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An oil platform, left, is seen during sunrise in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Monday, June 18, 2012.
An oil platform, left, is seen during sunrise in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Monday, June 18, 2012.
(Felipe Dana/AP)

Brazil, a case study in squandered potential

Little seems to be going right for Brazil these days. The former darling of emerging-market investors is suffering through mounting woes, including plunging investment, high inflation, a worsening current account deficit and a faltering currency, despite determined intervention by the central bank.

Latin America’s biggest economy failed to reach analysts’ modest forecasts in the third quarter, shrinking 0.5 per cent, seasonally adjusted, from the previous quarter. The consensus call was for a decline of 0.2 per cent. It was Brazil’s worst performance since the height of the global recession in early 2009.