Predictions and Evaluations – 2017 and 2018

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Predicting the year ahead and then evaluating how precise my forecasts were last year always gives me pleasure, even if it’s a bit perverse.

Last year, I posted in January, “2017-Predictions for Brazil –Happy New Year???”(https://allabroadconsulting.wordpress.com/2017/01/04/2017-predictions-for-brazil-happy-new-year/)

My best prediction for 2017 was that Temer could be removed from office because of his lack of legitimacy and unpopularity.  However, I said that people would have to take to the streets for this to happen. Indeed, Temer could have and probably should have lost his job with the JBS recording and the bag full of money carried by his lackeys.  But it did not happen because no one pounded on pans or took to the street.  Certainly people were and are generally disgusted but prefer not to spend the energy mobilizing, marching and chanting.  Dilma fell partially because of the pressure from the street, but Temer remains because he proved a better politician in that he was able to bend a venal Congress to his will through favors and offers of protection.  And the population just looked on and essentially said “Ok, there is nothing more we can do.”

I also mentioned the mayors that took office in January of last year.  Noting that while they (especially Doria in Sao Paulo and Crivella in Rio), played populist politics to get elected and tried to represent something new, neither was successful.  Doria, after initially pursuing a presidential hope, has become more modest in his aspirations.  Crivella has almost dropped out of sight and the Cariocas are only sometimes complaining about his absence.  In other words, “Who cares?”.

It was easy to be skeptical about progress in Brazil in 2017. And indeed it was another of those years that as you put them together lead to a lost decade.  Certainly the lack of political mobilization was uninspiring. It was sad to see Congressmen vote to absolve and protect themselves.  On a less pessimistic note, the economy stopped moving backward and showed minor signs of recovery where negative cycles eventually end.  TheTemer government boasted about low inflation and the lowest real interest rates ever.  With the end of the depression, foreign capital continued to flow into Brazil seeking deals in oil, gas, and alternative energy, especially wind.  While Brazilians lack the will to invest, foreigners with a long view and a sense of opportunity are taking chances given the capital made available by the generally positive world economic scene.  Investment capital is out there and seeking attractive and profitable projects.

A year ago, I concluded my iffy thoughts on people feeling empowered to make a difference.  It didn’t happen.  In 2018, the people will vote.  There will be winners and losers, so in this light, let me make 10 predictions.

Here we go:

  1. Lula will not win the presidency either because he will be condemned in his appeal or he will lose outright to a more centrist politician.
  2. Barring a health issue, Temer will finish his term and seek to define his successor and his party and the PMDB will continue to have weighty and oligarchic influence.
  3. The economy will grow in 2018 between 1 and 2 percent. This is less than the consensus prediction by Brazil’s central bank.  Poor but an improvement.
  4. There will be little renewal in Congress. While Brazilians claim to hate their politicians, they are re-elected and the campaign finance/electoral reform passed in 2017 favors those currently in elected positions.  Furthermore, pension reform will be kicked down the road to 2019.
  5. Inflation will pick up with money being spent to influence the election as well as kitchen gas, gasoline, electricity and health costs all running ahead of official inflation numbers.
  6. The Selic interest rate will once again go to 8% or more from the current record lows.
  7. Brazil will continue to be a country at war with itself. There will be over 60 thousand homicides and another similar number of traffic deaths.
  8. The World Cup in Russia will be a great distraction and Brazil will finish in the top 4 but will fall short of winning the Cup for the sixth time.
  9. The military will not intervene and Bolsonaro’s presidential candidacy will fail. Alternative candidates such as Joaquim Barbosa, Marina Silva, Henique Meirelles, Ciro Gomes, Luciano Hulk or Joao Doria will also fizzle.
  10. Geraldo Alckmin of Sao Paulo will win the presidency much to everyone’s consternation.

As predictions go, at least these are measurable and verifiable.

Happy 2018 e para o Brasil Happy 2019 que 18 será mais um ano perdido.

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2017 – 10 Constrangimentos e 1 Orgulho

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Para o Brasil, 2017 foi mais um ano de constrangimentos.  Aqui vai 10 e com certeza a lista pode crescer.

1- Constrangimento no executivo. O Presidente Temer não tem legitimidade.  Ele, de fato, ajudou a desconstruir alguma solidez institucional com sua participação na saída da Dilma.  Há justificativas mais obvias para seu próprio impeachment, mas ele vem conseguindo ficar no poder sabendo como manipular votos no Congresso e apoiado na realidade que não tem uma alternativa real.  Além disso não existe uma mobilização popular contra apesar de ninguém apoia lo.

2 – Constrangimento na economia. Os governos estaduais e municipais não têm recursos para investimentos e em casos como Rio de Janeiro e outros estados nem para quitar a folha de pagamento.  Os funcionários estão a mingua.  O governo federal não tem como socorrer que também está falido.  Temer e Meirelles propagam a recuperação e o controle da inflação, mas gás, gasolina, saúde e taxas escolares não refletem o que o governo divulga.

3 – Constrangimento das reformas. Basicamente todos admitem que o pais precisa, mas não há consistência ou coerência.  A complexidade e o alcance das transformações são mal compreendidos e o debate acaba simplificada nas posturas de direita e esquerda.  Este e o caso da reforma previdenciária e da reforma trabalhista.

4 – Constrangimento da justiça.  Ate 2016, a Lava Jato e o Dr. Sergio Moro eram motivos de alivio por processar poderosos pela primeira vez.  Contudo, a Lava Jato vem sendo esvaziado pela falta de julgamento de políticos (principalmente que não sejam do PT e por manobras como as do Ministro Gilmar Mendes e outros.  Ao mesmo tempos, o Ministério Publico quando defende seus privilégios especiais, acaba se revelando incapaz de dar um exemplo de desprendimento.

5 – Constrangimento no Congresso. Os parlamentares não transmitem a impressão de honestidade.  Ao contrario, são praticamente todos suspeitos e muitos sob investigação.  Seus votos são em defesa própria e de interesses muito restritos.  Seus votos são comprados abertamente com cargos, comissões e dinheiro vivo.

6 – Constrangimento do povo. A população assiste atônita ou de verdade bestializada.  As manifestações de rua que afloraram em 2013 não existem mais.  O povo esta cansado e cínico fazendo o julgamento que não vale a pena participar marchando ou batendo panelas.  A saída da Dilma não resultou em nenhuma melhoria.  Ao contrario, todo o sistema institucional ficou ainda mais desacreditado.

7 – Constrangimento da violência: O Brasileiro tem medo de sair de casa e tem medo de ficar. Vive enjaulado cercado de arame farpado, câmeras de segurança, e trancada a múltiplas chaves.  As taxas de homicídios e latrocínios são dos mais elevados do mundo.  E ainda há mais de 50 mil mortes anuais no transito.

8 – Constrangimento nas artes. Na década de 60, o Brasil tinha razoável projeção internacional com bossa nova, musica clássica, arquitetura e até no cinema.  Hoje, Anitta que veio da igreja e acabou encontrando o rebolado sertanejo, caiu no agrado popular.  É constrangedor, mas não tanto quanto a provocação e reação com relação as exposições misturando ataques a religião, suposta incentivo à pedofilia e outras atividades “avant-garde”.  A TV por sua vez continua “politicamente correto” “patrocinando” LBGT, mulheres oprimidas e minorias ignorando ou apenas enfeitando a dura realidade que muitos sofrem.

9 – Constrangimento com o Brasil: Em 2009 e 2010, muitos brasileiros expatriados resolveram voltar para a terra. A alegria durou pouco.  O pais não oferece oportunidades para os seus e assim há outra vez grande migração para Portugal, outros países europeus, Austrália e ate os EUA apesar da politica anti-imigrante do Trump.  Enfim a decepção e grande.

10 – Constrangimento das “cabeças pensantes”. Era uma vez que a intelectualidade brasileira tinha ideias vivas e projetos que poderiam transformar instituições. Minha geração pelo menos tinha o projeto de combate a ditadura.  Hoje as universidades estão em crise, sem verba, sujeitas as invasões.  O debate em torno da economia e da construção institucional é frustração e reclamação só.  Ideias e projetos para melhorar o sistema politico estão engavetados.  Há apenas uma vaga sensação da necessidade de chegar as eleições de 2018 e empurrar as coisas com a barriga.  Melhor isso do que aceitar um “salvador da pátria. “

E agora, o orgulho: Há ainda pessoas bonitas, integras, alegres, trabalhadores, estudando, e procurando de forma decente uma vida digna.  O sol se levanta diariamente numa terra rica, privilegiada e bonita por natureza.

 

Christmas – 2017

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 Photo: Estado de Minas, Dec. 12, 2017

Make a resolution to enjoy the holidays.  A lot of people complain about the consumerism, the false sense of obligation, the forced camaraderie and the need to be “whatever”.   And, you know, they are right.  Nevertheless, individually, we can be sincere, develop meaning, create understanding, express solidarity and just be friendly, kind and sympathetic without being maudlin or without being pretentious.

Celebrate with family, with loved ones, with friends and if you have none of these, then celebrate with others by giving of yourself and not worrying about perceptions and consequences.

Those of us who are in the United States, we have to recognize the materiality and wealth existent here.  No doubt, we have certain advantages because of the wealth, but being cognizant of this fact, there is no need for pride and pomp.  Those of us in Mexico and Brazil and other parts of the world know that our relative lack of material wealth actually brings us closer together.  Our circumstances almost force an extended network of interdependence, which, in the end, favors our recognition of others and our own humanity.  The greater unpredictability of life in the lesser-developed world makes us rely more on God and each other with somewhat greater sincerity.

Even as we turn the last page of the 2014 calendar, we look to an opportunity for renewal, hope, optimism and to facing challenges and obstacles as we begin a new story or continue a storyline already in progress but not yet quite finished.  We can write new pages in our lives and the Christmas period.  The ongoing and renewed chances of family, friend and person-to-person contact provide inspiration and a new start.

Think about the message you are sending.  What do others read, feel and see in your presence?  Think about what is really meaningful and what you want to project.  Think about where you want to go from here.  Take into account the people that you have in your journey and those you want to include as significant parts of your narrative.  Reach out and make the effort who you are and who you want to be.  Do it with your feelings, your words, your art, your music and the look on your face.

Birth, a new start, new settings, new gifts, new opportunities, renewed efforts and ongoing experiences and traditions come together nicely at this time of year.  Make the most of these even if it takes some effort on your part.

Happy and healthy days, reasonable expectations, fulfilled hopes, new challenges and enhanced solidarity are my wishes for the season.

Institute of the Americas: Rio Roundtable on Gas and Energy in Brazil – Disruption in a Disruptive Setting

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The Institute of the Americas held a high-level meeting on Nov. 8, 2017 in Rio de Janeiro to discuss Brazil’s energy sector with a focus on gas as a “disruptor”. Brazil’s offshore pre-salt production has been well publicized and Brazil currently surpasses Venezuela in oil supply. The gas sector, on the other hand, has not received as much attention. It represents a new resource for Brazil’s energy matrix and Brazil’s growing role in the global energy market.

Natural gas as a disruptor links closely to oil production in Brazil’s offshore fields. Officials are increasingly recognizing the need for more market friendly policies in line with the international oil industry. In essence, the policy direction is to open the fields to international investment requirements, promote competition and reduce state intervention. Petrobras, the national oil company, will continue to participate and own production. But Brazil’s oil and gas sector will increasingly be partnering with private companies for the exploration, production and distribution of gas and oil. This shift has attracted attention to the renewed rounds of oil and gas field auctions.

Decio Oddone, Director of Brazil’s Petroleum Regulatory Agency (ANP), summarized the current state of gas production from the Presalt formation. Almost 80 percent of the 114 million cubic meters of gas produced a day comes from off-shore wells. Currently, a substantial percentage of this production is reinjected, burned off or not used due to insufficient pipelines and infrastructure to bring the gas to the market. The objective of the “Gas for Growth” program is to radically change this scenario by making the product available at a competitive price. According to ANP, Brazil has over 600 billion cubic meters of gas in proven reserves with probably over twice as much in as-yet-to-be explored fields. Brazil has abundant energy, which can be used effectively in the midterm given sufficient investment and adequate management.

The production and market challenges include ramping up production to reduce unit costs, improving delivery infrastructure and reducing the marketing strictures. Currently Bolivia is Brazil’s main source of natural gas with sporadic imports from other countries on the spot market. James Story, the United State Consul General in Rio, noted in his presentation that the US has exported LNG to Brazil six times during the past year.

Brazil expects to develop a new gas market through a step-by-step process that has already started. It should be completed within the next 4 to 5 years.

Melissa Mathias of ANP listed these major steps:

  • Implementation of best international practices
  • Attract investors
  • Recruit a wider range of participants and agents
  • Promote access to information and a dynamic investment environment
  • Participate with those now in the sector
  • Promote and open up competition in the supply of natural gas
  • Adhere to contracts

Looking at the production and supply chain, the movement is away from the state monopoly held by Petrobras. Petrobras has overseen production, transportation, distribution and price regulation for the wholesale market. Brazil’s oil and gas industry will eventually provide access to other companies at all levels from production to delivery to the end user.

The proposed liberalization represents a major shift in the ongoing evolution of Petrobras and Brazil’s strategy.   Presently, there are only 3 LNG terminals located in Pecem (north/northeast), Salvador (northeast) and Sao Paulo (southeast). Some 9409 kilometers of gas pipelines are currently tightly regulated by ANP and Petrobras. The new proposal would open this system of storage and transportation and attract investment funds for new infrastructure. Companies would compete in a more transparent market. This will certainly include major building of infrastructure for production, storage, transportation and end user delivery with an increasing focus on electricity from gas.

“Gas to wire” is becoming more important for electricity generation. As is well known, Brazil’s power costs are among the highest in the world even though hydroelectric plants generate more than 70% of the nation’s electricity. However, draughts, changing weather patterns, increasing demand and frequent fluctuations in hydroelectric supply open an immense field for gas and other alternative forms of energy.

Additionally, there is consensus among all productive sectors that “custo Brasil” has created an unacceptable drag on economic growth. Thus, “Gas for Growth” should help Brazil recoup industrial production and advance in the global market, through deregulation, opening and making competitive an underused energy source.

Nearly all of the 20-plus speakers at Institute of Americas’ Rio event were positive about Brazil’s economic and energy outlook. Statements ranged from Brazil being “back on track” to “making up for lost time.” Many were also optimistic about the enthusiastic participation of major oil producing companies in the recent rounds of auctions. Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total, Sinopec and others paid significant premiums for exploration rights. On the other hand, several speakers brought a dose of moderation to the proceedings. Concerns included the need to view gas as closely tied to oil production. There has long been a standing nationalistic view that Petrobras to safeguard Brazil’s oil. This “oil is ours” (O petroleo é nosso) mentality could thwart efforts to open up Brazil’s oil and gas sectors to others. There’s also worry about exactly how Brazil will open up its oil and gas sectors. Brazil is notorious for promoting policies that later get bogged down in execution. Much of this is due to preexisting laws and regulations that inhibit the movement of enterprise and the factors of production. For example, even as ANP has promoted the opening and competition of these sectors, it has also controlled and intervened, possibly defeating its own best intentions. Mauro Storino from Fitch, a rating agency, spoke of an important topic for financial markets. Brazil’s fiscal crisis has led to the loss of investment grade status. Further downgrades could come if Brazil fails to implement major spending reforms. Given that 2018 brings a presidential and general election, politicians are wont to give up their strong hold on Brazil’s pork barrel projects. This likely will make international financing for the gas sector more competitive and harder to achieve.

At the end of the day, knowledgeable people recognize the many contradiction inherent in Brazil’s erratic modernization. Certain sectors lead and then lag. Petrobras for instance is at the forefront in the development of deep-sea oil exploration and production. At the same time that the company developed this technology, it also almost succumbed to the most rampant and extensive multi billion dollar corruption scandal in history. Brazil’s has had two presidents in the last four years. Dilma Rousseff fell, officially, for fairly minor but illegal budget maneuvers. In reality she was brought down by her own political incompetence and radicalism. Her successor, Michel Temer, is a better and more experienced political manager. But he and his administration are much more deeply tainted by outright thievery, favoritism and connivance among a small yet dominant group of elite politicians. Even so, Temer has received some business backing because of his willingness to at least battle to reform the archaic labor code and the highly unequal social security system. The system protects a caste of public sector employees who enjoy benefits totally out of proportion with the vast majority of the private sector. Such are the contradictions in the system.

Many of the fiscal problems will be pushed onto the next administration. The smart money seems to favor a center right successor to Temer. Meanwhile, Lula, the popular, populist leftist former president, awaits a chance to run for president again. This will depend on the success of his appeal to corruption-related charges.

In Brazil, there can be significant uncoupling of political and economic activities. Today, for example, the agricultural sector is thriving and driving Brazil in spite of the general economic malaise. Petrobras and the oil and gas sector also seem to have uncoupled and it is likely that a market friendly outlook in the sector will prevail even if a left leaning candidate wins the election. Once in power, politicians act pragmatically in following the money. Also, given the oil sector’s recent past of malfeasance, there is a strong inclination that the company has survived the poison. However, like a recovering alcoholic, there is a chance that it might fall off the wagon, but the pressure for sobriety is strong.

Gas for growth can be a disruptor but it remains to be seen if Brazil’s disruptive politics will prevail and inhibit progress.

 

Here is the link to the program with a list of the speakers and as well as access to presentations: https://www.iamericas.org/en/events-sp-1138149363/2299-brazil-energy-roundtable-gas-power-and-disruptors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Optimism (in California) about Brazil: A Paradox – BayBrazil and 4th US-Brazil Innovation Summit

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Margarise Correa and Innovative Friends at BayBrazil Annual Conference Sept. 21, 2017 Photo by author.

 

While President Temer says Brazil is turning the corner and as Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles jockeys for a possible run for President in 2018 bragging in international meetings that Brazil has its lowest inflation in years and the economy is starting to grow after almost 3 straight years of recession. Indeed, the Brazilian BOVESPA is at record highs and the international investment community is beginning to see opportunity all over. With a broken economy, there are attractive valuations and the post-PT government is breaking down the national populist restrictions on oil and other natural resources. Still on the ground, things are bleak. Unemployment has barely budged. The state has resources only for political bargaining to guarantee that Temer finishes his mandate and all social and economic projects that were suppose to help the less fortunate have lost resources or are being dismantled.

In this scenario, it is curious and a bit paradoxical to partake in events that reflect favorably and show optimism for Brazil. I have attended all but one of the Bay Brazil Conferences that have been held in Silicon Valley over the past six years. Margarise Correa, the founder and catalyst for many a Brazil-Silicon Valley connection, and her staff, consistently put together an excellent event with an A list of speakers that always have strong and sometimes surprising connections to Brazil. Many are aware that Facebook’s Eduardo Saverin is from Brazil, but did you know Instagram founder Michael Krieger also grew up in Sao Paulo? This year’s speaker lineup was not an exception, as can be seen from the program: http://www.baybrazilconference.org/#agenda

Silicon Valley nests venture capital and while Brazil is always a challenge, VC firms seek talent, innovation, entrepreneurship and marketing that will lead to profits. In this search, there is no correlation between growth of GDP, political stability, and democracy and VC investment. So Brazil’s macro level crisis is of little import and money will flow where investors find a deal no matter the political economic situation.   This year’s event once again showed deals in Brazil and a growing maturity of Brazil’s VC environment. Since the early 2000’s, Brazil has completed numerous cycles of VC funding and the infrastructure for VC investment is favorable. We find a thriving VC community, accelerators, service providers, mentorship organizations, cloud services, corporate support and perhaps most important investors and success stories.

Fintech (High Tech Finance) was this year’s standout sector at Bay Brazil. The basic idea behind FINTECH is that the Brazilian banking and financial market while powerful; it is also replete with inefficiencies and therefore ripe for challenges and changes. The sector is notoriously concentrated and even oligopolistic with high spreads on some of the world’s highest interest rate and outstanding profit margins. The Fintech sector recognizes inefficiencies in the banks and is entering the sector offering major reductions in the cost of credit or funds by taking advantage of the Internet, reliable databases, robust platforms and the ability to evaluate potential clients in an expedited fashion that banks cannot match. Fintechs have found a niche in Brazil (reportedly the world’s second largest lending market) by offering money at a much lower cost and more quickly than the banks. The bank reaction has involved stages ranging from rejection, awareness, engagement, and finally collaboration and acquisition. Along this line, it is perhaps worthwhile to note that Christine LaGarde, the IMF General Director, recently questioned the future of banks with the emergence of electronic currencies and fintech endeavors. So Brazilian banks need to be aware that they also face the tech redefinition that has hit many other industries, i.e. hotels, taxis, travel agencies, newspapers, books and manufacturing, etc.

Bay Brazil and Silicon Valley thrive on innovation and by rare coincidence, the US based Council on Competiveness together with Brazil’s Confederacao Nacional de Industria and the University of California San Diego held their 4th US-Brazil Innovation Summit in San Diego. (www.compete.org/programs/compete-global/26-us-brazil-summit)

Inevitably, there was overlap between the two events. The Innovation Summit like BayBrazil emphasized the positive synergy between Brazil and the USA at government, institutional, entrepreneurial and individual levels. Like BayBrazil, the Innovation Summit served to catalyze interactions between innovators, entrepreneurs and the business of making products for national and international markets. Both forums provided excellent opportunities for sharing ideas and showing positive initiatives, incentives and exchanges in both countries. The forums projected positive developments in the Brazilian economy in spite of the political economic crisis and lack of governmental legitimacy in the eyes of the population.

The optimism and, at times boosterish nature inherent in business events seemed a bit as we might say in Brazil “fora da realidade” or “too good to be true.” While promotion can be healthy it is also a bit illogical given all the negativity and pessimism that surrounds anything governmental and business in today’s Brazil. At Bay Brazil, I raised the question of crime, corruption and complacency affecting Brazil’s development. The optimistic response was that corruption was being addressed through the ongoing and unique progress in the Lava Jato investigations. The Federal Police have been strengthened and, different from the past, bureaucrats and businessmen have been arrested and convicted. On the other hand, shoulders shrugged at the mention of complacency, perhaps indicating that Brazilians continue to be content in a land blessed by sun, beaches and beauty and thus able to shrug off the evils of underdevelopment and even a possible return to the authoritarianism that characterized Brazil’s military governments between 1964 and 1985. In spite of optimism and corners to be turned, Brazil must still face the question as to the correlation between effective democracy, citizen participation and balanced economic development for all. Another question is the role innovation and venture capital will play in this process.DKQ0w8-VwAErJaw

Participants at 4th Annual US-Brazil Innovation Summit, San Diego, CA, Sept. 21, 2017. Photo from Twitter @chadevans1019

 

 

Esgoto e Corrupção: Rotina do Brasil

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No dia a dia da política, esta difícil ver alguma solução para o Brasil. Ha uma forte tendência para fuga, alienação e desespero. Parece que falta iniciativa em todos os níveis. Convive se diariamente com alto custo de vida, falta de segurança, tiros, assaltos, falta de saúde, educação e saneamento. E os problemas não são de hoje mas são perenes e parecem que estão agravando pela falta dos recursos que foram drenados pela corrupção e má administração. Os centros de excelência de todo tipo encolheram.

Ha um paralelo entre corrupção e esgoto. Mais do que 50% da população não tem conexão a rede de esgoto e as águas usadas e os detritos poluem todos os cursos de água desde a Bahia da Guanabara ate as praias de Salvador e ainda passando pelo Rios Tiete e Arrudas em São Paulo e Belo Horizonte. Todas as obras por onde vazou dinheiro foram superfaturadas numa proporção também inaceitável. Assim ha uma ineficiência esmagadora na administração publica.

Embora o Brasil tenha resolvido o problema da fome, o pais nunca abordou com seriedade a questão do esgoto.   Sabe-se, ha muito, da necessidade de uma solução para os resíduos, da mesma forma que ha um clamor para o fim da corrupção. O problema e a desconexão entre a esfera de política, políticas publicas e a sociedade civil. O Congresso é corrupto, o estado quebrado, não há recursos para execução de obras básicas e a sociedade esta acomodada.

No Brasil, normalmente o sentimento esta sempre oscilando entre a tristeza / resignação e euforia / carnaval. A descoberta do pré-sal junto com o futebol da Copa e a conquista das Olimpíadas gerou um período de folia e ao mesmo tempo arrebentou os limites da corrupção. Na farra da expectativa da jorra do dinheiro, esqueceu se do básico da limpeza e saneamento. E com tempo a corrupção manchou a imagem do Brasil da mesma forma que as praias, as ruas e ruelas são sujas, emporcalhadas pelas fezes e detritos.

Um efeito, talvez inesperado, da redução da fome foi o aumento da obesidade. O Brasil corrompeu os corpos com a fast food industrializada da mesma forma que a industrialização da corrupção atacou o corpo do estado. As instituições já sujeitas a pressão e lógica de grandes grupos midiáticos, industriais e financeiros acabaram sucumbindo e, como disse um ex governador baiano, se lambuzaram no mel ou na fatura que se antecipava.

O que existe hoje é o povo gordo mas mal nutrido, mal educado e sem ter onde canalizar o que evacua dos excessos. Enquanto a Lava-Jato procura sanear o sistema de evasão de dinheiro, os de abaixo continuam sem segurança, sem escola e sem saneamento. Enfim, as “cagadas” continuam.

Em principio, as soluções nestas três áreas são aparentes e factíveis, mas enquanto o pais oscila entre o “não adianta” e as “coisas estão ótimas”, ninguém clama pelas nem por esgoto, escola ou polícia. As escolas publicas são abandonadas, os professores tem baixa remuneração, isto é, quando recebem e quem pode manda os filhos para a rede privada? A segurança não existe a não ser no setor privado, com alarmes, grades, cercas e “body-guards.” O que o corpo elimina continua descendo as ladeiras e chega medonho no asfalto. O Congresso por sua vez se protege e finge que o problema não é com eles. O povo sem instrução, por sua vez continua, elegendo aqueles mesmos que tem nome ou que “aparecem” na TV como do “povo” ou como os salvadores da pátria.

Talvez, algum sucesso na limpeza do mundo corporativo, as estatais, e na política poderá servir de exemplo para a limpeza sanitária. Dai, quem sabe os condenados por atos de formação de quadrilha, evasão de rendas, e roubo do dinheiro publico poderão ser condenados a prestar serviços públicos na construção e canalização daquilo que comeram e que conseqüentemente evacuaram em excesso. Não seria exemplar o ex-governador do Rio trabalhando de “picareta” ou um Senador ladrão cavando uma fossa?

Seja como for, enquanto os problemas institucionais fundamentais não são resolvidos talvez com uma nova safra de políticos e uma nova postura de seriedade e zelo pelo bem publico, o país continuará nadando literalmente no esgoto e na corrupção em que se encontra atualmente. Acorda, Brasil!

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