Opinion

Brazil’s economy policy team should go back to playing defense

Economy Minister Paulo Guedes is seeking to launch a spending charge ahead of the 2022 election, but a series of blunders has left Brazil's goal wide open

Economy Minister Paulo Guedes during an event, in Brasília. Photo: Pedro Ladeira/Folhapress
Economy Minister Paulo Guedes during an event, in Brasília. Photo: Pedro Ladeira/Folhapress

In a country traditionally obsessed with “the beautiful game,” Brazil’s economic analysts frequently compare the Economy Minister’s role in the government to that of a goalkeeper in a football team. Even the best goalie in the world isn’t expected to score goals, but they are there to prevent opponents from scoring and defending against potentially embarrassing own goals.

The net, in this analogy, is the government budget and Brazil’s fiscal health. It is up to the Economy Minister to make sure that the endless list of politicians’ spending demands complies with existing budget laws, tax revenue estimates, and the...

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