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BBC 6 minute English-Brazilian economy

BBC 6 minute English-Brazilian economy

BBC 6 minute English-Brazilian economy


Transcript of the podcast

NB: This is not a word-for-word transcript

Rob: Hello I’m Rob. Welcome to 6 Minute English. My Brazilian colleague, Grace, is with me today. Hello, Grace

Grace: Hi Rob

Rob: Today we’re talking about the Brazilian economy, and we’ll have some language related to money and investments. Grace, you know what? I want to be rich

Grace: Oh, so do I, Rob. So do I

Rob: But, should I invest my money in Brazil

Grace: That’s a difficult question, Rob. Let me give you an easier question first, and then we can listen to an expert who knows all about it

Rob: OK – well ask me the easy question then

Grace: What’s the name of the Brazilian currency? Is it…

a) the Brazilian peso

b) the real

c) the guarani

Rob: Mmmm… b) the real

Grace: I’ll give you the answer at the end of the programme. And I can even show you some Brazilian notes and coins

Rob: OK, that’s exciting. You are going to show me Brazilian notes – pieces of paper money, and some coins. Good. I love coins. And I know some people actually collect them

Grace: But now let’s talk about the Brazilian economy. You’re going to hear BBC business reporter Robert Plummer. Overall, does he think the Brazilian economy is strong

Robert Plummer, BBC business reporter

The Brazilian economy is at a crossroads. It’s now been two decades since the antiinflation plan, which changed the currency in Brazil. But the government arguably has not really built on that legacy: there are structural reforms, the tax system needs changing; a lot needs to be done to put the Brazilian economy on a sustainable footing

Grace: He’s says it’s at a crossroads – in a place where it could do well, but a lot needs to change first – it could go either way

Rob: Yes, 20 years ago there was an anti-inflation plan, a plan to stop inflation, which is the continuous increase in prices of goods and services. It makes life very hard

Grace: It was a very good plan, you know. Before that, you would go to a shop to buy food and each month the same amount of goods cost more and more. The salary? Well, the salary remained the same. It was a real nightmare

Rob: I can imagine. But he said, after that, the government hasn’t built on the plan’s success. To ‘build on’ success is to use success to do more things and get more success, to achieve more

Grace: Rob, earlier you asked about investing in Brazil. Let’s hear what the BBC expert has to say about it. Which thing might attract investors

Robert Plummer, BBC business reporter

The Brazilian economy is as globalised as anywhere else. It’s offering investment opportunities for foreign investors. It has some of the highest real interest rates in the world so there’s a chance of a quick profit. But it’s also a risky place. People pay a premium to get a better profit. If, on the other hand, other investment opportunities arise elsewhere, this is ‘hot money’; it can flow out again as easily as it flowed in. Rob: So the chance of a quick profit! It’s the money you earn after you pay costs. Well, sounds good to me

Grace: Yes, he says that’s because it has very high interest rates – which here means the percentage your money grows when it’s invested

Rob: But this extra money is not guaranteed. The analyst also talks about risk. He says the Brazilian market is a risky place

Grace: Yes… risky… it means that there is a possibility of something bad happening, like, for example, Rob, losing all your money

Rob: Oh dear! So I should think carefully, but… I think I’m in luck today. I think I got the right answer to the question you put to me at the beginning of the programme

Grace: The name of the Brazilian currency

Rob: Yes, that’s it

Grace: Well, the choices were: the Brazilian peso, the real or the guarani. And you said

Rob: I said real

Grace: Well, you’re in luck, Rob. I don’t know if you’re going to be rich but you know already the name of the currency. The Brazilian peso does not exist and the guarani is Paraguay’s currency. The Brazilian currency had several names in the 20th Century: from ‘contos de reis’ to ‘cruzeiros’ and then ‘cruzados’. After that anti-inflation plan in the mid-90s, the name changed to ‘real’ – one ‘real’, ten ‘reais’ – this is for the plural. Here are some of the notes, Rob. Have a look

Rob: OK. They are all different colours. We have two ‘reais’… with a picture of a turtle. Ten ‘reais’ with it, a very nice picture of a parrot on the back

Grace: Yes. And when I look at this parrot, Rob, to be honest, I imagine it saying to me: “don’t spend it, don’t spend it”, so I can save and, maybe, make a nice pot of money

Rob: And how much would I need to buy a ‘cafezinho’ – a small cup of Brazilian-style coffee

Grace: Well, one cafezinho in Sao Paulo, for example, can cost from 2.50 to 3.50 reais – three reais and fifty ‘centavos’. Or even more, if you go somewhere a bit fancy. And if you go to a supermarket, you might be able to buy a bottle of one litre of coconut water for around 12 reais

Rob: Good, good. I’ll hang on to these notes, thank you

Grace: Well, our time is up but before we go, could you remind us of some of the words we heard today, Rob

Rob: Of course. We heard

notes at a crossroads anti-inflation to build on interest rates profit risky

Grace: Now it’s time to say goodbye and go for a cafezinho, Rob

Rob: Of course it is, but please join us again soon for 6 Minute English from BBC Learning English. Ate logo

Grace: Bye

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