Henrique Meirelles is one of Brazil’s most accomplished financial officials, a former president of BankBoston Corp. and President of the Central Bank during the country’s acclaimed period of growth and stability. But he will have to deliver fast to pull the nation out of its worst recession in a century and win back investor confidence.
Meirelles, who slashed inflation when he was central bank chief for most of last decade, was appointed finance minister on Thursday by Michel Temer, the man who became acting president after Dilma Rousseff was temporarily removed to face an impeachment trial. Having had a foot in several political parties, Meirelles is seen as someone who can build consensus in Congress for the kinds of spending cuts that analysts say are needed to tame the deficit, slow inflation and lure back investors.
“In many ways he is what Brazil needs,” said Edwin Gutierrez, head of emerging-market sovereign debt at Aberdeen Asset Management in London. “He is a politician, he knows how to work in Brasilia.”