Oh, how the mighty have fallen. A few years ago, Brazil was the darling of the BRICS countries: host of the World Cup and Olympics, 7% annual growth, lifting millions out of poverty… now, inflation if up, growth is not just down but negative, joblessness is on the rise, the government is barely functioning, and people are questioning whether Brazil can manage the Olympics.
How did it all go so wrong so fast? It’s a complex question with a complex answer, and part of the answer has been brewing for longer than you might think.
Last year former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva signed a contract with the New York Times as an op-ed columnist. So, it’s been with no small amount of interest that I’ve watched a steady stream of content critical of Brazil appear in The Times in recent months.
Much of it is fair criticism – Brazil can be fairly criticized for a great may things. Some is, of course, off the mark as well. In the former category is a pair of articles that appeared last week. Continue reading Brazil’s Big Projects: more bust and fizzle than boom and fortune