Richard Lapper

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São Paulo, Brazil, 30 October 2022. Photograph: Ricardo Moreira/Getty Images

The Workers’ party (PT) supporters were out in force last night in the centre of São Paulo, pretty much as they were 20 years ago when Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva first won the Brazilian presidency. Then, as now, convoys of celebrating Lula-supporting Petista drivers honked their horns, with their chanting, flag-waving passengers precariously hanging out of car windows.

That win – which followed three unsuccessful runs – was sweet. This victory – Lula’s third – is perhaps even more gratifying because the former trade union leader has come back from imprisonment, defied his political enemies and condemned his nemesis, Jair Bolsonaro, to defeat.…  Seguir leyendo »

Supporters of Jair Bolsonaro celebrate his election win in Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Getty Images.

Brazil, the world's eighth-largest economy and Latin America's biggest democracy, has shifted sharply to the right following the presidential election of Jair Bolsonaro, a controversial conservative legislator.

The election is hardly a surprise following Bolsonaro's strong showing in the first round on 7 October, but viewed over the longer term it is a huge shock. A year ago, it seemed the 63-year-old former army captain was just a maverick outsider who would quickly lose popularity as the wheels of the election campaign clicked into gear. Two questions loom large therefore. Why did Bolsonaro win? And what can be expected of his administration?…  Seguir leyendo »

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador greets supporters as election results come in on 1 July. Photo: Getty Images.

The landslide election victory this month of veteran left-winger Andrés Manuel López Obrador signals an important turning point for Mexico. López Obrador – or AMLO, as he is commonly known – is a very different kind of politician to the technocratic and market-friendly centrists who have governed the country since the 1980s, and who sealed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the US and Canada a quarter of a century ago.

An austere, grassroots campaigner for social reform from the poor southeastern state of Tabasco, AMLO was elected mayor of Mexico City in 2000 and previously stood for the presidency in 2006 and 2012, leading mass street protests against alleged but unproven fraud after his first defeat.…  Seguir leyendo »

Mauricio Macri at the launch ceremony for Argentina's G20 presidency in Buenos Aires. Photo: Getty Images.

The G20 played a clear and decisive role in coordinating the international response to the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009. In particular, the establishment in 2009 of the Financial Stability Board, a body that monitors the global financial system, helped shape post-crisis regulation. Decisions taken at a G20 summit to significantly increase the resources of the IMF buttressed financial stability and helped reinforce confidence.

As immediate financial crisis has eased, however, efforts to engineer faster growth or address the problems of global imbalances have been less successful. Successive summits zig-zagged about what was the most appropriate fiscal response, with the group in 2009 agreeing a commitment to relaxation only to reverse course the following year.…  Seguir leyendo »