Less than a year ago, Brazil’s Michel Temer compared then-Finance Minister Joaquim Levy to Jesus Christ. Now, Temer is acting president and his newly appointed finance minister is already being hailed as the economy’s potential savior. Investors may want to be wary.
Those who believe former central bank chief Henrique Meirelles is well positioned to help pull Brazil out of its worst recession in a century need only look back a year to realize the perils of putting too much trust in any one man. Levy took office in January 2015 amid confidence that he could fix Brazil’s economy. That didn’t work out, and the country’s dollar-denominated bonds lost 17 percent during his 11-month tenure, compared with an average 0.4 percent decline for emerging markets.