Rousseff faces numerous daunting challenges as she prepares for her second term, which will officially begin in January. The economy fell into recession earlier this year, and efforts to stimulate a recovery will be impeded by high inflation, which has prompted the central bank to tighten monetary policy, and limits the scope for using fiscal tools to stimulate growth.
As such, investors are watching closely to see who Rousseff chooses to replace Guido Mantega as finance minister. The delay in announcing the leader of her economic policy team suggests that the president is keenly aware that her decision will set the tone for her second term, creating a risk that a choice that disappoints investors will trigger turmoil in the markets.
Among the figures reportedly being considered for the job, former central bank head Henrique Meirelles appears to be the preferred choice of those looking for a signal that Rousseff intends to tack toward the center. In contrast, the appointment of an administration insider, such as Alexandre Tombini, the current chief of the central bank, or Nelson Barbosa, who served as deputy finance minister under Mantega, would suggest that the president intends to stick with the moderately leftist policies that are blamed for deepening the current economic malaise.