Archive for August 9th, 2002

Four serendipitous comments on or about Braz(s)il

August 9, 2002

Four serendipitous comments on or about Braz(s)il


-Why is it that Bras(z)ilians call their country Brasil, while in English it is Brazil. That would be ok with me, but leading presidential contender Ciro Gomez, is called Ciro Gomes in Brasil, while he is called Ciro Gomez in English. What’s the rule? Is there a rule?


– Ciro Gomes is the candidate of the Popular Socialist Party, which definitely sounds left-wing, but Mr. Gomes was the Minister of Finance of current President Cardoso, when the famous Real Plan was implemented. This plan was extremely successful. Mr. Gomes was also the successful and popular Mayor of the city of Fortaleza, as well as the popular Governor of Ceara State. With this track record the question is then, why are markets so nervous about the possibility of this “left-wing” candidate becoming President?. In fact, Mr. Gomes ran for Governor on a more market-oriented platform and actually alienated the private sector, when he was a Minister, by lowering import tariffs on many goods. Go figure…..


– Since we are talking about Brasil, how about the IMF saving Brasil’s ass with a US$ 30 billion program over the next year and a half. Reality is that the IMF is not really saving Brasil. Brasil is the eighth  largest economy in the world, while the world and the US can afford to have Argentina fail, the same is not true of Brasil. A Brasilian default would reverberate around the world and undermine the possible economic recovery which appears to be underway. Moreover, Citibank, Fleet Boston and other US banks have important investments in Brasil. Thus the IMF is helping the US, the world, Wall St. and maybe even Brasil. In reality Brasil’s problem is not its external debt, but the fact that they have a large amount of internal debt indexed to the US dollar. External debt is only 15% of GDP, quite manageable by current international standards. No Banana Republic Brasil, it has been quite well-managed in the last few years, hope it lasts……


-A woman jogging in Brasil was decapitated by a small plane trying to land at the airstrip where she was exercising. I dont want to make fun of this headline, but I am sure it will give all those that are strongly against physical exercise, another reason to remain nomadic.