São Paulo’s Charging Bull hasn’t had the desired impact

The Charging Bull statue in New York’s Financial District is something of a lucky charm to retail investors around the world. But São Paulo’s Touro de Ouro (Golden Bull), unveiled outside the city’s stock exchange this week, seems to be more of a cursed object. 

Designed by artist Rafael Brancatelli and celebrity investor Pablo Spyer, the five-meter-long statue has gathered much social media scorn since its unveiling. But that’s not all: on the Touro‘s first day standing proudly in São Paulo’s historic city center, the Ibovespa benchmark stock index dipped 1.82 percent. The next day, it slipped a further 1.39 percent, taking it to its lowest base level in over a year.

But beyond the unfortunate coincidence of statue and market performance, the Touro de Ouro has been far more significant to the Brazilian public for other reasons. Spiralling inflation and paltry economic prospects have drastically cut the purchasing power of families around the country, to the point that basic household products became prohibitively expensive. Among them, ironically, beef.

Beef prices have gone through the roof as of late, becoming roughly 20 percent higher on a 12-month comparison in October. However, at the peak of the price spiral in June, bovine meat was a whopping 38.17 percent more expensive than a year prior.

With hungry families on the streets of cities up and down Brazil, perhaps the last thing the population needs is a kitsch fiberglass imitation of an American symbol of capital wealth. What Brazilian families really need is more food on their tables.