By Jeffrey Goldfarb
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.
Few political developments in the last several months have been more binary than Brazil’s presidential election. It has been more polarized than the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, the Ebola scare, the U.S. Midterm elections, Ukraine and what-have-you.
Brazil's unemployment rate has been a mystery for months: a strike in the country's statistics agency, ironically enough, disrupted its main job market survey. The numbers will finally come out in a few hours, less than two weeks before a tight presidential election, and will help voters understand just how bad the recently-confirmed recession has been.
The idea of increased political risk when it comes to the U.S. markets has been mined before, and it’s true that the uncertainty that surrounds debates such as the renewal of the Export-Import Bank’s charter and the growing expectation that Republicans, should they take power in November in the Senate, could force another confrontation over the debt ceiling. That said, political risk in the U.S. isn’t anything when compared with Brazil as the largest South American economy gears up for its presidential election, a contest between current president Dilma Rousseff and environmentalist Marina Silva, who until last month wasn’t even running (she was the vice presidential candidate for her party, whose original candidate was killed in a plane crash).
By Fiona Maharg-Bravo and Neil Unmack