Abandoned elevated roadway in São Paulo, Brazil

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Brazil did not have a real stock market in the 70s, so if you want to rob a ridiculous amount of money the best option was to build something and charge a 400% markup you then split with the government officials. All invoices were over inflated to spread the corruption and cover it from accountants. The side effect are several public works like this. To this day, if you go look at the expenses with the World Cup and now the Olympics you will find the same names, from the same families, building those things. If you want some sort of proof, google “Paulo Maluf”. He was mayor and governor or Brazil’s most important state a couple of times, and he cannot leave the country because the Interpol wants him for money laundering. His motto was “rouba, mas faz” which vaguely translates to “he steals, but he builds”.

The side effect of old style corruption was that you’d end up with a new road. Now Wall Street got to Brazil, and building something is no longer necessary to rob money. They just take it and walk away. Right now the President, head of congress, head of senate, and about two dozen other high visibility politicians are under investigation for corruption, and the only thing new here is that they are under investigation. Someone landing in jail is so incredible I think it is a conspiracy – they are probably not sharing enough of the robbery.

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