Brazil & the Bloodied BRICS

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on February 12, 2017

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Just going back a few years, the "BRICS" were all the rage as the next great Superpower conglomeration.  BRICS stood for Brazil, Russia, India, China & South Africa.

3 of them Brazil, India and South Africa also fit in the category of "Emerging Markets", and EMs were where all the Hot Money was flowing for investment during the period, seeking high yields and return on investment.

What could be more perfect, right?  Great resource availability and populations willing to work at low wages to supply industrial products to the world!  Not to mention Russia & China as large military powers with the capability of making a good fight with the FSoA if challenged!  Even if they don't have the aircraft carriers the FSoA has, they have Nuke ICBMs, and they have cruise missiles capable of sending any FSoA Carrier Group to the bottom of Davey Jones Locker.  The Chinese field a 1 Million Man Standing Army.  Lotta potential Boots on the Ground there!

So a lot of betting went down that this group of Nation-States was going to make a serious challenge to the European and Anglo-Amerikan hegemony over the industrial economy, not to mention the Bankstering system which runs it. Even to this day, you have some pundits like Pepe Escobar claiming the Chinese are going to build a "New Silk Road" that will bring the BRICS to ascendancy as the inheritors of the failed policies of the Western Europeans and Anglo-Amerikans.

Unfortunately, something went wrong along the way here, and precisely the opposite has occured or is occuring as I write this article.  What fucked up in the BRICS master plan?

To begin with, it was a typical financialized bubble.  Beyond that, you have countries here with Goobermints that are corrupt beyond belief, it's possible they are all more corrupt than the FSoA Goobermint, although of course that is hard to imagine.  To top it all off, you have the issue that even if said countries have energy resources left like Brazil and Russia do, you have populations that cannot afford to buy those energy resources and retire the debts incurred by the extractors of the energy.

http://www.usfunds.com/media/images/frank-talk-images/2016_ft/Jul-Dec/overnight-indian-prime-minister-narendra-modi-killed-90-nations-currency-12-2016.jpg India already jumped off the cliff with the demonetization of the biggest Rupee notes by His Modiness, which sent the entire economy into a tailspin.  Not to mention the fact it further impoverished already impoverished people, and as bad as their farmer suicide problem was before this, one has to figure it has been worse since.  A VAST number of Indians have no bank account, or even Goobermint ID.  For them, it's entirely a Cash Economy, and no Cash, no Economy.

This of course does not even touch on the Climate and Environment problems the Indians have, or their Energy problems or population overshoot problems.  Then they have the constant battle with the Pakistanis, so overall the place is a complete fucking mess.  They may even start exchanging Nukes with the Pakis, since they both got 'em

Moving down to South Africa, they probably have the worst problems with drought of any of the BRICS, although Brazil is not doing too well with this problem either.  Besides that is the perpetual racial divide problem of South Africa and the fact that its entire economy is a mineral resource extraction economy, and globally nobody is paying much for resources, because the Konsumers of the resources are running out of money to buy them with.  Well, except for the filthy rich who are still buying some Diamonds at Tiffany's, but unfortunately there aren't enough filthy rich to fund an entire economy this way.  Tiffany's isn't doing too good either, they just fired their CEO.

Doing slightly better than these two locations are the Middle Kingdom of China and Mother Russia, but not by all that much plus Newz doesn't really escape well from either Nation-State, so you can't be entirely sure of WTF is going on there.  In Mother Russia, one of Vlad the Impaler's political opponents recently went to the Great Beyond, apparently resultant from Poisoning.  Another one, Alexander Navalny who was a Blogger so I like him 🙂 was convicted of some kind of felony so is no longer eligible to run against Vlad to run Mother Russia. He was probably the only opponent of Vlad who stood some chance of beating him, at least in popular voting.  The Ruskies do have some cheap Oil left though, and their population is not too large given the land mass available there.  On the other hand they have NATO troops massing on their borders, not a good sign.

Of all the BRICS, the Chinese have weathered the storm the best so far, but by no means does this presage a rosy future for them.  In fact the Chinese are TOAST, and are in worse shape than everyone in the BRICS except perhaps the Indians.  Reason of course is Population Overshoot, but by no means is that their only problem.  They've blown a Credit Bubble that makes the one Da Fed blew up look like Child's Balloon next to the Hindenburg.  Forget about not drinking the water, half of it is not even fit for human contact!  You can't walk outside in Beijing without at least a surgical mask on, but really you need a full blown activated charcoal gas mask or better yet a SCUBA tank.  This is not a recipe for a bright future for the Chinese.

However, of all the BRICS, the one in the WORST shape right now and is clearly exeriencing a FAST COLLAPSE is Brazil.  Their economy is in complete collapse, corruption is systemic and now they are losing control of the social structure as well.

In the state of Espirito Santo which borders on the state of Rio de Janeiro which is home to the city of Rio, Corcovado (the big Christ statue on the mountain) and numerous Favelas (slums), the Military Police recently went on strike because…they weren't getting PAID!  Big fucking surprise, who is going to work at anything if you don't get your paycheck at the end of the week?

Problem for these cops of course is that just like under Amerikan Law, Strikes of "publicly essential personnel" are ILLEGAL!  So even if you're not getting paid, you're supposed to KEEP WORKING!  Does this sound like SLAVERY to you?  It does to me.

Since these cops are MILITARY cops, one suspects they can't even quit either until whenever their enlistment in the military runs out.  Not that they would quit anyhow, because in all likelihood there are no other jobs for them to take in the neighborhood.  So they got a bit creative here on this one, and instead of the cops themselves not showing up for work, their families went out and blockaded the stations, so the cops could not go out on patrol.  Of course, they had the option of possibly Arresting their own families for "obstruction of justice", but who is going to go out and arrest their own wives, kids, fathers and mothers, or shoot them?  Not gonna happen.

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/cee9e57924da473fc287876b61e1fe4a7691ecd1/0_163_5000_3000/master/5000.jpg?w=300&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=6dca5670e4f694a61b2948765d4f87b9 So in the wake of this absence of cops on the streets of Vitoria (the capital of Espirito Santo), the population at large took the opportunity to go an a rampage of looting, raping and killing.  There is of course a large population of people living the criminal life in Brazil, because there are no opportunties for them in the "legitimate" world.  They deal drugs, they steal, they kill people.  It's like Chicago on Steroids and much larger.  Its not like everyone is a criminal, but without a police presence, it's "Criminals Gone Wild".

So Da Goobernator of Espirito Santo asks for help from Da Federal Gobermint, and they promise to do "watever it takes" to restore order and send in the Military to replace the cops on the streets.  Except how many do they send in?  A Big 200 soldiers to police a city of 2M people!  That is 1 for every 10,000.  Even only 1% of those 10K are criminals, that is still a 100:1 ratio!  However, in this situation it's probably more than 1%, since many normally law abiding type citizens will take the opportunity to go loot the local grocery or Iphone store.

Normally, they put out on the street 1800 cops, so to do the same job you would need around the same number of soldiers.  So now you have to pay the soldiers instead of the cops, and Da Federal Goobermint of Brazil is in no better position to do that than the states are, they are BROKE also!

Even if they could field enough paid soldiers to go in there to restore order, Vitoria and Espirito Santo as a whole is a relatively small state in Brazil.  What happens when the same thing occurs in Rio De Janeiro or Sao Paolo or Brasilia?  Sao Paolo has something like 20M people now, that by itself is an order of magnitude larger than Vitoria.  What is to stop this from spreading to Sao Paolo?  They are broke too, and besides that running short on water and the money to run their sewage treatment plants, garbage collection etc.  It's not just cops not getting their paychecks, just about all the public workers are seeing wages withheld because Da Goobermint doesn't have the money to pay them.

Unlike the FSoA (also broke), the Brazilleiros cannot just issue infinite debt and have it recognized as worth anything.  They have gone through NUMEROUS periods of Hyperinflation, and they are trying to avoid that problem with "austerity", but austerity means people either are paid to little to live on or not paid at all.  Jobs are cut, pensions are cut and you get a downhill spiral as people have no money to spend in the economy.  They can't afford to buy enough food to feed their kids.  At this point, they get desperate, and take desperate measures.  That is what the cops in Espirito Santo are doing.

http://media.gettyimages.com/photos/man-walks-on-dry-cracked-earth-where-water-usually-stands-at-the-picture-id467643149 The problem here of course is that like many other resource based economies, the Brazilleiros are running short on resources people around the globe can afford to buy at the prices they cost to extract.  There are some big oil fields in deep water off the coast of Brazil, but their own state company of Petrobras is broke, and oil majors like Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell are not going to put up debt money to drill these fields, because there is no profit in it.  These companies are already bleeding red ink on properties they are drilling here in the FSoA, and beyond that there is an oil GLUT due to collapsing demand around the world.  So the Brazilians will not be saved by the Oil underneath the ocean floor surrounding them.

It's only a matter of time before the chaos in Espirito Santo spreads to the rest of Brazil.  How much time?  Then from there it spreads to other SA countries dependent on resource exports, and the chaos grows.  Then it makes it to Mexico, then it migrates across the border to the FSoA.  How long will that take?  Timeline, Timeline, Timeline.  Like Location, Location, Location in the world of Real Estate, that's always the question, not what the final outcome is.

13 Responses to Brazil & the Bloodied BRICS

  • Davebee says:

    Nice one RE. You have it pretty much in a nutshell regarding the BRICS hope on steroids lunacy. I'm saving the article to show my local Financial Planner (The bugger still keeps phoning me after I have been retired for about 10 years and even now wont take NO for an answer)

    Oh, just in passing, my own BRICS experience, (I'm in the S at the end of the name) suggests that it's only a matter of time before the Espirito Santo plague manifests here on the south end of Africa as well. We have effectively a REAL unemployment figure of about 60% and a gooberment that is so obscenely crooked that India and Brazil would be mere runners up at the Corruption Olympics.

  • Farmer McGregor says:

    Considering the rather severe entitlement mentality of typical Mericans, one wonders how 'austerity' will play out here once the vapor-paper gravy train derails.  Tens or hundreds of millions of those poor schlubs in the 'developing' nations are already accustomed to living at the edge of starvation in favelas or their like, or slogging around in rice paddies and such.  Their just aren't many Mericans, even among the poorest, who actually know what truly grinding poverty is like.  Suburbia is going to be an interesting place, not to mention the inner city slums and ‘projects’…

    –Greg

    p.s. Hey there RE, how 'bout that approval?

    • Davebee says:

      10 out of 10 for vapor-paper Mac. I hope to use it in my next argument with all the Happy Clappy great-future-out-there types. Thanks.

    • RE says:

      I approved you last night.

      RE

      • Farmer McGregor says:

        Thanks, RE.  (As of my posting this morning I had not received the email and attempts to login informed me that I hadn't been approved yet.  I'm in and snooping now.)  Again, thanks.

        To Davebee: You're welcome!

        • RE says:

          Have fun snooping!  Plenty to snoop there, far more material than the blog.

          Join the fun and drop on a post when you are ready.

          RE

  • tj says:

    It might not be being reported there, but there's been a lot of rain recently. The rivers are surging, the resevoirs over 90% full. Maybe it's still dry in the North East, but there's a long history of drought and migration out of there to the big cities in the South. So it's been an internal supply of cheap labor over many years. Most of the favelas are populated by them and the culture comes with them. Although everyone in Brazil speaks Portuguese, the dialects make for easy identification. One might not want to indicate that he lives in a favela on the job application, but in an interview the assumption is quickly made. So he does what he has to do. One interviewer asked the 23 year old drug dealer/petty theif. who'd accidentally killed someone why he did it. He said he needed food for his kids. How many? Five. Ok, but do you sometimes feel guilty for having done it? “Well, actually I don't have time to think about it as I'm too busy planning my next heist.”

     

    As shows so entertainingly well the documentary Manda Bala, for years the ultra-rich have lived side-by-side with the extremely poor. The solution? Yeah, a wall.

    But the collective memory of harder times and poorer places and a fear of a quickly dispatched death, keep a lid on the simmering pot. Plus, the sincere belief that somehow …. The tv covers the striking families and supports them, but points out that 95% of the police force is at work as normal. And the politicians promise that all is being taken care of, just Stay Calm (Fique Tranquilo). It's Brazil's version of I'm going to Disneyworld, or Jamaica's Don't Worry, Be Happy. There's magic in dreams.

     

    One of the world's richest men a few years back, Eike Battista is shown on TV, head shaved, t-shirt and prison jeans, being taken from suv to another holding pen. They might be draining the swamp here, it's hard to tell. You won't learn anything by observing. From Temer on down, there's been so much plastic surgery pulling sagging skin tight, that hardly any expression can be read, much lest trusted.

     

    Like elsewhere, the inertia of the system is hard to predict. Even after watching tv, it's difficult to understand why there's so much normality. But even Carnaval has a new aspect this year – less nudity.

    The women are not dancing with only body paint and sequins sprayed on. Their vaginas are actually covered:, but the body language still shouts the same message:-)

     

    You'd be surprised how many here hate Carnaval. The obsessives in this hysterical city have a lot to complain about. But Rio has, it seems forever, had this sexual side that funnels energy away from violence at crucial moments. The middle class seems to have lost this option, preferring the analyst couch to the sex hotel. The tv images of an imagined upper/middle class obscure the fact that the economic crisis is festering, It's those with money that are trying to save it, the poor spend it and the movement might keep the economy alive longer than a first-worlder could suspect. It isn't black and white here, it's more as Radical Marijuana would have it. The spiritual side of life is respected. Unfortunately it seems the Elite and Globo have been tirelessly working to corrupt that as well. Up til now, the population has been patient, but as you point out RE, it could all ignite at any point. How many of us have been in a relationship like that. All seems fine, even hunkydory, and then….. poof. Problem is, then most of us bury ourselves in a new relationship built on the same dependencies, and the cycle just starts all over again. LRHubbard was right, Man needs help. Please try to see the documentary Going Clear to realize it's not going to be Tom Crusie or John Travolta who will save us:-)

  • tj says:

    p.s.

    another thing keeps the lid on the simmering pot:  lots and lots of cold beer. then, in preparations for the Olympics, they had to go and pass a law against pissing in the street.  as if the heat wasn't high enough already. you might not see it going on so much, but your nose tells you otherwise. smells like freedom:-)

    • Davebee says:

      There is something odd about the 'staffing' in these BRICS/Turd World failed states T.J. and that is the insane urge to make photocopies of themselves or, as it is more politely known in drawing room circles, population overshoot.

      Out here in South Africa we have squatter camps literally from horizon to horizon and in these camps the poverty and squalor is beyond human belief yet the Mammas keep on having kids. Don't they think: "You know, I'm starving, I have ZERO prospects in life, so don't let me bring another poor little pilgrim into this life of endless dread" NO they do not, they go right ahead and pop yet a further kid. Is it something that the shrinks should go into, that those in the most hopeless of situations continue to recklessly procreate? Thereby putting an additional burden onto an already thin ice system.

      • tj says:

         

        It can be seen as a very natural thing to do, as the mothers here count on their children to provide/care for them in their 'terceiro edade'. Most of these children accept this without thinking, just as we accept that our parents are going to provide for us until we're out of school, and then we can mostly depend on them to take care of themselves, or so it's been. Thes poor kids that make it are genetically sound, and even the handicapped have a courage and thirst for survival that humbles me.

        Our solution to our domestic animals is one many would apply, the problem is it's always 'us' who exempt ourselves, just as the politicans here in Brazil, in the USA, and possibly in SA exempt themselves from the laws they pass. It's a big divide. If mom, kids, dogs and cats didn't have to be near a city running/ruining on oil, there'd be no need to worry, (of course, it's not them we worry about but instead what they doing to us) nature would take care of itself. More power to these mothers. Sex is a natural act and girls will be girls. What with the oil running out, the temps going up, the money becoming a farce, let's see who is left standing. A poor mother investing in her kids makes sense to me. You got any other options to give her? The documentaries 'The Salt of the Earth' and 'Darwin's Nightmare' show the reality of their odds against survival. Meanwhile, as in Africa, Haiti, and elsewhere their organs are being shipped refrigerated to recipents unknown. God bless us all.

      • tj says:

        Alternately you should you be thinking this?

        'You know, I'm really fed up with being part of this unjust economic system but I have ZERO prospects of escaping it, so please God don't let me birth my own little pilgrim and make it worse.'

        Man needs help not so much because he's evil, but because he's stupid. It could be that those skinny poor kids think more efficiently than the average fattened/medicated/dumbed down photocopies the system (YOUR system) likes produced.

  • tj says:

    Alternately you should you be thinking this?

    'You know, I'm really fed up with being part of this unjust economic system but I have ZERO prospects of escaping it, so please God don't let me birth my own little pilgrim and make it worse.'

     

    Man needs help not so much because he's evil, but because he's stupid. It could be that those skinny poor kids think more efficiently than the average fattened/medicated/dumbed down photocopies the system (YOUR system) likes produced.

    • Davebee says:

      There are numerous FREE OF CHARGE family planning clinics here in South Africa TJ, even in the squatter camp areas, or, as the SA dot gov euphemstically refers to them, Informal Settlements. Thus that Mamma is a victim of her own ignorance or bad life choices.

      Of course there is a monetary angle to consider as well: Each child up to 18 years of age is liable for a social security Child Grant.

      Which also only adds to the growing tax bill of the measly 3 million actual taxpayers in this country of  some 50m people.

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