(Not) Developing a habit and the global market’s response to elections in Brazil

So, almost three months after my first post I get to share the second one. So much for making a habit out of this! This has not gone as I had anticipated. But then again. What does?

My first few months in the “magic city” have been different to what I had envisioned and the new job has taken a fair bit of my time. Beyond time though, it has taken quite a bit of my headspace – as well as the move to Miami and a fair few visits from friends and family.

Enough of the excuses, let’s get this second post going. I thought I was going to touch upon some MBA related topics and life after “the best two years of your life” or whatever that means, but I’m going to go political.

Yes. I’m going to show my colors a bit too early probably. But let’s be honest, (i) how many people are really going to read this? (ii) if anyone does, they probably share my line of thinking (which would be a shame, because I welcome discussion and opposing views) and (iii) at least from now on ye’be warned.

First, a bit of context, have a look at this article from Bloomberg  “Brazil Stocks, Currency Surge as Bolsonaro Takes Commanding Lead”. If you are a bit lazy, like me, the clue is in the title. Which got me thinking –

if an openly misogynistic and racist politician doing well in the first round of voting in Brazil is a good sign to the markets, then what does that say about the markets?

To add insult to injury, and I swear I’m not making this up, “the former army captain has professed a disinterest in economics”.  And I know what some of you might say, it’s not so much that investors like Bolsonero, they dislike the alternatives, Haddad and the PT (Lula and Dilma’s political party that took Brazil to one of it’s worse recessions). Fair enough.

But indulge me for a moment, the world market doesn’t seem to care about a presidential candidate’s interest in the economy, it doesn’t seem to care about its social views on women and the LGBTQ community, it just cares about a government that will give it free rein. Or at least, it does seem to be skewed in that direction. I mean, “free economy” and “small government” do seem to outweigh “equal rights” and “social equity” when it comes to the market. Can we agree on that?

There’s no punch line. This was very much a “spur of the moment” post. I must admit it was fueled by a lot of press and posts around me but also about a quote from the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG) Summit in New Delhi. Apparently, @AlGore said something along these lines: “Capitalism is the answer if it can be refined and fixed”… well, it seems to me it needs an awful lot of fixing.

Come to think of it, so much so it might be better to do something completely new, right? Why not overhauling it? Why are we so scared to say: “Hey, Capitalism has led us to where we are today, and yes, we are alive, but that is much good as I can say about it”. How can we salvage something built on false premises and flawed assumptions?Apologies for the lack of solid arguments and research rigor, I love a stab at Nobel prize winning theories from bed on a Tuesday evening.

If you made it this far. Thanks. If you didn’t and you just scrolled down. Well, thank you too!

Saludos.

MC

#EleNao

 

Let’s get this over with. The started bit that is…

I’m not going to lie. I haven’t given this that much thought. It’s not something I’ve been preparing or thinking for long. It was very much a spur of the moment thing in the hope to develop a habit, keep at it, and see where it takes me.

So yeah, this can be very bad. But I guess the beauty of this is precisely that. It can be bad. A blog can be anything you want it to be, and maybe, just maybe, one person will relate and/or react to something I write and everything could make sense. That person could even be me and this might just help me…

Apologies, I don’t mean for this to be metaphysical (I just watched a Rush documentary). I’m definitely not prepared psychologically or academically for that type of conversation/blog. So, in order not to fall into that trap I promise to (1) keep this short and sweet, (2) with some structure and (3) addresses things in particular (and not extensively or with rigor – it’s a blog, come on).

With that in mind, and for this first blog post I was thinking of sharing 3 things and move on to the next one (see, structure).

  1. The name. Had to start with that. Why Consequential Ventures? It might evolve into something else. But I wanted this to be a reminder to myself and a running theme for the blog (perhaps). My most relevant professional experience (TECHO.org) and my recent graduate school  (Fuqua School of Business) both focused on the concept of being consequential. And I love it. I want my life to revolve around that and I want to pursue things consequently. Why? That might be for another time.
  2. This leads me to my second point. I recently graduated from Business School (MBA to be specific) and I realized you spend a lot of time thinking about what is that you want to do. It sounds simple enough, and kind of “you should’ve known”. But it doesn’t. It’s the old saying “we spend so much time thinking what to do with our lives that we forget to do just that, live them” (or something like that).  Graduate school is no different. Paraphrasing Rob Gordon (High Fidelity) “It would be nice to think that since I was 14, times have changed. Skins thicker. Instincts more developed.” Not only are we just as clueless, we are bombarded by so much stuff it’s almost impossible to think clearly. I decided to join a financial inclusion institution and accompany my wife in her professional pursuit here in Miami. More on all of that in later blogs…
  3. Miami. What is there to say about this city that hasn’t been said or that can’t be found on a short stroll down Ocean Drive on a sunny afternoon. Well, a LOT as it turns out. In my initial 4 weeks here I’ve been bombarded by an array of accents, foods, backgrounds, and stories. They tilt heavily on the Latin-American side, but not necessarily. Someone told me (may have been an Uber driver), ‘”Miami is the door to Latin-America”.  Or was it “gateway”?  Anyways, you get the gist. I couldn’t agree more at this moment and I hope to explore that very concept as it intertwines with the United States culture and in its full spectrum – Latin America is fairly big and diverse in itself. I hope to touch upon that on later blogs too.

So, was it short and sweet? I hope so. I guess that is a relative term anyway. I would like to think I complied with 2 out of the 3 things I set out to do in this first post.

If you made it this far. Thanks. If you didn’t and you just scrolled down. Well, thank you too!

Saludos.

MC