It was around 4 a.m. on a Tuesday night. I had been at the most exclusive disco in Rio De Janeiro. People Down was even more exclusive than the upstairs disco, People Up.
I had been dancing all night with friends on a short break from running a trading desk in New York. The air was as hot as the women.
But now it was time to go home and crash. I had to get some sleep so I could go to the disco again tomorrow night.
My six friends were busy figuring out the bill for a night of drinking. They were arguing over who had ordered what drinks. Who owed what?
It seemed to be taking a long time. I was getting bored listening to their argument over who owed what. I finally looked over the shoulder of the woman holding the bill.
“Is the total bill $15?”, I asked.
“Yes”, she replied.
I threw down the Brazilian equivalent of twenty dollars and said, “let’s get out of here.”
We went out side and I asked if people wanted to come back the following night. They all said yes. I then casually asked the woman next to me what she was doing today. She said she was going to work.
I audibly gasped. “What time do you have to go to work?”
“8:30 this morning”
This was my introduction to Brazil.
I later was able to visit many other places around Brazil and began scratching the surface of this amazing country.
The time of this story was the late 1980’s. there was hyperinflation. Over 1000% per year. Shops changed their prices twice a day. People got paid twice a day so they could shop at lunch time to save the higher prices they would pay on their way home.
The currency was all screwed up. You would get a bill with 100 printed on it. The next bill might have 10,000 on it. But they might be worth the same thing. They would keep the old bills in circulation but people would learn what the current value was.
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Brazil has come a long way from that economic disaster.
Many people believe that it has become a world power. The old saying about Brazil was that it was the country of the future and always would be. They say the future has arrived.
The rise of the socialist Lulu to power and the economic boom that ensued is shown as proof that socialism, or at least social justice, can lead to economic wealth. Lulu’s successor, the ex-left wing terrorist Roussef, rode to victory on the back of a global wave of adulation.
It was all a sham. There is no great wave of wealth. The social justice model was fake.
You see, it was all built on debt and feeding China with raw materials.