Brazillionaires: The Godfathers of Modern Brazil by Alex Cuadros

By Alex Cuadros

In 2012, Brazilian multi-millionaire Eike Batista used to be the 8th richest guy on this planet, his $30bn fortune equipped on Brazil's fantastic average assets. through the center of 2013 he had misplaced all of it, engulfed in scandal.

Brazillionaires is a fast paced account of Batista's upward push and fall: a narrative of helicopter flights, beach-front penthouses and high-speed vehicle crashes. alongside the best way, 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 center of the economic system - and the place their wealth should buy titanic political power.

Stefan Zweig stated in 1941 that Brazil used to be the rustic of the long run; Brazilians funny story that it usually should be. this present day, rampant corruption and endemic inequality threaten to derail the hot Brazilian Dream. The brazillionaires are the main to realizing that dream; via them Brazillionaires tells the tale in their country's prior, current and destiny.

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Thor felt steady enough to emerge from the McLaren, and his bodyguards, who’d lagged behind in their pickup truck, took him and his friend to a first aid station a couple of miles down the road. There a nurse looked at Thor and sent him on his way—apart from some nicks from broken glass, the blood on him wasn’t his. But he didn’t go back to the crash site just yet. Instead he went thirty miles into Rio proper and stopped at home before returning to the highway with his dad’s lawyer Flávio Godinho.

He was self-conscious in his symbolism, and he eagerly played role model to ordinary Brazilians aspiring for a better life. But things didn’t go as planned. He failed to deliver what he’d promised. Before it ever got off the ground, Eike’s empire collapsed under the weight of its debts, and he went broke. His net worth of thirty billion dollars evaporated in just a year and a half. Of the few people ever to amass a fortune that size, no one had ever lost it all in such a short span. Plenty of Brazilians lost their savings too.

And when Bloomberg News invited me to cover billionaires as a full time job, I found myself in the middle of two great stories. One was about the Brazilian boom, a story of national ambition. The other was about the accumulation of wealth, and this story went well beyond Brazil. I hadn’t given billionaires much thought before, but as I immersed myself in their world, they took up more and more space in my head, and I found myself obsessed with them. Of course I had practical questions: how they put their fortunes together, how they shaped the economy, how they influenced the government, and how all that changed life for everyone else.

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