Brazil’s Compounding Crisis / by Mark Langevin

By Mark S. Langevin, Ph.D,
Senior Research Fellow at the
Council on Hemispheric Affairs

Click here to read the full article on COHA's website.

Brazil’s crisis is compounding and threatens to drive the recession deeper and drain the political conditions for governability. The government’s capacity to respond to the recession and its fiscal crunch is nearly exhausted by the rush toward presidential impeachment and fueled by the Lava Jato (Car Wash) corruption investigation and prosecution.[1] Brazil’s coalitional presidentialism (presidencialismo de coalizao)[2] created a sturdy institutional and political foundation for public policymaking, but is now cracking from the weight of the economic downturn and the corruption scandal. President Dilma Rousseff may or may not serve out her second term (2015-2018), but Brazil’s multifarious crisis will likely outlast her one way or another. Most important, the crisis may damage Brazil in ways far surpassing the monetary losses attributed to the Petrobras “pay to play” kickback scheme that lies at the heart of the Lava Jato scandal.[3]