By Alex Cuadros
In 2012, Brazilian multi-millionaire Eike Batista was once the 8th richest guy on the planet, his $30bn fortune outfitted on Brazil's wonderful typical assets. by way of the center of 2013 he had misplaced all of it, engulfed in scandal.
Brazillionaires is a fast moving account of Batista's upward thrust and fall: a narrative of helicopter flights, beach-front penthouses and high-speed vehicle crashes. alongside the way in which, it tells the parallel tale of Brazil itself, a rustic stuck within the cycle of growth and bust, renewed desire and dashed promise; a rustic the place the hyper-rich are on the middle of the economic system - and the place their wealth should buy massive political power.
Stefan Zweig acknowledged in 1941 that Brazil used to be the rustic of the long run; Brazilians shaggy dog story that it usually could be. at the present time, rampant corruption and endemic inequality threaten to derail the hot Brazilian Dream. The brazillionaires are the main to figuring out that dream; via them Brazillionaires tells the tale in their country's earlier, current and destiny.
Read or Download Brazillionaires: The Godfathers of Modern Brazil PDF
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Extra resources for Brazillionaires: The Godfathers of Modern Brazil
The Pinheiros River cut through, black and deadly still, its surface reflecting the rows of corporate towers whose dark glass reflected back their jagged rows in the river. Every morning as I passed through the lobby of Brooklin’s World Trade Center, which housed Bloomberg’s offices, my nostrils filled with the river’s ever-shifting bouquet of sewage and industrial runoff. From my desk on the twenty-first floor, I heard the constant brap of helicopters. I watched executives being deposited on a nearby helipad, neckties spiraling in the chopper wind.
Migrants from all over started showing up in the late nineteenth century, first to work in the coffee fields and later in the factories built with coffee profits. “It is a consortium of languages, a little Babel,” one observer wrote back in 1905. Today the world’s largest colonies of Japanese and Lebanese and Italians all live here; at lunch buffets you’ll see people put sushi and kibbeh and cannelloni all on the same plate. After 2008 a fresh wave of Portuguese and Italians and Spaniards came over, fleeing recession back home.
Curious, I walked in, pretending I belonged there, though it seemed obvious I didn’t. I saw a guy hosing off his car, kids playing with well-worn plastic toys in a narrow passage through homes of cinderblock, men in tank tops shooting the shit in a plywood doorway: life on open display. Working at Bloomberg, I sponged up an arcane Portuguese that allowed me to describe market operations in exact terms but left me at a loss at a hardware store. I compensated by exploring the city’s nightlife. Many expats flocked to sleek bars with suited bouncers where the door might cost a hundred dollars and a single drink another twenty-five.