Friday, May 13, 2016

LATAM Viva 5/13/2016

FINANCIAL TIMES - Latam Viva: Your weekly briefing from the region
After impeachment
By John Paul Rathbone 
May 13, 2016
It was a brief, sad moment of burlesque. On Monday, the new head of Brazil’s lower house issued a ruling citing procedural irregularities that attempted to prevent the senate from voting on whether to open impeachment proceedings against Dilma Rousseff. But after a flurry of legislative to- and fro-, his attempt to annul Ms Rousseff’s annulment was annulled. The Senate voted, after a 20 hour session, 55 to 22, and Ms Rousseff was duly suspended from the presidency while her case goes to trial. Michel Temer, the vice president, a constitutional lawyer with a fondness for poetry, has been sworn in as her interim replacement. He has already appointed a fresh cabinet, including an inflation-buster as the new minister of finance.
So Temer is in, Dilma is out, and the former governing party, the Workers Party, may face a long spell in opposition. But what next? That is the question. Mr Temer inherits an economy is crisis, with a corruption purge hanging over many in Congress, and a political system in broad disarray. Potentially adding to the instability, Ms Rousseff and her supporters have sworn to fight the decision to the last legal breath. (At the very least, their “it was a coup” narrative will buttress Workers Party militants in the opposition.) Mr Temer faces an unenviable task after a tumultuous week of convoluted constitutional procedure, and potentially momentous change.
Indeed, it was such a tumultuous week in Latin America that the news that Guido Mantega, Brazil’s former finance minister, may also be implicated in a corruption scandal almost went unnoticed. So, too, the arrest of Abdul Mohamed Waked Fares, a Panamanian tycoon who owned one of the country’s most respected newspapers, on charges that he ran a drug smuggling ring. Also what some Argentines mutter is the “JPMorganisation” of their country’s new government, now filled with former bankers.
And, more sadly, neglected is the continuing constitutional stand-off in Venezuela between the government and the opposition, which erupted on Wednesday in Caracas’ streets amid tear gas. Perhaps one day even Venezuela will have the institutional wherewithal to find a constitutional outcome to its impasse akin to Brazil’s. However controversial and convoluted Ms Rousseff’s impeachement process may be, it has at least followed due process and been largely peaceful.
Quote of the week
“This is all a symptom of a supreme crisis, a moral crisis. A new form of politics needs to be established . . . we need to turn the page” - Senator Fernando Collor, former Brazilian president, impeached for corruption in 1992.
Other views
Brazil is crying out for an IMF bailout.
The week in review
Demise of Brazilian leftism will reverberate across the Americas
Latin Americans no longer tolerate corruption as they once did
Temer vows to protect Petrobras probe
Brazil’s new leader in first speech since Rousseff suspension
Colombia and the ‘intelligent austerity’ of life after oil
President Santos tells investors that oil price decline has been ‘a blessing in disguise’
Brazil’s Workers’ party looks set for opposition
Ex-president Lula da Silva seen as party’s best hope of winning in 2018, despite Petrobas probe
Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff vows to fight impeachment
Vice-president Michel Temer becomes acting president after Senate votes for trial
The triple crises that face Brazil’s new leader
Temer as head of state is no national saviour but he can stabilise the country
Michel Temer prepares to take Brazil’s top seat from Dilma Rousseff
Six-month suspension from power for Dilma Rousseff after Senate vote
Argentina rekindles its relationship with Wall Street
Former bankers are well represented in government but concerns over their wider expertise remain
What is Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff accused of?
Senators declare intention to impeach Brazil’s president
EM millennials out-earn their elders
Young adults a favoured generation, unlike their peers in the west
Brazil impeachment proceedings back on track against Dilma Rousseff
Vote on removal of president set for Wednesday
Brazil speaker annuls impeachment vote
Real falls as expected removal of President Dilma Rousseff hits obstacle
2016 Olympics: not flying down to Rio
Unsold tickets are piling up as visitors stay away and the hosts can’t afford to buy them
Brazil’s new president will have a chance to steady the ship
Michel Temer’s first task is to win over investor confidence and stabilise the economy
Rousseff tours Brazil in final effort to stave off impeachment
President has been distributing her largesse around country
EM tourists go back to bricks and mortar
Online services lose appeal as consumers opt for face-to-face contact
Panama tycoon accused of laundering drug money
US Treasury agency says business empire passed narco profits through network of 68 companies
FT LatAm Viva features commentary by the FT's Latin America team and stories fromacross the FT.

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