Alex Cuadros is the author of Brazillionaires—a "compelling tale of Brazil’s superrich, which deftly weaves lurid soap opera with high finance and outrageous political skulduggery," as a review in The Wall Street Journal put it. He's also written for The Atlantic, The Baffler, Bloomberg Businessw...
Brazil's Olympics Meet Its Favelas - The New Yorker
Strange things are happening in Brazil: billionaires are going to jail. This includes Eike Batista, once the eighth-richest person in the world, who was arrested in January. Accused of paying $16.5 million in bribes, he was placed in a 160-square-foot cell with six other prisoners who shared a single fan and a single squat toilet and a single tap where the water turned on just a few times a day.
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett, the second richest man in the world. Photo / Daniel Acker
When reporter Alex Cuadros was covering Latin America for Bloomberg, his mission was to track a powerful and elusive species: the billionaire. It was 2012, and Bloomberg was about to launch its Billionaires Index as a direct challenge to the long-running World's Billionaires list run by rival Forbes.
Last week, Forbes published its list of the richest people in the world. This list, in the suggestive words of Peter Bernstein and Annalyn Swan, is “the big-banana index — simple, primal, direct” — a purely objective measure of who has more money than whom. But it’s more than that too.