By Xiu Ying
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The president of the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES), Joaquim Levy, submitted his resignation on Sunday, June 16th. In a note sent to Economy Minister Paulo Guedes, Levy said he hoped the minister would accept it.
“I asked the Minister of Economy, Paulo Guedes, for my dismissal from BNDES. I hope that he will accept it. I thank the minister for having invited me to serve the country, and I wish success in the reforms,” he said.
Levy also thanked the BNDES’ employees, “who have cooperated with enthusiasm and integrity to change the bank, enabling it to fully address the new challenges of financing development, meeting the many needs of our population and confirming its commitment and long tradition of excellence and responsibility.”
On Saturday, June 15th, Bolsonaro said that Levy has had “a bounty on his head” for some time. “I’m fed up with Levy,” said the president in front of the Palácio da Alvorada, just before leaving for an event in Rio Grande do Sul.
The cause of dissatisfaction, said Bolsonaro, was Levy’s appointment of Marcos Barbosa Pinto to the position of Capital Market Director of BNDES, in charge of investments by BNDESPAR, the equity branch of the development bank, which runs a portfolio over R$100 billion.
The president asked Levy to fire the director. According to Bolsonaro, the man was unreliable, and “dubious people” could not hold a position in his government. On that Saturday evening, Barbosa Pinto handed in his letter of resignation. He had been the chief of staff of Demian Fiocca, president of BNDES during the government of former President Luiz Ignácio Lula da Silva.
Economy Minister Paulo Guedes accepted Levy’s resignation shortly after it was submitted and has reportedly begun the search for a replacement.