Chile offers a lessvolatile LatAm investment alternative; Venezuela pushes to force its presidentout of office; and one newspaper compares Dilma Rousseff's impeachment to thatof U.S. President Bill Clinton.
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The Miami Herald'seditorial board delves into the driving force behind the looming impeachment ofPresident Dilma Rousseff, one that it claims is reminiscent of former U.S.President Bill Clinton's incrimination 20 years ago. Albeit two very differentcircumstances — with Rousseff being tried for manipulating public finances andClinton indicted for inappropriate conduct — both have been brought about by a "politicalimpetus" from opponents striving for leverage, the newspaper argues. Thepublication, however, questions whether Rousseff's impeachment trial iswarranted, or if it will benefit the country and its citizens in the long-term,given that her charges are not corruption-related and the political system ofthe country is still pretty much mired with corruption scandals. With theimpeachment of "a weak and unpopular president" about to bring a "fortuitousdistraction" from the crimes of other politicians, the report recommendsgoing back to the basics of a democratic society, to "go after the crooks,and let voters decide the fate of incompetent politicians."
The Venezuelan opposition is staging a signature campaign toboot President Nicolás Maduro out of office as the country's economic crisisdrives its citizens to the brink of desperation, The Wall Street Journal reports. People have taken the streets,some even looting businesses and shattering car windows, to express their angeramid a growing food shortage and hours of programmed blackouts. Some considerthe signature petitions as the only democratic way to unseat Maduro, whom theysee as having turned a blind eye to their worsening predicament. However, theopposition is fighting an uphill battle to oust Maduro through a recallprocedure: 200,000 signatures are initially needed to pass the campaign to theelectoral council, while another 4 million are required to set off an actualrecall vote.
Eduardo Thomson of Bloomberg News brings the spotlight toChile, which is being recommended as a proxy for investors who would like toride the Latin American market wave but avoid the risk and volatilityassociated with other countries like Brazil and Peru. One upside for Chile isthat its companies source some of their revenues from those in Brazil, Peru andArgentina, countries that are posting strong index gains but are undergoingvolatility due to shifts in their political spectrum. Market optimism is highon the country, which is experiencing a capital revival after years of outflowsand having the least volatility in the region. "While Chile's gains aren'tnearly as impressive as Brazil's Ibovespa or Peru's General Index … itweathered last year's global emerging-market rout better," the reportnotes.
The decision of BancoCentral do Brasil to maintain its interest rates indicates that thecountry has no growth strategy for the future, Forbes argues in a report released prior to the central bank'sSelic rate announcement.The decision, Forbes contributorKenneth Rapoza argues, demonstrates that the Brazilian central bank is "hamstrungby both external factors and a political crisis run amok" and that "thecountry has no growth plan in the works for the foreseeable future." Whilethe central bank could bolster economic growth by cutting rates, it is facingpersistent inflation concerns and is too reliant on external forces to reallybenefit from cheaper credit, according to the report, which predicts that thecountry won't see any pro-growth measures come to pass until October, at theearliest. With the country riding some tumultuous political waves with DilmaRousseff's impeachment, it might be best for the central bank to wait out untilthe turmoil ends, Forbes asserts.