Business elite need to do mea-culpa for supporting Bolsonaro, says Ricardo Lacerda – 4/3/2021 – Market

One of the big names in the financial market, Ricardo Lacerda, founding partner of BR Partners Banco de Investimento, says that the Brazilian business elite needs to make a mea culpa on the support he gave Bolsonaro.

“In an eagerness to avoid the PT, many serious people ended up voting for Bolsonaro even in the first round. This is the source of the disaster we are experiencing, ”he says.

For the banker, the market always makes a superficial analysis. “He bought Bolsonaro’s liberal speech, even though his behavior in three decades of Congress was just the opposite,” he says.
Impeachment should not be seen as a remedy, in Lacerda’s opinion, even for the population to be aware of the cost of making a wrong choice.

For 2022, he considers the probability of a third track to be low. There would need to be a great union of parties, says the banker, who is affiliated with the Novo.

A second round between Lula and Bolsonaro would be terrible, he says, but, if it happens, it will be necessary to analyze each person’s commitment to the center.

“Dilma and Bolsonaro refused to reach out to their opponents, even after they were elected,” he says.

Lacerda thinks Lula is a bad option, linked to the past, but he had a great first term. “If Lula comes back from 2002, surrounded by competent people, keeping the ideological and physiological wings of the PT further away, embracing a fiscal balance agenda, we can have a benign scenario”, says the banker.

?

What was your reading about the new demonstrations of the advance of the power of the center over Bolsonaro this week in the ministerial change?
In politics there is no empty space. The president has shown himself unable to govern, to unite the country, to manage the pandemic and to set a minimally constructive agenda to overcome the crisis. If you didn’t do it when you were strong, with high popularity, you won’t do it now. Congress at least tries to create a path. I think this is positive. The little hope that remains of tax reform, perhaps even administrative, comes from this effort by Congress, not the Executive.

And the budget trap, what will happen? More turmoil in the Ministry of Economy? What is the risk of this for the country, in your opinion?
We are living in a catastrophic fiscal scenario and with no sign of improvement. It is evident that the pandemic generated many expenses, it could not be different. I am in favor of emergency aid, there is no way to neglect the most needy in a serious moment like this. But it is necessary to show the counterparts, it is necessary to make it clear how the Budget will be balanced looking ahead, even if it takes time. There is no room for maneuver in the short term, so it is necessary to change the ideal timing of the fiscal solution for the certainty that there will be a solution. This is only possible with reforms.

Is there a risk of impeachment?
I see no climate for impeachment. Dilma’s impeachment was already very traumatic. Impeachment is not a remedy for bad government. We need to change this dynamic, even so that the population becomes aware of the costs of a wrong choice.

Does the crisis with the military project any concerns?
I think not. The institutions are fully functioning and our military knows the role of the Armed Forces. So much so that they refused to sponsor the president’s political and opportunistic speech. There is not the slightest climate for a coup, especially because a coup to keep someone unable to govern in power is something that makes no sense.

And the role of Paulo Guedes?
Did he lose visibility as a leader? Minister Paulo Guedes is a brilliant economist, a man with a different vision and, above all, a patriot. He composed a first-rate team, the vast majority of which still remain in the government. We have at BNDES, at Petrobras, at Caixa, teams working very hard, looking for ways to continue with the privatization process and improving the governance of state-owned companies. We have not seen any corruption scandals at these companies during the current government, because they are being run by qualified professionals. But the president’s support, if it ever existed, is gone. And without that support there will be no miracles, neither from Paulo Guedes nor from anyone else.

Bolsonaro’s behavior has several times generated uncertainty in the market in these two years. Was the market naive in supporting his candidacy?
The market always makes a superficial analysis, evaluates the most immediate options and creates its narrative. He bought Bolsonaro’s liberal speech, even though his behavior in three decades of Congress was just the opposite. And throughout his term, Bolsonaro has been blowing up bridges, talking absurd, promoting insults and making gross mistakes. All of this reverberates around the world. We have never had our international image so shaken.

A second round is planned between Bolsonaro and Lula in 2022. Mr. declared a null vote in the second round of 2018. Would you do it again?
The scenario of Lula and Bolsonaro in the second round of next year would be terrible for the country. We need to work to have a center option. But, if these two options remain, we will have to assess how they got there, what their signs are, their commitments towards the center. Dilma and Bolsonaro refused to reach out to their opponents, even after they were elected. Instead of expanding their support base, they reinforced the speech to their more radical followers. This polarization has done harm to the country. We need to get rid of this plague by electing someone who brings the population together, who brings common sense and rescues the values ​​of democracy.

Many people found Lula’s speech more palatable to the business community. If the Bolsonaro government scenario is maintained as we have today, could Lula regain market confidence? It is like?
I think Lula is a bad option. It is a name more linked to the past than to the future. We need new leadership. But he was already president and had a great first term. If Lula comes back from 2002, surrounded by competent people, keeping the ideological and physiological wings of the PT further away, embracing a fiscal balance agenda, we can have a benign scenario.

Does this third way have chances or would it be crushed? What name would stand a chance? And mr. have you worked in any group of entrepreneurs to reflect on this?
I remain a member of the New Party and hope that we can join a large center front. I see names like that of Governor Eduardo Leite [do Rio Grande do Sul] gaining national expression and bringing hope for renewal. It would be great to have you as a competitive candidate in 2022. But I see the likelihood of having a third way as low. Both the PT and Bolsonaro have very solid support bases to reach the second round. There needs to be a big union of parties to change that.

Didn’t the letter of the 500 with great bankers and economists asking for a solution to the Brazilian crisis not come too late?I think it was a genuine movement, of people perplexed with so much incompetence, neglect and rascal. It is obvious that the Brazilian business elite needs to make a reflection, a mea-culpa on the support it gave to someone who, analyzing it in a simple and direct way, does not have the slightest qualification for the position he occupies. This, for me, has always been clear and is now absolutely proven. There were good candidates in the first round in 2018. But, in their eagerness to avoid the PT, many serious people ended up voting for Bolsonaro even in the first round. This is the source of the disaster we are experiencing today.

What mr. do you think of this initiative of entrepreneurs wanting to vaccinate employees?
I think we have to embrace all possibilities of speeding up the vaccination process. Where there is a vaccine, there is hope, and the private sector has the means and the agility to help in this process of importing vaccines.

Get the latest news delivered to your inbox

Follow us on social media networks