Communications Minister jokes about currency devaluation

Communications currency devaluation
Communications Minister Fábio Faria and President Jair Bolsonaro. Photo: Alan Santos/PR

In a leaked video, Communications Minister Fábio Faria — one of President Jair Bolsonaro’s closest advisors — is shown joking about how little the Brazilian currency is valued against the U.S. Dollar. Mr. Faria is seen impersonating a TV presenter who hosted Brazil’s version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” saying that “BRL 1 million isn’t worth anything” as of now.

In 2020, the Brazilian Real was one of the world’s worst-performing currencies, losing 30 percent of its value. Over the course of last year, the foreign exchange rate went from USD 1 : BRL 4.02 up to BRL 5.19. The currency has lost a combined 35 percent in value since the beginning of the Jair Bolsonaro presidency.

Economists blame the steep depreciation of the Real on doubts around the government’s fiscal solvency, the lack of progress in the reform agenda in Congress, international factors — but also to political noise, caused in large part by Mr. Bolsonaro’s constant jabs at democratic institutions.