Earlier this week, Deutsche Bank put out an analysis of the most woeful countries. In particular, the write up contained a smart little paragraph on a global powerhouse that used to be a darling of the global economy:
Arthur Okun's misery index sums unemployment with inflation as a measure of hardship – at least for the man on the street. Suffering politicians, meanwhile, are in serious trouble when they join the so-called Calamitous Club. Membership – reserved for governments whose poll ratings are below their country's inflation rate – is exclusive. Indeed, until last week only Venezuela's ruling socialists made the grade. No longer.
The piece was part of a broader note, authored by UK-based managing director Stuart Kirk. Here is where the juicy part begins:
The latest poll in Brazil shows 7.7 per cent of respondents rate the government as good or very good, down from 11 per cent in March and below inflation of 8.9 per cent.
Boom. There you go. After years of hype, Brazil now joins the group (of one) as the latest member in this terrible club.
CNBC notes Deutsche's particularly interesting approach: comparing a country's inflation rate to government approval ratings. For as bad as the approval ratings are for the U.S. government, there is little inflation of which to speak. That sets the bar pretty high for membership in this dubious club.