Lula chooses Barbosa, Persio, Lara Resende and Mello to steer the transition within the financial system
President-elect divides coordination between economists with a liberal background and PT representatives
President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) defined that the command of his transition team in the economic area should be with Persio Arida, André Lara Resende, Nelson Barbosa and Guilherme Mello.
The information, anticipated by the Sheetwas confirmed this Tuesday afternoon (8) by the vice president-elect, Geraldo Alckmin (PSB), at a press conference.
With this, Lula opts for a division of the area between two economists with a liberal background (Arida and Resende, although the latter has changed his economic thinking in recent years) and two direct representatives of the party (Barbosa and Mello), who defend the flexibility of certain rules, such as the spending cap, to meet mainly social demands.
Alckmin also said that former finance minister Guido Mantega should also be part of the transition. “Your experience, your participation is very important,” he said.
Arida was even mentioned among the names considered to take over the Ministry of Economy – which should be divided, with the recreation of the Ministry of Finance. He is close to Geraldo Alckmin (PSB), vice president-elect and transition coordinator.
The economist is one of the fathers of the Real Plan, which ended the hyperinflation scenario in the 1990s, during the transition of the Itamar Franco (1992-1994) and Fernando Henrique Cardoso (1995-2002) governments. He declared his vote for Lula in the second round.
An economist with a degree from USP (University of São Paulo), Arida was president of the BNDES and the Central Bank during the Fernando Henrique Cardoso administration — a period in which the Real was consolidated.
Resende, another member of the team of Real’s father who supported Lula, should not have a management position. He may be appointed to represent Brazil in an international body, such as the World Bank or the IMF (International Monetary Fund), or act as a public policy maker.
Barbosa, in turn, was Minister of Finance and Minister of Planning in the government of Dilma Rousseff (2010-2016). He should be a relevant voice, especially in the debate on the fiscal rule to replace the spending ceiling, as his defense of an expenditure target has gained relevance in PT debates recently. Barbosa is also a columnist for Sheet🇧🇷
Mello is the only one who has no experience from previous governments. In the 2022 campaign, he was responsible for being the party’s spokesperson at different economic events and seminars, during which he often exhibited a vision close to Lula’s.
Alckmin highlighted the plurality of views among transition economists as an asset of the group. “These are not opposing views, they are complementary. It is important that you have visions in the technical group that complement each other, that add up. And it is a transitional phase, to discuss, to elaborate proposals, to define issues,” he said.
The fact that these economists are in transition does not mean that any of them will be ministers. Lula has told allies that joining the team does not automatically mean participating in the government. This position was reinforced by the vice president-elect during the interview.
“President Lula made it clear that the appointment of those who will participate in the transition has no direct relationship with the ministry, with the government. They may participate, they may not participate, but they are very different issues. This is a 50-day job, practically two months, from now to 10 days after inauguration,” he said.
For the command of the economic area, PT names such as Fernando Haddad (SP), Rui Costa (BA) and Alexandre Padilha (SP) are quoted. So far, however, there has been no official indication of who will fill that role.
The appointments of economists to the transition group, in turn, have already been formalized by the transition team.
The vice president-elect also listed the coordinators of the technical group for social assistance. The list includes Senator Simone Tebet (MDB-MS), who ran for President of the Republic this year, former ministers of Social Development and Fight against Hunger Márcia Lopes and Tereza Campello and state deputy André Quintão (PT-MG).
According to the vice president-elect, one of the priorities of the transition is to discuss the social issue. “What is most urgent is the social question. Ensuring the Bolsa Família of R$ 600 is important. Do not interrupt and implement the R$150 for families with children under 6 years old,” he said.