Sep 1, 2004

Upheaval at Brazil's Central Bank
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva promoted Henrique Meirelles, president of Brazil's Central Bank, to the cabinet in August as the Brazilian media focused on Meirelles' personal finances and tax planning. Politicians and the media have called for an official inquiry into the former banker's financial affairs and demanded he be fired and sued for tax evasion; his new ministerial status means he can only go on trial before the Supreme Court. Millionaire Meirelles has won few friends in his unbending fight against inflation. He has held interest rates at a punishing 16% since April, and business leaders have accused him of slowing the country's recovery. Vice President José Alencar joined the fray, calling Brazil's interest rates "outlandish."

  Meirelles hired Rodrigo Azevedo, a US-educated economist at CSFB in São Paulo, as the Central Bank's new monetary policy...

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