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Data: EIA; Chart: Axios Visuals
Brazil's markets tumbled on Monday, with state oil company Petrobras losing 19% of its value, after president Jair Bolsonaro announced he was firing the company's Chicago-educated CEO and replacing him with a former general.
Why it matters: Bolsonaro pledged to "put a finger on electricity" — to keep prices at artificially low levels, worrying investors who had previously been counting on him to have more of a laissez-faire approach to industry.
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Flashback: The headlines coming out of Brazil are reminiscent of the way in which Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez dismantled his country's oil-production infrastructure after he came to power in 1999, starting with the forced resignation of Luis Giusti, the head of the state-owned oil company.
By the numbers: Venezuelan oil production has reached formerly unthinkable lows, given that the country sits on the largest oil reserves in the world.
Venezuela's 300 billion barrels of reserves now produce less than half a million barrels a day of oil.
Brazil's reserves are tiny in comparison — less than 13 billion barrels — but the company is producing far more oil, about 3 million barrels per day.
Between the lines: Technocrats tend not to fare well under populist presidents, be they of the right-wing or left-wing variety. Venezuela's PDVSA was an extremely well-run company before 1999, and Petrobras has been reasonably well-run until now.
But when an ex-military president takes over and puts generals in charge, loyalty to the regime tends to be rewarded more than professional competence.
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