President Dilma Rousseff is shaping her second mandate’s policies according to the global situation and Brazil’s weakening economy. After a decade of stalwart development under Rousseff’s predecessor and mentor Lula, Brazil averaged less than 2 percent annual growth since Rousseff came into office in 2011, far from the high potential forecast by emerging markets analysts. After unexpected and real risk of losing the presidency in October 2014 elections, Rousseff is now questioning her economic policy and taking into account the growing difficulties stemming from falling prices in commodities.
Joaquim Levy, a naval engineer and Wall Street-liked former President of conglomerate Bradesco (Bram) who holds a PhD in economics from the University of Chicago, was appointed by Rousseff as Brazil’s next finance minister. Levy was treasury secretary for the state of Rio de Janeiro between 2003 and 2006 and helped Brazil obtain investment grade rating. As an IMF-compliant fiscal conservative, Levy will focus on restoring investors’ confidence in Brazil and implementing a package of budget cuts and tax increases worth $36 bn.