Brazilian stock market fell 18% in the last 10 days, a dump faster than the chute of all the other bear markets in the world. It is maybe time to remember the old national superstition about the month of August.
As the Brazilian saying goes, Agosto, mês de desgosto (August, the month of sorrow, which rhymes in Portuguese) or Agosto, mês de cachorro louco (August, the mad dog month, because, supposedly, rabies cases increase). The eight month of the calendar is considered no good and prone to disaster. Considering the world financial situation, one begins to wonder.
A few historic episodes work towards the myth: the suicide of president Getúlio Vargas (1954), the resignation of president Jânio Quadros (1961), that paved the path that led to the long military rule, and also several big shipwreck and airplane accidents, explosions of all sorts in the country. Sérgio Vieira de Mello, the Brazilian diplomat that led the UN mission in Irak (and was likely to become the United Nations next secretary general) was killed in a terrorist attack on August 2003. That same week, the explosion of a rocket in Alcântara, in the Amazon, killed several scientists and delayed the National Space Program. And the list doesn’t include the international episodes, such as the beginning of the First and the Second World War.
Let’s see what else this month will bring. I am so relieved tha this Friday will be the 12th, not the 13th…