I have been living in the United States for approximately one year. In my academic and professional environment, especially in the financial market, I have had an opportunity to deal with people of different nationalities.
Thinking about my homeland, we recently had a week in which everything indicated that Brazil was following a path to recovery. The data released by the Central Bank, showing preliminary economic growth of 1.12 percent for Brazil in the first quarter of 2017, was excellent news, well above what we expected. This annualized value corresponds to growth of 4.6 percent, which signals a good outlook for next year. In addition, there was hope of approving the reforms so necessary for economic recovery. There was a feeling of optimism in the air!
Suddenly, everything changed. A well-known Brazilian entrepreneur signed an agreement to release audios that compromised the integrity of the country’s president as well as that of some senators and ministers. The impact was so great that the financial market became totally volatile, with the Bovespa (São Paulo Stock Exchange) triggering a circuit break (paralyzing operations), something that had not been seen since 2008. In addition, the U.S. dollar was rising in a frightening way. In a short period of time, it felt like all the progress was reversed and Brazil was once again without direction.
These events show how vulnerable our economy, our democracy and our nation are. A series of extremely grave accusations has placed nearly all of Brazil’s political establishment under suspicion. That inevitably affects the credibility of Brazil and pushes investors away.
What shocks me the most is knowing that the president, ministers, senators and other “authorities” have such promiscuous relations with business owners, and in some cases, have engaged in bribery. Our international image is in the mud. This is revolting! Discouraging! Unfortunate! I feel it on my skin here in the United States.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of Brazilian politicians do not deserve our trust. The political system is rotten and increasingly discourages people from becoming a part of it. We cannot accept this situation anymore. The biggest problem in Brazil is corruption; all others are secondary. We live in a climate of total instability, often waiting for the next crisis. Perhaps, this explains why so many Brazilians want to leave their country to seek a better life elsewhere, including here in the United States.
I think there will be a moment of rupture when Brazilian society can no longer withstand so many scandals and uncertainty. On the other hand, we have the unique opportunity to renew the entire political class and definitely stop being the “country of the future.” and create the conditions for us to have at least a decent life.
It is up to us Brazilians to decide whether we want to live in a decent country. We should not wait for things to change. We should act and become a part of the political process. Think about it.
Let’s help our country to move forward! May God help us!
This article was written by Abel Fiorot Loureiro, financial professional and business adviser. Visit us online at www.abelfiorot.com.br.