published memoirs that he had knowledge of the Petrobras “scandal” since October 1996, thought of intervening in the company, but ultimately chose not to do so.
7. The unemployment rate shot up quickly, reaching 11.8% by official figures in October 2016.
8. Under Dilma Rousseff, Brazil also acquired a new-found zeal for international cooperation on corruption and counterterrorism matters, to the point that a UN Special Report issued a warning that the text of the new Brazilian Terrorism Act is “too broadly drafted and may unduly restrict fundamental freedoms.”
9. The priority assigned to this political agenda was underscored by the fact that the first bill sent to Congress in President Rousseff's second term (on the eve of her inauguration) simultaneously curtailed access to unemployment insurance, pay compensation for laid-off workers, benefits for employees on sick leave and widows' pensions. Yet another item of continuity was the upholding of President Rousseff's veto that prevented Bolsa Familia (Family Stipend) education-linked direct transfers to poorer families from rising in line with inflation, effectively reducing their overall value in real terms.