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March 13, 2018 | Global Equity
A Turning Point in Brazil

Global Equity Strategist

Olga Bitel, partner, is a global strategist. She is responsible for economic research and analysis across all regions and sectors. She distills macroeconomic and geopolitical developments into actionable insights for global equity portfolios within a multifaceted strategic framework. In addition, she provides insights about cyclical turning points and structural trends as inputs into portfolio construction in predominantly bottom-up investment approaches. Before joining William Blair in 2009, Olga was a senior economist at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research in London, United Kingdom, where she produced macroeconomic forecasts for most Asian economies and led thematic research projects for some of the world’s best-known international organizations, including the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and the International Monetary Fund. Olga received a B.A. from the University of Chicago and an M.Sc. in economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Brazil has seen quite a bit of political turmoil over the past decade, and it has been heightened by more recent corruption. But the corruption scandal and the seemingly weak political structures that have historically inhibited growth in Brazil are turning.

Specifically, both elected members of congress and the current administration, however weak, are aligned in their desire to pass meaningful economic reforms prior to national elections, which are scheduled to take place in October.

President Michel Temer is not in the role to be a viable candidate in the next election; he is there to be a caretaker, pushing through the reforms that are necessary.

At the same time, the perils of economic mismanagement that the country has endured under previous administrations have been laid bare, so the current administration has incentive to move forward with reforms. Indeed, reform is the only reason the current administration is even in place.

Specifically, President Michel Temer is not in the role to be a viable candidate in the next election; he is there to be a caretaker, pushing through the reforms that are necessary to meaningfully bring down the structural rate of inflation, enable monetary policy interest rates to be cut significantly, and to ultimately enable economic growth to come through in time for October’s election.

It’s an interesting way to think about geopolitical alignments and risks and their impact on current and potential economic activity.

Global Equity Strategist

Olga Bitel, partner, is a global strategist. She is responsible for economic research and analysis across all regions and sectors. She distills macroeconomic and geopolitical developments into actionable insights for global equity portfolios within a multifaceted strategic framework. In addition, she provides insights about cyclical turning points and structural trends as inputs into portfolio construction in predominantly bottom-up investment approaches. Before joining William Blair in 2009, Olga was a senior economist at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research in London, United Kingdom, where she produced macroeconomic forecasts for most Asian economies and led thematic research projects for some of the world’s best-known international organizations, including the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and the International Monetary Fund. Olga received a B.A. from the University of Chicago and an M.Sc. in economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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