By Ricardo Amorim
The Bolsonaro administration hardly started. It would be precipitate to judge it now. On the other hand, as we approach the end of the first month, we can see some signs and what they point at.
Good news first, Bolsonaro fulfilled his campaign promise to keep political parties at bay when picking his Cabinet members. I always suspected this to be just a campaign promise soon to be forgotten. Fortunately, I was wrong. His Cabinet was convened based on technical grounds – as in the cases of Paulo Guedes and Sérgio Moro – or recommendations from Congress thematic benches – some of which related to the subject of the Ministry in question – as in the cases of Agriculture and Health – others, more questionable, were not related – such as Education and External Relations.
Besides, Bolsonaro has clearly indicated that he intends to govern for all Brazilians, and admitted his limitations on several subjects, which reduces the risk of hasty decisions.
On other issues, however, the government leaves to be desired so far. Communications have been rather confusing. Often a Minister or the President himself end up being contradicted, which weakens the credibility of their announcements and reduces their capacity to create positive expectations. We were disappointed by the government and especially by Bolsonaro himself in the World Economic Forum in Davos, where we expected Brazil to have an outstanding participation.
Also, the government did not include the Social Security Reform in its priorities for the first 100 days. This Reform is the most important step to guarantee stability and growth for the Brazilian economy in the coming years.
On top, charges against his son Flavio put the President in an awkward situation.
The administration hardly started. There is still time to correct all that, but the government better do it before errors entail consequences when Congress reopens in February, State Governors increase their requests and the expectations of investors and the business community regarding the Social Security Reform become more pressing.
The latest figures on economic growth, generation of jobs and inflation have been good and the Stock Exchange has been breaking records. Let us hope the government corrects its errors and that this may be an omen of even more positive results along this year and the years to come.
Ricardo Amorim is the author of the best-seller After the Storm, a host of Manhattan Connection at Globonews, the most influential economist in Brazil according to Forbes Magazine, the most influential Brazilian on LinkedIn, the only Brazilian among the best world lecturers at Speakers Corner and the winner of the “Most Admired in the Economy, Business and Finance Press”.
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Translation: Simone Montgomery Troula