Instituto Fernand Braudel de Economia Mundial - Associado à FAAP

Ed. 16: King Kong in Brazil

"As Brazil's latest surge of inflation was peaking in early..."

Author: Norman Gall | Published in 1996

King Kong no Brasil

As Brazil's latest surge of inflation was peaking in early 1994, on the eve of the launching of the Real Plan, street urchins were playing in gusts of paper money floating in the air at a traffic light along the Avenida Marquês de São Vicente, threading its way in the windy, reddish São Paulo twilight past decaying factories and warehouses, beside the river that is now the great city’s main sewage channel. At intersections
throughout São Paulo, droves of children beg for money from motorists, converging on cars waiting for traffic lights to change. One driver, in a cynical joke, got out of his car to toss into the air a bagful of bills that the boys chased, briefly examined and then tossed into the air again as if to join in the game. One boy, an 11 year-old with a plastic pacifier in his mouth, was leaping to grab at the bank notes, each with a face value of 1,000 cruzeiros, equal to roughly US$15 when issued in 1990 but by now rendered worthless by the relentless pressures of chronic inflation. A few years ago this bag of cruzeiros would have fed their
families for several weeks.


Related issues:

  1. Braudel Papers Ethics and inflation
  2. Braudel Papers Federalism and Inflation
  3. Braudel Papers The Brazilian Concept of Money
  4. Braudel Papers Elastic Debts

Address and

Ceará, 2
CEP 01243-010
São Paulo - SP - Brazil

Phone. +55 (11) 3824-9633

Follow us
on the Web: