Elizabeth Johnson

Elizabeth Johnson

Managing Director, Brazil Research

Elizabeth joined TS Lombard in 2006 as the head of the Brazil research team . With over 25 years covering the country, she concentrates on political and economic policy, together with broad expertise in such key sectors as electric energy, infrastructure, agriculture and consumer-related issues. Elizabeth spearheads TS Lombard coverage of key investment themes including credit deepening, for-profit education as well as the complex relationship between Brazilian state-owned oil company Petrobras and the government.

Before joining TS Lombard, Elizabeth worked for publications including the Financial Times, Foreign Policy and Dow Jones. She has more than a decade of experience covering the Latin American private equity and venture capital industries and is considered a leading expert in this field. She also has broad knowledge of biofuels, sanitation and alternative energy. She has a PhD degree from Johns Hopkins University and a Master’s degree from the University of Texas – Austin, and has worked as a field producer for CNBC and National Geographic.

Elizabeth Johnson contributes to the Brazil, LatAm and EM Watch publications.

Brazil: In depth on-the-ground analysis of the political economy and policy forces that will affect growth and markets. (Monday and Thursday)
LatAm: Regional coverage supported by local sources with emphasis on Mexico. (1 note per month)
EM Watch: Analysis of EM sentiment drivers and fundamental or policy country developments on 10 emerging countries. (Every Monday)

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Feb 2019 - Brazil

Elizabeth Johnson's Top Market Calls

Maia takes the lead on Brazil pension reform
We said: Lower House Speaker Maia is the key political supporter of the reform, but he will seek to show his independence from the administration. For his part, Economy Minister Guedes has shown his willingness to offer financial assistance to states in exchange for their support for reform.
Guedes and Maia are on the same page, which bodes well for the reform. Despite the lack of a clear message from President Bolsonaro himself, the good news is that the Speaker of the Lower House and the Senate President see pension reform as the top priority. Although the path ahead will be challenging, the strategy of turning the reform into a national issue, which involves state and municipal governments, will play an important role it getting it passed. Maia's political skills - and longer-term ambitions - make him the ideal partner for Guedes and the economic team to build support for the reform. 
The economic team also appears to be willing to eliminate some elements of the reform to keep it focussed. We believe this is positive and will help speed up the approval process. 
While Maia and Guedes have expressed their support for an ambitious reform, Bolsonaro needs to be on board too. If he expresses his willingness to use his political capital to push for an ambitious reform, his current popularity, combined with the rising understanding among the population about the need for reform, will set the stage for its approval this year.
Outcome: The political progress of the reform bill was smoother than many had expected. Pension reform passed the Lower House in July 2019. 

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