Is there a human behind the mask?
On Oct. 28, Brazil's dramatic campaign season came to an equally dramatic end: Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right populist, won the runoff election to become the country's next president. Bolsonaro, a former Army officer, openly supports torture and dictatorships, has a history of making racist, misogynistic and homophobic comments, and has threatened to destroy, imprison or banish his political opponents. However, his praise of Brazil's former dictatorship and his comments on race, women and homosexuality have raised concern.
In one of his first television interviews since being elected on Sunday with almost 58mn votes, the former paratrooper, who is notorious for his inflammatory rhetoric, did little to suggest he would temper his discourse after taking power on January 1.
Together, these polices are a manifesto for violence and deforestation, and will hand the already powerful agribusiness lobby - the "Ruralistas" - a carte blanche to expand land grabbing at the expense of Brazil's most vulnerable people. However, Bosch's CEO in Brazil, Wolfram Anders, sees the positive stock market move as speculative, not sustainable. "If nearly 60 percent of Brazilians choose a candidate, then you have to respect this decision", said Mercedes-Benz Brazil President Philipp Schiemer. But more than two decades of UN-led efforts to curb the practice have largely failed, with Earth still losing a wooded area the size of Greece every year. It appears that working with Trump's administration equipped German managers to respond with optimism to however political tides turn - so long as the economy improves. Financial markets are expected to rally on Monday on Bolsonaro´s victory. Twitter users revolted, criticizing the lender for meddling in local politics, especially in favor of candidates wanting a military government.
As with the election of The Donald, many executives are saying Mr. Bolsonaro deserves a chance.
Bolsonaro's future chief-of-staff, Onyx Lorenzoni, said earlier that several current Cabinet positions will be merged into a single economy ministry, which will be led by economist Paulo Guedes.
Bolsonaro's victory moved Brazil, the world's fourth-largest democracy, sharply to the right after four consecutive elections in which candidates from the left-leaning Workers' Party won.
In a separate interview with Reuters, he said the president-elect would meet with Guedes and other members of his team on Tuesday.
Investors also cheered Bolsonaro´s ascent, relieved that he could keep the PT out of power and hopeful that he would carry out fiscal reforms proposed by his orthodox economic guru.
Investors, German or otherwise, now prefer Asia.