Brazil: demonstrations crack but fizzle as middle class stays away

Why did large scale demonstrations, expected on Brazil’s independence day on September 7, fail to materialize? São Paulo saw small-scale and low key protests but the spark never seemed to light while Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia witnessed low volume, more aggressive protests.

It’s not as if previous demonstrations have goaded the government into substantive change. Rather, headlines have been dominated by fresh corruption scandals, in particular that of federal deputy Natan Donadon, convicted for syphoning off R$8.4 million. Congress failed to strip him of his mandate after an impassioned, if hardly credible, plea of innocence and Brazil is now witnessing an unseemly spat between lawmakers and politicians.

So, what put out the light? Partly, the middle classes stayed away, scared by possible violence and the shadowy Black Bloc. There is a cat and mouse game of radicalization. Protestors have resorted to stones and charges with police more liberally using tear gas and arrests. It is just unclear which side is driving the increasing violence in protests.

It is clearly a highly satisfactory outcome for Dilma Rousseff, who can dismiss the demonstrations as the work of unrepresentative and dangerous elements. Her popularity is already creeping up from lows polled in June. Is Brazil relapsing  into passivity or merely drawing breath?

About admin

I've been researching and writing on Brazilian financial markets, industry and economy since 2006 for a wide range of specialist media, consultancies and investors. Before that I spent over 10 years in London and New York writing for and editing magazines and journals dedicated to finance, investment and economics in developing markets, mostly for the Euromoney Institutional Investor group and Thomson Financial. Areas of coverage Below are samples of areas that I cover and some of the common themes that I investigate. Capital markets BM&FBovespa markets *capital raising trends: via equities (IPOs and secondary issuance), debt and loans *the asset management industry: legislation and coverage of the key hedge, pension and investment funds * corporate governance: how the regulator is seeking to strengthen best practice and limitations * debt markets: the nascent corporate markets, attempts to boost liquidity and new insturments. * private equity market: why this market has been so successful, who’s involved. *electronic, high frequency trading and alternative trading platforms: what does the future hold? Banking *credit: the growth of consumer and business credit and competition between banks and models *Public versus private: the role and market share of public and private sector banks and the politicization of the industry * internationalization: which Brazilian banks are expanding overseas and where * investment banking: the growth of the domestic market and who’s winning which mandates *regional banks and development banks: what role they play in the industry and how they compete Mining *licensing: the complex process of obtaining environmental, water, land and operating licenses at a state and federal level. * capacity: the feasibility and sustainability of capacity increases * financing: how miners are raising finance in Brazil and abroad *competition: the interplay Vale, MMX and junior miners *logistics: rail, road and port connections Oil and gas: the fund raising issues related to the massive of pre-salt (link) Multilatinas: Who are they and how and where they are expanding Meatpacking: Are debt burdens sustainable, what are the different business models for areas such as branding and distrbution Agriculture: How are farms consolidating, what are environmental risks, how can foreign investors be involved. IT and software: Can Brazil take on India and build a viable long-term IT industry? For more information on clients and work, please see the media and consultancy sections.
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