Playing the Brazil Election

Published on
October 12th, 2018
14 minutes

Playing the Brazil Election

Trade Ideas ·
Featuring Larry McDonald

Published on: October 12th, 2018 • Duration: 14 minutes

As populism continues to become a bigger player on the world stage, Larry McDonald, creator of The Bear Traps Report, highlights the high-stakes presidential election in Brazil. In this interview with Justine Underhill, he explains his thesis and lays out his specific trade. Filmed on October 10, 2018.


  • YW
    Yowshi W.
    29 October 2018 @ 10:09
    Spot on!
  • AP
    Antonio P.
    18 October 2018 @ 15:40
    Well I generally refrain from making comments because I do not believe I can add a lot of value. But being a Brazilian, I have to say this guy is as stupid and ignorant about Brazil as you can get. There is no more uncertainty regarding the outcome of the election. Bolsonaro will win unless he makes a major major mistep. Short term, the market can go up. As Keynes said , the market can remain unrational longer than you are insolvent. What is going on is that locals are trading among themselves propping up the market on the hope that foreign suckers like this guy throw a lot of money into the market after the election. Bolsonaro is no liberal and the market will realize that after a while. I really hope I am wrong because I live here... The truth is that macro fundamentals are as bad as you can get and probably you will make money on Brazil doing the opposite this guy is recommending...
  • CS
    Chuck S.
    12 October 2018 @ 22:04
    I’ve lived and worked in Brazil for 30+ years and agree with Larry’s view of a probable Bolsonaro win in the Oct. 28 run off election. The latest polls, taken after the first round of voting, indicate a 58% 42% win for Bolsonaro over Haddad. My guess is that the market has already “bought the rumor” and that after the election we’ll see a modest “sell the fact” sell off, assuming Bolsonaro does in fact win. In the medium to long term, Brazil faces some huge headwinds of their own making. The video mentioned the pension system problem, but that is just one of many. Then there is the macro picture with a strong dollar, rising global interest rates, questions around the prices of Brazil’s commodities to mention but a few. Finally, it is worth mentioning that after years of mismanagement, Brazil’s neighbor Argentina also elected a market friendly president in their last elections. It has proven to be a rocky ride for equity investors in that country. I don’ expect that Brazil will be much different.
    • CS
      Chuck S.
      16 October 2018 @ 15:42
      Another poll and further expectations of a Bolsonaro win, this time at 59% to Haddad’s 41% of the “valid votes.” The IBOVESPA was up sharply on the news.
  • WT
    William T.
    15 October 2018 @ 10:07
    Bolsonaro comes from a military background and has defended the Brazilian military dictatorship period in many occasions. That was a period where many of the government owned companies were created and many communists were tortured and killed. He has never been a free-market believer and firmly states that he's against the privatization of Petrobras, the Brazilian banks Banco do Brasil and Caixa, but because he's partnered with Paulo Guedes - PhD in Economics from University of Chicago and now his economic adviser - many people believe that this might be an opportunity for Brazil to shift to a more free-market driven economy and become more open to international trade. The question is whether he's going to listen to his economists or not. Haddad, the other guy running for presidency, is from the same party that has been running Brazil for over 13 years and will probably release Lula and many others from his party from jail if he gets there.
  • JF
    Josh F.
    15 October 2018 @ 08:45
    I think it's hard not to end up owning Brazil if you have any EM exposure, but I have trouble with promoting this candidate even if there's money to be made. per Wikipedia: 'In a public speech in April 2017, Bolsonaro said that he had five children, that the first four were male and that for the fifth he produced a daughter out of "a moment of weakness".' "I have no doubts – I would begin the coup on the very first day! And I am sure that at least 90% of the people would commemorate or give me an ovation. The Congress today is good for nothing, they only vote in favor of the president's projects. If he is the person who makes the decisions, who calls the shots, who laughs at the Congress, then start the coup at once, and let's make this a dictatorship" 'Bolsonaro then stated that Congresswoman do Rosário was "not worthy of being raped'
  • MC
    Matthew C.
    14 October 2018 @ 03:42
    The dollar needs to lose ground against the Real for this to be viable, USD/BRL is up 16% YTD. Also the BOVESPA is only about 5% off its all time high, this is more of a volatility trade.
  • MT
    Mike T.
    13 October 2018 @ 13:43
    I always have a bit of an issue with directional (long or short) stock tips. For many months now EWZ has been money making gift for short premium option traders. In all probability come the first hour of trading Monday Oct 29 in the jargon there will be a 'volatility crush' aka collapse of premium prices and the short premium folks will exit their positions pocketing significant profits from one of the better 'trading instruments' of 2018. The real money will have been made before the final election result not after it.
  • AR
    Abishek R.
    12 October 2018 @ 10:30
    Although this market correction will lead to the divergence between the US and EM finally stalling (and maybe converge), there is no evidence to show that EM will rise in the current market condition (high Oil + Dollar) apart from maybe the clear signal that China is most ahead in the business cycle with its easing operations. Interesting to watch the fed fund futures for Dec 2019 maybe going lower? And dollar falling becoming a tailwind for EM. If I see a potential recovery for EM, Im backing the Sensex to outpace everything out there with the steep correction its just had.