By Alex Cuadros

ISBN-10: 1781253870

ISBN-13: 9781781253878

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

Brazillionaires is a fast moving account of Batista's upward push and fall: a narrative of helicopter flights, beach-front penthouses and high-speed automobile crashes. alongside the way in which, it tells the parallel tale of Brazil itself, a rustic stuck within the cycle of increase and bust, renewed wish and dashed promise; a rustic the place the hyper-rich are on the middle of the economic climate - and the place their wealth should buy vast political power.

Stefan Zweig acknowledged in 1941 that Brazil used to be the rustic of the longer term; Brazilians comic story that it usually should be. this day, rampant corruption and endemic inequality threaten to derail the recent Brazilian Dream. The brazillionaires are the most important to figuring out that dream; via them Brazillionaires tells the tale in their country's earlier, current and destiny.

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The head of Bloomberg’s billionaires team, Matt Miller, a former Forbes guy, asked me to join up and track the ultrarich of Latin America. ” The team’s main goal was to create something called the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a Forbes-like ranking that would be updated once a day rather than once or twice a year. On the Bloomberg terminal, it would be accessible by typing RICH. I was wary at first, because the Forbes list had always struck me as a billionaire pissing contest. ” They influence our lives far more than your average senator but receive only a fraction of the public scrutiny.

In Brazil these people live in homes like fortresses. I visited Abilio’s mansion once, and it had high walls and an imposing metal door manned by armed guards. Some São Paulo execs move their families to Alphaville, a gated suburban compound with a private security force where from multiple helipads they can essentially teleport to work. You can’t spend your whole life at home, though, which is why malls exist. Brazilians call them shoppings. Measured in square feet, São Paulo has more shoppings than parks.

We met in front of a nondescript six-story building on Ipanema beach and took the elevator to the penthouse, a sixty-five-hundred-square-foot duplex. The owner was away, but the mordomo, the butler, let us in. ’s chef, preparing an intimate meal. From low-slung modernist chairs in the high-ceilinged living room, we beheld panoramic sea. In the master bedroom, the butler pressed a panic button, and metal shutters lowered over the doors and bulletproof windows. The windowless quarto de empregada, the maid’s room, could have fit into the master bathroom’s shower.

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Brazillionaires: The Godfathers of Modern Brazil by Alex Cuadros


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