Brazil's Patience Dividend

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BRASILIA, Brazil: Now the IMF is throwing money at investors. Desperate to attract traders after months of dithering that stalled its planned $30 billion bailout of Brazil, the fund Friday announced it had upped the ante to a whopping $41 billion. FORTUNE writer Nelson Schwartz says the extra cash should do the trick -- not just by filling Brazil's coffers, but by warming investors' hearts.

"The extra money just adds to its impact," he says. "It gives the markets hope that South America can be stabilized, and that the IMF is willing to go all the way to make sure of that." That added confidence means capital flight out of Brazil and its currency, the real, should stop -- and that can ensure a recovery in and of itself. Adding to the warm fuzzies is this happy parallel: The U.S. is chipping in $5 billion on its own, the largest such committment since the bailout of Mexico in 1995. And that, not coincidentally, was the last time an IMF rescue actually succeeded.