BRAZILIAN DEBT: Tough Talker Takes a Walk

Tough Talker Takes a Walk

U.S. bankers may be able to breathe a little easier now, because Dilson Funaro has lost his job. The contentious Brazilian Finance Minister had hoped to pressure foreign banks into drastic concessions on the country's $108 billion in debts. But last week Funaro, who proved unable to rein in Brazil's runaway economy, was dumped by President Jose Sarney in favor of the more pragmatic Luiz Carlos Bresser Pereira, 52, an economist and businessman. Bresser Pereira promptly devalued Brazil's currency 8.5% against the U.S. dollar in an effort to boost export income, which should improve the country's ability to pay its debts.

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