The Jair Bolsonaro administration may be going through a defining moment regarding its economic policy. Some of the president’s key advisers — including the government’s military wing — advocate for increasing public spending in order to offset the economic effects of the pandemic and kickstart the economy. This would include major infrastructure projects, as well as social policies — in a clear strategy to make Mr. Bolsonaro’s re-election in 2022 viable.
These advisers are clashing with the government’s pro-austerity branch, headed by Economy Minister Paulo Guedes. Since the 2018 campaign, Mr. Guedes has been the “guarantor” of Mr. Bolsonaro’s economic policy — the insurance that the government would guide itself through pro-market reforms, employing the utmost zeal to tame public spending.