Quarrel over social welfare policies leaves Brazil’s market rattled

Paulo Guedes must present a new draft of his cash-transfer program, while a rift between him and President Bolsonaro worries markets

electoral Quarrel over social welfare policies leaves Brazil's markets rattled
Photo: Studiostoks/Shutterstock

After publicly scolding Economy Minister Paulo Guedes earlier this week, President Jair Bolsonaro gave him until Friday to present a new version of ‘Renda Brasil’ — a federal cash-transfer program that would replace and expand the world-renowned Bolsa Família scheme. Mr. Guedes’ initial proposal — involving scrapping other social benefits in order to fund the new policy — was shot down by the president, who complained that he “wouldn’t take money from the poor to give it to the paupers.”

This provoked jitters in the market and Friday is set to be a rocky day for investors as the deadline...

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