Monday, August 5, 2013

Dropping a BRIC

Hmm. Bloomberg News reports:

The March 2012 deal valued Batista’s empire at $35.5 billion, including publicly traded and closely held units, and he was rated at the time as the world’s 8th richest man. The entrepreneur, who boasted of overtaking Carlos Slim as the world’s wealthiest individual, is now worth an estimated $100 million, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
The story is actually all about some oil sheikh getting skint. Well, at least it wasn't somebody who works for a living.


  1. Harry,

    You don't know half of it. Much of my country's plutocracy is exemplified by Mr. Batista.

    The history of the rise and fall of Brazil stock market in the last 5 years is also a cautionary tale of investors who, running away from the crisis in Europe and US, where easy pray to mirages elsewhere. It looks like even sheikhs living in the desert fell for it.

  2. You are right; I have paid little attention to Brazilian markets. But I am not surprised to learn that a flood of hot money is not an entirely welcome development.

    I was not joking about the sheikh. Unlike the American experience with Enron or Argentina's repeated experiences with hot money artists, so far as I have seen, this implosion is not going to wreck a nation's economy; or ruin tens of thousands of innocent bystanders.

    But perhaps I am too optimistic.

  3. Harry,

    I agree with your analysis, 2 billions is a lot of money for almost anyone but a Sheikh (or a top ten forbies billionaire).

    Batista (better known here for his first name, Eike) misfortunes may have hit our stock market for a while, and a public funded development bank may lose money, but it will hardly wreak havoc. In fact, anyone with better senses could have seen it coming. The fact that billionaires out there can fall for a trap made by Eike is proof that stupidity really makes no class distinction.

  4. I would put that differently. I say there is no correlation between money and smarts.

    Most financial (as opposed to industrial or retailing) success is just luck. Markets are what physicists call a random walk, at least over spans equal to a person's investing lifetime. The lucky prosper.