Brazil: Rothschilds of the South

Businessmen who live high on the hog irritate a Brazilian intellectual named Israel Klabin. "In an underdeveloped country," says Klabin, "there can be no elite." Yet Klabin himself, a businessman as well as a Sorbonne graduate, belongs to—and prizes membership in —an elite of sorts. At 36, he is one of Brazil's brightest young businessmen and the primus inter pares of an unusual family whose members share equally the profits and responsibilities of running a $130 million business complex. "We are," says Israel Klabin, "something like the Rothschilds."

The ten brothers, sisters, cousins and nephews who are at the center...

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