Weekly Geopolitical Report – The Threat of Militarization in Brazil (July 20, 2020)

by Patrick Fearon-Hernandez, CFA | PDF

When investors think about Latin American politics and policy, the various countries’ military forces often come to mind.  You’d almost think the region was a hotbed of international aggression, invasions, and state-to-state warfare.  The reality is that for the last century, national military organizations in Central and South America have mostly been used against indigenous insurgencies or opposition political movements.  In recent decades, even that role has been proscribed in most countries, raising hopes that the region has finally learned to solve its domestic political conflicts democratically instead of by force.

Current economic and social challenges in Brazil have prompted some officials to hint that the military should have a stronger role in guiding the state again.  Some people in the government have even issued veiled threats to reimpose a military dictatorship in the country.  In this report, we’ll examine what has led to the current threat and assess the likelihood of a military-backed government in Brasilia.  As always, we’ll end with a discussion of the likely ramifications for investors if the military does take a bigger role in Brazilian politics.

Read the full report

Weekly Geopolitical Report – Goodbye, Dilma. Hello, Michel. (September 26, 2016)

by Kaisa Stucke, CFA

On August 31, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was impeached on charges of breaking budgetary laws, ending nine months of political infighting.  The Brazilian Senate voted 61-20 to permanently remove her from her presidential post.  Rousseff’s former vice president, Michel Temer, led the impeachment process and has assumed the presidential duties.

This week we will look at the current political landscape of Brazil under the new president.  We will briefly describe the country’s recent political history and look at the specifics of Brazil’s economic development.  We will discuss the conditions that led to the impeachment and the new president’s possible policy path.  As usual, we will conclude with market ramifications.

View the full report