The noise from Brazil? An economy on the brink

Brazil Portal

Alberto Nardelli – The Guardian, 3/6/2015

The more you look at Brazil’s fundamentals, the more shaky the country looks. And we are not talking about the defensive prowess of David Luiz here. It is the country’s economic backline that risks tumbling down like a set of dominoes.

When a Latin American economy is in trouble a good place to start is its inflation rate. Brazil’s is today running at 7.5%. While this is nowhere near the 2,000-3,000% of the early 1990s, when the price of everything went up several times a week, it is far higher than the central bank’s mid-point target of 4.5%.

On Wednesday, in an effort to bring inflation down, Brazil’s central bank raised interest rates to 12.75%, a six-year high.

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The Study Room

Hello, everyone!

Writing 101 asks us to describe a public place without using adverbs. I tried (couldn’t stop using adverbs, but used the fewer I could). Here’s what I came up with:

I’ve been sitting here for  an hour. It’s a study room at the university, maybe one of those places that end up not accomplishing its duty: people here can not stop talking!

How can anyone study with this noise?

All I know is that I can’t. It disturbs my head.

I look around. The twelve tables across the room have a kind of modern design, they’re white, rectangular, surronded by six chairs each. There’s a large window right in front of me, but it is closed, because of (some) brazilians’ obsession with air conditioner. The other sides of the room show white painted walls, as most of our classrooms and libraries.

In particular, there’s a group of guys sitting around the table next to me. The all look the same: medium sized white guys, dark-haired, brown eyes, wearing T-shirts, shorts and sneakers. Why am I describing them? They stand out from the others because they are shouting  speaking and keeping me from doing what I need to do: study!

I am starting to feel angry. Let it go, Maria, let it go.

The room’s emptying, I notice and thank every sacred thing there is in our universe. I open up my notebook for the 100st time and try to read something. Anything. I start “Self Inductance calculations […]” but those guys interrupt me – again.

That’s it, I’m leaving.

Interference

***Fiction***

I’ve got no idea of what to do with this letter.

I was walking down the street, heading back to my place, when I saw this paper on the floor. As I am a very curious person, I looked down and read.

“Lena,

I still love you. I am so sorry I left, I was so mad. You have to understand… You understand, don’t you? Can I return home? I miss you so much!

J.”

Who’s J? Who’s Lena? Did she throw the letter away? Did J lose the letter? Why did he or she leave? I suddenly remember I am in a very crowded place, I must be looking kinda crazy. What should I do?

I look around. No one seems to care. In such a big city, problems like J’s seem small, almost insignificant, though it might be hurting him/her and Lena. The city never stops. But should I… interfere?

I decide to leave this task to destiny and move on.

National Loss

Writing 101 asks us to talk about loss. I decided to talk about a national loss.

“Mom, can you make a chocolate cake? We have to celebrate this game!”, I asked.

Of course I wasn’t sure Brazil was going to win that (soccer) match, but if there’s something 99% of all Brazilians have is hope. We hope a better future will come, when our economic troubles will be gone, when we will be appreciated and admired world wide, when our social issues will be gone. And we always hope we will win soccer matches.

Though some disagree and I respect that, soccer is an important part of our culture. Anywhere you go, from the cosmopolitan streets of Sao Paulo, to the small cities of Mato Grosso, to Rio Grande do Norte sand waves, you will find lots and lots of soccer fields. Whether they are huge like Maracana, or as small as you may imagine, they’re everywhere.

Soccer translates our passion.

During the World Cup, we surely had fun. We (or most of us) love watching soccer, even if it’s not Brazil who’s playing. But, when it is, and it’s the world cup, the whole nation stops. For 90 minutes, we feel like we’re all one heart beating together. So, you can imagine how it felt for us to be beaten by Germany from 7-1.

It hurt. It hurt deeply.

We knew we could lose. But never, in a million years, could I have guessed it’d be 7-1.

We just couldn’t believe our eyes. I felt like, out of nowhere, someone would appear on TV and say “Hey, guys, it’s just a joke. The real game starts in an hour.” But no, it was real.

It was one of those sad days in which you see Brazilians give up. Because when we give up, it’s serious.

I didn’t even finish my cake, you know.

I don’t blame the Germans. They played fair, they deserved to win.

But deep inside, I wanted to see Brazil win. I wanted to see my people happy, smiling. All of us, together. And, to honour my nationality, I say: I hope this day will come. It will come. It may not be from soccer, or whatever sport. I’ll see the day we all feel like the true winners we are.