Brazil is in some trouble.
June 25, 2002 5:18 PM   Subscribe

Brazil is in some trouble. So the question must be asked, can globalization be an extension of imperialism? If so, in this case, is it? If not, how would one explain the current crisis felt in Brazil and all of Latin America?
posted by BlueTrain (3 comments total)

That's a great link, BlueTrain, which avoids taking the usual sides from the start. I don't want to drag in the usual mess from the Israel-Palestine threads, but the big question stands: are Brazilians going to be allowed to elect the leader that, apparently, most of them want without external interference? And is the obvious juggling of US foreign policy when it comes to dealing with the sort of regimes that used to be called 'non-aligned' a consequence of geopolitical decisions being made for short-term electoral gain? And is that a smart move in an inescapably globalised market where 170-odd million Brazilians represent more than a mere entry in the CIA World Factbook.

I suppose what I'm saying is: does the US want Karl Rove as its de facto Secretary of State? But also, have nations such as Brazil been lulled into a false sense of security over the past decade, in thinking that US trade policy is made without strictly domestic interests at heart? (For all the ironic value, Clinton was generally more dogmatic than Bush has been when it came to upholding the principles of 'free trade'...)
posted by riviera at 5:36 PM on June 25, 2002

robotwisdom linked to this counterpunch article that suggests some kind of conspiracy (which i think is pretty over the top :)
So when Lula began soaring in the polls, the White House went to work, through its proxy armies on Wall Street. Major firms (and Bush donors) like Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and Merrill Lynch took time out from their various Enron entanglements and criminal investigations to sniffily downgrade Brazil's investment rating--citing Lula's potential victory as the reason. The move--derided as a mistake by the Financial Times and others--sent the Brazilian stock market tumbling, destroying millions of dollars in local investments.
there hasn't been any credit ratings action yet (as far as i can see!) since the real floated, but like i think it does reflect the suspicion (and paranoia) surrounding what's going to happen if PT is ascendant.

it is kind of unsettling that global capital markets might arbitrate somewhat the course of the election, like i think it'd be better for people to reserve judgement until actual policies are put in place and see what the results are rather than speculate about what may or may not occur. although in no uncertain terms the markets are sending a message across. if da silva is elected, i think it'd be wise to pay attention.

their central bank governor just drew down a $10 billion credit facility from the IMF, prolly to shore up confidence. what's funny is the same could be said for the US whose own fiscal circumstances aren't in the best of shape, external trade account is the worst on record, currency is sliding and commitment to 'free trade' is waning :) (thank you karl rove!)
posted by kliuless at 8:03 PM on June 25, 2002

[update: fitch downgraded]

btw, rexgregbr gave a really great rundown of the PT (and public transportation :) earlier in a post about the world social forum in porto alegre, fyi!
posted by kliuless at 8:16 PM on June 25, 2002

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