sexta-feira, 24 de outubro de 2014

The Economist: "A revolução do Cashmere" - Barões dos negócios e do sistema financeiro apoiam candidato da centro-direita

The cashmere revolution

The Economist

BUSINESS barons and financiers are not known for taking to the streets. Yet on October 22nd thousands turned out in the centre of São Paulo in support of Aécio Neves, the centre-right challenger to President Dilma Rousseff, of the left-wing Workers’ Party (PT), in a tight run-off election on October 26th. Together with spouses and children they sauntered down São Paulo’s Avenida Faria Lima, a thoroughfare conveniently located close to many of their offices.

It was a sight to behold—perhaps unprecedented in election history, and not just in Brazil. Besuited types with crisp, initialed shirts toting “Aécio” flags. Snazzily clad socialites, wrapped in pashminas to keep out the unseasonable chill, chanting anti-PT slogans. Everyone snapping selfies with pricey iPhones (most Brazilian rallies are cheaper Samsung affairs). The only thing missing from this “cashmere revolution” was champagne flutes—and Mr Neves himself, campaigning in his home state of Minas Gerais.

“Most of Brazilian GDP is here,” observed one private-equity boss with four Aécio stickers on his checked shirt, shortly after bumping into a pal from a big American technology firm. In that sense, the event played right into PT propaganda, which relentlessly paints Mr Neves as a pawn of the rich elite. On October 21st Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Ms Rousseff’s popular predecessor and political patron renowned for his earthiness, went so far as to compare Mr Neves’s Party of Brazilian Social Democracy (PSDB) to the Nazis for its apparent intolerance of the less advantaged. (Mr Neves had previously compared Ms Rousseff’s formidable marketers to Joseph Goebbels.)

The cashmere revolutionaries seemed unfazed. They are fed up with Ms Rousseff’s interventionism and what many see as irresponsible macroeconomic policies which have pushed Brazil into a rut of low growth and high inflation. Most are desperate to see the back of her and hope that their show of support will help tip the race in their market-friendlier candidate’s favour. On Faria Lima, the local boss of a European multinational (sporting a perfectly tailored suit, needless to say) conceded that the rally may lend ammunition to the PT. But, he added, “We are here to show what we think.”

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