How markets came to see Brazil’s Fernando Haddad as an ally

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During a closed-door meeting with international investors in São Paulo in November last year, a Brazilian speaker described the main political scenarios for the coming year.

The good scenario included Henrique Meirelles or someone equally fiscally orthodox as Finance Minister. In this scenario, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva would govern as a centrist, just like he had during his first presidential term that began in 2003.

Last November, rumors abounded on Faria Lima (Brazil’s equivalent to Wall Street) that Lula would invite Mr. Meirelles to head the economy, a hope Mr. Meirelles himself seemed to share when he responded…

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