Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

Brazil: Lula’s Historic Legacy

Posted in News and Articles, Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on December 15, 2010

by Joachim Bamrud for Latin Business Chronicle, December 15th, 2010.

Brazil’s outgoing president made history more than once, realizing the country’s long-dormant potential.

When Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva exits Brazil’s presidency in January, he will leave behind a solid legacy that has transformed Latin America’s largest economy. Especially the last four years of his eight-year administration has seen Brazil go from strength to strength. In doing so, it has also helped lift Latin America’s global stature.

Lula’s legacy has been a positive surprise. Experts and the business community alike were highly nervous about what to expect from Lula, a radical former union leader.

“Lula was elected as the “possible default president”, and he left office as the “pragmatic president”, a president that for the most part was able to control his strong past ideological biases,” says Alberto BernalLeon,Head of Macroeconomic Strategy Research at Bulltick.

Lula garnered early praise by naming Henrique Meirelles, a widely-respected former head of BankBoston, as the president of the central bank and then giving him autonomy during his eight year administration – despite heavy opposition from other members of the government and ruling Workers Party.

Meanwhile, Lula’s first finance minister Antonio Palocci also surprised positively by following relatively market-friendly policies.

The business community – local and foreign – was pleased by the fact that Lula did not implement any radical changes from his popular predecessor, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who had shifted Brazil towards a more market-oriented economy. (continue reading… )


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