Brazil’s Iron Lady Resigns As Head Of BNDES Bank

Maria Silvia Bastos

Maria Silvia Bastos, popularly known as Brazil’s Iron Lady, resigned as the head of Brazil’s State Development Bank, BNDES. She resigns amidst alleged corruption charges hovering above the institution and their President Michel Temer, according to a report in Bloomberg.com.

According to the Reuters, the official statement which came from BNDES cited Bastos’ reasons for her resignation as personal. She is the first senior member of the bank’s economic team to leave since corruption allegations against President Michel Temer.

Latin America’s largest economy slipped into even greater political chaos, as right after the news of the resignation got public a decrease in the value of the country’s currency and the Ibovespa stock index was reported

The bank is under investigation for loans to JBS SA, the world’s largest meatpacker. They reportedly benefited from the funds from the BNDES development bank for years. The case is now under investigation. The transactions occurred prior to Basto’s tenure and she launched an internal investigation.

Bastos had earlier faced criticisms for allegedly holding back loan disbursements. She was also criticised for overhauling the state bank during her predecessor’s tenure and disbursed funds from the World Bank.

Bastos took over the charge of the bank last year in May. The development bank funding has seen a decreasing trend in the last one year.

Sergio Lazzarini, who is a professor at the Insper Business School in Sao Paulo, said, “Bastos’ departure is a concern for Temer because she was viewed as a crucial member of his economic team.”

He further added, “When you start losing that technical team, it’s very bad. For Brazil, what would be ideal to navigate this political crisis would be technical stability.”

According to a statement from Temer’s office, National Statistics Agency, IBGE economist, Paulo Rabello Castro, will now take over the charge of the bank.

Bastos was the only female member of the organisation. She was also the highest ranking holder. In a separate statement to Basto, Temer thanked her for providing her services to the development bank.

Pic Credit: Juruá Online

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