The Colonized Advises the Colonizer on What to Do When You Go Broke

I’m catching up today, so no substantive post yet.

But in the meantime, I wanted to point to this AP piece, describing former Brazilian President Lula warning Portugal not to take the IMF bailout it’s about to be offered.

“The IMF won’t resolve Portugal’s problem, like it didn’t solve Brazil’s,” Silva said late Monday during a trip to Portugal. “Whenever the IMF tried to take care of countries’ debts, it created more problems than solutions.”

Meanwhile, current President Dilma Roussef has suggested that Brazil can help Portugal out of its mess.

Now, aside from the fact that I welcome people challenging the Euro bailouts, I think this is a bit of a notable moment. Much of the “developing” world has avoided the worst of the financial crash (though inflation is going to really hurt the poorest countries the most). And for a number of reasons, Brazil is particularly well positioned. I find it ironically symbolic.

  1. 1der says:

    They’ve already been robbed. And when the Bankster Gang is through pillaging the gated Developed World Community they’ll return.

  2. WilliamOckham says:

    This is historical irony at its greatest. I’m quite sure that Lula da Silva intended every bit of it.

  3. dustbunny44 says:

    At this point in history Brazil feels towards Portugal about as colonized as the United States in relation to England.
    But both of them are potential victims of the IMF.

  4. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Ironic symbolism aside, as WikiLeaks is an antidote to government-influenced major news media, Brazil helping its once colonial master would be a helpful antidote to the disaster capitalism the “first world” and its most powerful banks seem to practice regularly.

  5. eblair says:

    Economically, Brazil was more a colony of England than Portugal. Maybe when the England goes down the shitter, Lula and Roussef can make the same offer to England. That would be rich.

  6. JohnLopresti says:

    I have not followed Brazil or Lula news much. There are interesting profiles of that country*s ex-president at BBC and Irish Times. I thought he was the South American president famed for his singing voice. Evidently, his path into politics, eventually presidential politics after running several times, was as a trade union leader in origins, after a childhood which saw him gain literacy at age 10 in impoverished conditions. Mostly what I find written about Brazil has to do with logging, mineral extraction, and public works water management planning and oversight regulations; as that country is steward of some important heritage vegetation.

    I know someone who spent time in Iberia in an era before the socialists gained power in Portugal; the dictatorship in Spain at the time was very glad to observe intellectuals from Spain emigrating to Portugal for safe haven. Much later, I heard Portugal Telecom was an interestingly managed entity, during the early internet years.

  7. jdmckay0 says:

    It is a poignant moment/event, and I’m glad you pointed it out.

    Brazil and larger So. American economics went through IMF dictated boom/bust cycles for decades. And there results were just as Lula says (and you point out). When he was first (and unexpectedly) elected, the pronouncements of gloom/doom from CATO and all the usual suspects were pointed and direct: Lula means socialism, the bureaucracy will strangle “investment”, yada yada yada.

    Under Lula, Brazil did (politely) break w/IMF dictates, charted their own course. They very much reorganized, beginning from an out of balance reality not entirely unlike what Repub governors are doing right now… eg. promoting narrow focus on hugely funded industry’s political wishes under the guise of fiscal responsibility and such… a lie.

    Lula restored some “balance” (w/out getting comprehensive), and indeed reorganized so that far larger portion of Brazilians were considered… socially, economically, etc. etc. etc.

    Much of South America followed, to the point where now they have their own economic union functioning independently of IMF, World Bank and all the rest.

    They have succeeded… they are much better off then they were a decade ago. And, among other things, the global agreements they have forged… major trading partners, have swung heavily away from (especially) US influence.

    Things have changed, and US myopic financial media attention on our economy, measured and described by spreadsheets which manufacture profit/loss statements independent of underlying US economy… blows me away regularly how oblivious US is, as a whole, to all this.

    I think Lula is giving Portugal excellent advise. I think he’s walked his talk, and has creds in giving this advise. And I also think generally, with wave of ME populist uprisings largely fueled by smart, educated people so long constrained by the same forces Lula is both warning about and which he largely got out of the way in his homeland…

    Things are ‘a change’n on the blue planet.