June 21, 2019


1. With ‘his days numbered’, Levy quits the BNDES

After President Jair Bolsonaro tweeted that ‘his days [were] numbered’, Joaquim Levy, then-President of BNDES (the Brazilian National Development Bank), resigned. Levy was heavily criticized by Bolsonaro after he nominated an advisor who had worked for the Lula and Rousseff administrations as BNDES’ Director of Capital Markets. Also, this week, General Juarez Cunha, President of the Correios (Brazil’s Postal Service), voiced his support for a protest against the privatization of Correios. He resigned after his actions were criticized by Bolsonaro. The President’s General Secretary Floriano Peixoto, replaced him. Of the 19 officials who have been removed from their posts over the past six months, there included is a Minister of Education, a presidential spokesperson, and General Santos Cruz, who was dismissed from his post as Minister of the Secretary of Government and later gave an interview to weekly magazine Época, where he characterized the Bolsonaro administration as a “load of nonsense.” Bolsonaro said he had “turned the page” regarding the case.Read more about President Jair Bolsonaro’s leadership style on the Brasília Report.

Valor Econômico: Pressionado, Joaquim Levy pede demissão do BNDES
Folha de S.Paulo: Banqueiro assume a presidência do BNDES
Folha de S.Paulo: Presidente dos Correios sai e é substituído por general
Revista Época: Governo é “um show de besteiras”, diz general demitido
O Globo: As baixas do governo Jair Bolsonaro

2. Bolsonaro appoints Army general to liaise with Congress

President Jair Bolsonaro has removed Chief of Staff Minister Onyx Lorenzoni from his position as government liaison officer in the Congress. After gridlocks and defeats in Congress that adversely affected the executive branch, Bolsonaro appointed the newly-nominated Government Secretary Luiz Eduardo Ramos to the task. Deputies and senators had been complaining about Lorenzoni’s treatment of different caucuses and parties since Bolsonaro took office. As a result, the relationship between congress and the executive is strained. For instance, last Tuesday, the Senate inflicted another defeat on the Bolsonaro administration, as it did not to pass the bill to expand the right to carry and own guns, a campaign promise of Bolsonaro’s.

Folha de S.Paulo: Bolsonaro tira Onyx da articulação e coloca general

3. Sergio Moro criticizes audio leaks during Senate hearing

Justice and Public Safety Minister Sergio Moro denied that he interfered with the investigations of Operation Car Wash during a senate hearing. He said the leak of conversations purportedly between himself and prosecutors and members of the Federal Police was a criminal act. The conversations were obtained by hackers and published on the website The Intercept Brasil, from Glenn Greenwald, the same journalist who broke the Edward Snowden story. The day before, on TV show “Programa do Ratinho,” the same program that invited President Bolsonaro to defend the pension reform, aired an interview with Moro. Lauded as a ‘hero’ during the show’s opening, the former judge said the leak is a strategy of organized crime factions to gain access to the Operation Car Wash investigation. However, the case made the news again on Thursday, when new audio excerpts were published, where Moro allegedly nominates the prosecutors who should take part in Operation Car Wash hearings. Moro denies any wrongdoing.

Folha de S.Paulo: ‘Se houver irregularidade, eu saio’, diz Moro a senadores
Valor Econômico: Site sugere interferência direta de Moro na Lava Jato
The Intercept Brasil: As mensagens secretas da Lava Jato
SBT: Sergio Moro é chamado de herói no “Programa do Ratinho”

4. Bovespa closes above 100,000points for the first time in history

For the first time ever, the Bovespa stock exchange closed above 100,000points this week, doubling its size from twelve years ago. Analysts say the new record is indicative of optimism among local investors due to proposed reforms, such as the pension reform project, and it signals to the market that a new round of interest rate cuts is near. The Bovespa index rose to 100,303 points on Wednesday. Financial transaction volumes reached R$ 15 billion (USD $3.9 billion). The market has been bullish ever since President Jair Bolsonaro was elected last October. So far this year, the Ibovespa index has accumulated gains of 14%. Similarly, U.S. stocks are approaching historical records. In March, Ibovespa traded above 100,000points during two sessions, but the records were lost before closing.

O Estado de S. Paulo: Bolsa fecha acima de 100 mil pontos

5. Import tariffs could be slashed for technology products

The Brazilian government is currently assessing a proposal to cut import tariffs on technology products, such as computers and cellphones, to 4% from 16%. The proposal is being discussed at the Ministry of Economy and seeks to boost competitiveness and innovation within the industry. President Jair Bolsonaro announced the plans on social media. He said the government is also looking into a reduction on the tariffs levied over electronic games. Industry revenues reached R$ 195.7 billion (USD $51.1 billion) in 2018, a 12.7% increase over the previous year, according to data published by Brasscom (The Brazilian Association of Information Technology and Communications Companies). The figures refer to companies that deal in hardware, software, cloud services, state-owned companies and exports.

Folha de S.Paulo: Governo pode reduzir imposto sobre importação de tecnologia