Could Covid-19 spark a rebirth of Brazil’s development bank?

Brazil's National Development Bank has lain dormant for a few years. Will the coronavirus crisis bring it back to life?

Could Covid-19 spark a rebirth of Brazil's development bank?
Photo: Alina Bu Photo/Shutterstock

Over 68 years, the Brazilian National Development Bank (BNDES) established itself as the most important vessel for infrastructure funding in the country. The bank, however, has been under pressure since the 2014-2016 crisis — which coupled with accusations of political misuse of its funds. Now, amid a pandemic, the BNDES once again becomes instrumental, as one of the government’s main tools to foster investments that may mitigate the economic impacts of Covid-19.

Since the Michel Temer administration (2016-2018), the BNDES has been helping to fill the hole of Brazil’s public accounts by returning billions to the Treasury — an advance of...

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