Past Event

Institution-building, Governance and Compliance in Brazil: Politics, Policy and Business

February 6, 2017 - February 7, 2017
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Low Memorial Library - Columbia University


In Brazil, politicians and bureaucrats often use their control rights over state-owned companies and other public agencies to extract rents for both political and personal reasons. Similarly, a group of connected businessmen have learned to wager their political contacts as the main drive of their enterprises. Indeed, Brazilian democratic governance has been performed through a “coalitional presidentialism” in which the head of government navigates a multiparty environment by sharing power and rents with key legislators and power brokers. Over the last fifteen years, this system has become more “expensive” because of further party fragmentation and the lack of administrative and political reforms. In March 2014, a great deal of these arrangements started to be uncovered by the still ongoing anti-corruption investigation dubbed "Operação Lava Jato" (Carwash Operation), as Petrobras was found at the centerpiece of a multi-billion kickback and bribery scheme developed to fund political parties and electoral campaigns. Since then, the unfolding inquiry has undermined Brazil’s political and business establishment, producing shockwaves across the nation.

This event aims to bring together leading practitioners, scholars and high-profile public officers to discuss the effects of "Operação Lava-Jato" in Brazil’s current and future institutional framework. What has changed so far in terms of political, policy and business practices? For how long? Is there room for further institutional improvements? Is the system reformable? How is the Operation helping to support a market-based development agenda grounded on the rule of law? How are national and foreign investors reacting to these changes and challenges? What comes next for Brazil?



Day 1 - February 6 (RSVP)

Columbia University (Low Memorial Library New York, NY 10027)


9:30 AM - 10:50 AM

Welcoming Remarks
John Coatsworth (Provost of Columbia)
Gustavo S. Azenha (Columbia University)
Guest Speaker: Sérgio Fernando Moro (Judge / Thirteenth Federal Criminal Court, Curitiba / Carwash Operation / Operação Lava-Jato)

Moderator: Felippe Ramos (The New School)

10:50 AM - 12:15 PM 

Roundtable: Improving Institutions and Governance: impacts in doing business and investing in Brazil
Lisa Schineller (Standard & Poor’s)
Otaviano Canuto (The World Bank)
Albert Fishlow (Columbia University)
Alberto Ramos (Goldman Sachs)
Luiz Pinto (Brookings Doha Center)
Moderator: Marcos Troyjo (Columbia University)


Day 2 - February 7 (RSVP)

The New School (John L. Tishman Auditorium, University Center - 63 5th Ave, New York, NY 10003)

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Guest Speaker: Paulo Roberto Galvão (Prosecutor / Federal Public Ministry / Carwash Operation Task Force)

Moderator: Leonardo Petronilha (Columbia University)

3:15 PM - 4:30 PM

Roundtable: Challenges to dismantle crony capitalism: strengthening institutions to tackle corruption and foster development

Daniel Kaufmann (Natural Resources Governance Institute)
Matthew Taylor (American University)
Deborah Wetzel (The World Bank)
Ernesto Calvo (University of Maryland)
Paul Lagunes (Columbia University)
Moderator: Sidney Nakahodo (Columbia University)


February 6: RSVP

February 7: RSVP