RIO DE JANEIRO – Economist Joaquim Levy, a veteran of three previous Brazilian administrations, will head the state-owned BNDES development bank when Jair Bolsonaro becomes president Jan. 1, the president-elect’s office said Monday.
BNDES is the main loan underwriter for Brazilian national companies that operate abroad.
“With extensive experience in public management (and) a PhD in economics from the University of Chicago, Joaquim Levy will resign from the financial directorate of the World Bank to join the economic team in the president-elect’s administration,” Bolsonaro’s team said.
Levy served as finance minister under former President Dilma Rousseff from November 2014 to December 2015, a position in which he was known for pursuing a strict austerity policy.
He presented a set of reforms that included a heavy reduction in public spending and increased taxes, which aggravated the recession Brazil entered during the year in which he served.
Levy, a technocrat without party affiliation, held several key posts in the Finance and Planning Ministries between 2000 and 2002, during the government of Fernando Henrique Cardoso and during the first term of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, when he served as treasury secretary from 2003 to 2006.
Between 1992 and 1999 he held various positions with the International Monetary Fund and between 2000 and 2002 he was a visiting economist at the European Central Bank.