For the world's worst-performing economies, no good will come from New Year's resolutions to do better. For many, 2016 will only bring more disappointment, say economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Oil-rich Venezuela will contract by 3.3 percent this year, the worst forecast of any of the 93 countries in the analysis, followed by junk-rated Brazil, debt-laden Greece and commodities-ravaged Russia.
In the space of just two days three former Brazilian presidents have been dragged into the investigation into a huge kickback scheme in the state-run oil firm Petrobras. According to informer Nestor Cerveró, the government of Fernando Henrique Cardoso, bitter adversary of President Dilma Rousseff, received “a US$100-million bribe” to get Petrobras to purchase of private Argentine oil company Perez Companc. But with the country stuck in a deep recession, unemployment and inflation rising, and President Dilma Rousseff’s government mired in the biggest corruption scandal in the country’s history, Brazilians are in no mood to party.