Henrique Meirelles left the Ministry of Finance on April 6, eyeing the October presidential election. The tone of his last speech as a cabinet member left no doubt: he was speaking as a candidate. “I have always put myself at the service of the country, regardless of which party holds power […] My priority was always to get Brazil out of crises and back towards growth.”
Despite polling at a paltry 1 percent, Meirelles has entertained the idea of a presidential win that would be fueled by GDP growth and a lower inflation rate. “Feel-good factors will start showing up soon,” he says. That, in Meirelles’s calculations, would propel his name forward to join the ranks of viable candidates.
Unfortunately for him, those feel-good factors have yet to present themselves. The Brazilian Real has lost enormous value this month; oil prices have skyrocketed; and unemployment remains high, at 13.1 percent. The Brazilian economic recovery reminds, as Brazilians say, the flight of a chicken – it’s low and it doesn’t last for long.