What’s Next for Brazil’s “New Right”?

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For the first time in more than two decades, Brazil has a right-wing politician as the head of state. But Bolsonaro’s victory signifies more than just a devastating defeat of the Worker’s Party (PT) — the victorious party in the last four presidential elections. It represents the arrival to power of the Brazilian “new right” (labeled by some as “far-right”), which they themselves describe as: “liberal” on the economy and socially conservative.

With his anti-establishment and anti-corruption rhetoric, the ex-military candidate Bolsonaro captured the dissatisfaction of the voters with the PT, the party of the ex-president Lula da Silva, who is imprisoned for corruption and money laundering. After 14 years in power, the Worker’s Party (PT) left behind a country morally, socially, and economically in crisis. Years of PT rule led to the biggest corruption scheme in the history of Latin America (known as Petrolão); an endemic economic crisis which drastically slowed the country’s development and left an unemployment rate of 13%; and one of the nation’s worst values crises in decades. Continue reading

The Chicago Boy and His President

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BERLIN/BRASÍLIA (Own report) – German business circles are placing high hopes on Brazil’s President-elect Jair Messias Bolsonaro pointing to the economic program of Paulo Guedes, designated to head a super ministry. During Augustino Pinochet’s military dictatorship, he was a professor at the University of Chile and his program resembles the economic policy of the Chilean Junta. Since about a year, Guedes has been Bolsonaro’s advisor. The Brazilian business community is hailing Bolsonaro, particularly the National Confederation of Industry (CNI), where German businesses hold strong positions. CNI is the Brazilian partner of the Federation of German Industries (BDI). German companies had already cooperated with the Brazilian military dictatorship. Bolsonaro’s victory is a deathblow to the policy of cautious redistribution in favor of impoverished segments of society, pursued by Presidents Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff. This policy was essentially ended with the May 2016 cold putsch – under applause of German business representatives.

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Far-right Bolsonaro rides anti-corruption rage to Brazil presidency

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Jair Bolsonaro’s tough line on crime and market-friendly policies have gained him as much support as his controversial views on women, homosexuality, race and torture have provoked scorn. (Photo: AFP/Evaristo Sa)

 

BRASILIA/RIO DE JANEIRO: Far-right lawmaker Jair Bolsonaro won Brazil’s presidential election on Sunday, promising to clean up politics, shrink the state and crack down on crime, in a dramatic swing away from the left in the world’s fourth-largest democracy.

The former army captain has alarmed many with vows to sweep political opponents off the map and comments denigrating women, gays and racial minorities.

He will be the first president with a background in the armed forces since the end of Brazil’s 1964-1985 military dictatorship, which he has publicly praised. He has tapped retired generals to serve as his vice president and run key ministries.

In his first public comments after his landslide victory, he pledged to respect democratic principles, but said he wanted to change the country’s direction.

“We cannot continue flirting with socialism, communism, populism and leftist extremism … We are going to change the destiny of Brazil,” Bolsonaro said in an acceptance address, promising to root out graft and stem a tide of violent crime. Continue reading

President: ‘We’re Going to Take Care of Venezuela’

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(Photo Credit: TruNews)

 

His comments at the United Nations come after reports the U.S. has devised several plans to unseat the government of Nicholas Maduro.

Following his speech at the United Nations General Debate on Tuesday, President Donald Trump was asked about his comments regarding Venezuela and the recent levying of new sanctions against members of President Nicholas Maduro’s government and family. Continue reading

Global CFOs: U.S. has world’s only improving economy

 

The United States is the only major economy in the world to get an “improving” score in the latest CNBC survey of corporate executives.

The latest quarterly score marks the fifth quarter in a row that the economy under President Donald Trump has been viewed as “improving” in the CNBC Global CFO Council survey. Continue reading

BRICS in a multipolar world

This week, South Africa is hosting the 10th annual gathering of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). When the first BRIC summit was held in 2009 (South Africa was added in 2010), the world was in the throes of a financial crisis of the developed world’s making, and the increasingly dynamic BRIC bloc represented the future. By coming together, these countries had the potential to provide a geopolitical counterweight to the West.

But Western commentators have long underestimated that potential, forcing BRICS to demand greater representation in global-governance institutions. In 2011 and 2012, BRICS challenged the process of selecting leaders at the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. But, lacking a united front behind them, a European (Christine Lagarde) and an American (Jim Yong Kim) continued to preside over those organizations. And though BRICS did get these institutions to reform their voting structures to give developing countries greater weight, the US and Europe still wield disproportionate power. Continue reading

Struggle for Influence in the Western Pacific (I)

BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) – The US-led RIMPAC 2018, the world’s largest naval maneuver, began yesterday with German soldiers participating. According to the US Navy, the naval exercise will also include operations in the Western Pacific. The region of the Southwest Pacific islands will thus come into focus, which – even though largely ignored by the European public – has been gaining significant global influence. On the one hand, the influence of Western countries has shrunk recently, while that of their strategic rivals, such as Russia and China, has significantly grown. Some Pacific island nations have since then been seeking to pursue a foreign policy independent from the West. On the other hand, the Southwest Pacific has become even more important also for Australia and the Unites States: as the political economic backyard for Australia and “gateway to the Indo-Pacific” for the U.S.A. Germany is also attempting to increase its activities in the region.

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War Games in the Pacific

WASHINGTON/BERLIN (Own report) – German soldiers will soon participate in maneuvers in the Pacific and will be on hand as observers on patrols in the South China Sea, according to announcements by the US Navy and the French Minister of Defense, Florence Parly. At a top-level conference in Singapore last weekend, Parly declared that Paris will dispatch warships to the South China Sea in the next few days and will also navigate through the territorial waters of Islands China claims as its territory. According to Parly, German military observers will embark on these ships. At the same time, German soldiers are preparing their participation in the US led RIMPAC 2018 maneuver, taking place mainly near Hawaii. RIMPAC is the world’s largest international maritime exercise. During RIMPAC 2016 German soldiers trained in “liberating” an island, which, according to the scenario, was held by the “Draco” militia. “Draco” is the Latin term for “dragon” – a symbol for China.

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Latin America’s new geopolitical reality

Professor Niall Ferguson visited São Paulo in April to address Itaú’s annual MacroVision conference, and found time to sit down with Euromoney to talk fintech, social media and trade. In particular he focused on China and how it will impact Latin America’s future.

Experience

Euromoney meets with Ferguson later that day, a little uncertain about Ferguson’s range of knowledge and experience of Latin America. Such concerns were laid quickly to rest with Ferguson’s response to the opening question, which picked up on a point that he had made in his speech about the relative speeds of adoption of mobile payments in Asia (and China in particular) compared with the US. Could emerging markets in Latin America reach Asian levels of near-universal adoption of new payment technologies?  Continue reading

‘Breathtaking homicidal violence’: Latin America in grip of murder crisis

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An activist paints the silhouette of a murder victim at the Coque slum in Recife, Brazil. The report’s authors fear voters may look to strongman-style populists to solve the crisis. Photograph: Eraldo Peres/AP

 

Region has experienced 2.5 million murders since 2000 and report paints bleak picture of extreme violence and deteriorating security

Latin America has suffered more than 2.5m murders since the start of this century and is facing an acute public security crisis that demands urgent and innovative solutions, a new report warns.

“The sheer dimensions of homicidal violence are breathtaking,” says the report by the Igarapé Institute, a Brazil-based think tank focused on security and development issues. Continue reading

If War Comes, Russia Could Disconnect from the Internet. Yes, the Entire Country

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Robust internal networks will keep the military and government operating, says Putin’s top IT advisor.

A two-year-old effort to allow the Russian military to rely solely on internal networks during wartime has apparently blossomed into support for a digitally isolated government and civil society as well, a top advisor to Vladimir Putin said this week. Continue reading

Russia, China, India Unveil New Gold Trading Network

Deputy Governors of the People’s Bank of China and Bank of Russia sign Memorandum on Gold Trading, Sochi, September 2017. Photo: Bank of Russia

 

One of the most notable events in Russia’s precious metals market calendar is the annual “Russian Bullion Market” conference. Formerly known as the Russian Bullion Awards, this conference, now in its 10th year, took place this year on Friday 24 November in Moscow. Among the speakers lined up, the most notable inclusion was probably Sergey Shvetsov, First Deputy Chairman of Russia’s central bank, the Bank of Russia.

In his speech, Shvetsov provided an update on an important development involving the Russian central bank in the worldwide gold market, and gave further insight into the continued importance of physical gold to the long term economic and strategic interests of the Russian Federation.

Firstly, in his speech Shvetsov confirmed that the BRICS group of countries are now in discussions to establish their own gold trading system. As a reminder, the 5 BRICS countries comprise the Russian Federation, China, India, South Africa and Brazil. Continue reading

Russia plans to create an ‘independent internet’ by 2018 to protect it from ‘global internet malfunctions’ – but critics say the plan could make it easier to launch its own attacks

The Russian government has revealed plans to develop an ‘independent internet’ that operates separately from the Domain Name System used worldwide. According to Russian news site RT, Russian President Vladimir Putin (pictured) is targeting August 1, 2018 for its completion

 

  • Russian Security Council met in October to discuss an ‘independent internet’
  • Would cover Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa with alternative DNS
  • Currently, a global Domain Name System (DNS) is used to connect to internet
  • While they cited security concerns, others suggest it could be used maliciously

The Russian government has revealed plans to develop an ‘independent internet’ that operates separately from the Domain Name System used worldwide.

During a recent meeting of the Russian Security Council, officials discussed an initiative to create an alternative to the DNS, claiming the move could protect Russia and a handful of other nations in the event of a large-scale cyberattack. Continue reading

Cracks in Dollar Are Getting Larger

 

Many Daily Reckoning readers are familiar with the original petrodollar deal the U.S made with Saudi Arabia.

It was set up by Henry Kissinger and Saudi princes in 1974 to prop up the U.S. dollar. At the time, confidence in the dollar was on shaky ground because President Nixon had ended gold convertibility of dollars in 1971.

Saudi Arabia was receiving dollars for their oil shipments, but they could no longer convert the dollars to gold at a guaranteed price directly with the U.S. Treasury. The Saudis were secretly dumping dollars and buying gold on the London market. This was putting pressure on the bullion banks receiving the dollar. Continue reading

America’s Weapons: “The Dollar and the Drone”

 

It was said that “the guinea and the gallows” were the true instruments of British imperial power.

The guinea represented the coined wealth of Great Britain.

The gallows represented its… constabulary zeal in policing restless natives.

This is the 21st century of course… a time of enlightenment.

Today’s instruments of imperial power are no longer the guinea and the gallows.

No. Today’s instruments of imperial power are “the dollar and the drone.” Continue reading