Imagine the setting. A conference room full of senior politicians. “The tapes are bad”, one says. “A lot of stuff about bribes”. Another adds, “Yeah, and we’re polling in the single digits. Any lower and we’ll resemble Japanese interest rates”. A conference room deep in the bowels of the White House in Washington, DC? Nope. Brasilia, Brazil. The scope of the Brazilian scandal, called locally “Lava Jato” (Car Wash), is truly impressive. It may encompass two former presidents, the sitting president, the heads of both houses of Congress, ninety lawmakers and one third of President Temer’s cabinet. Twenty different political parties implicated in this scandal in which bribes paid allegedly amount to two billion dollars. But, despite the disorder caused by the corruption charges, President Temer is desperately trying to stabilize the wobbly Brazilian economy and get the government’s finances in order. One key measure: privatize a vast swath […]