South American political elites seem to have jettisoned much of the high minded left idealism of past years in favor of crass economic interests. In a somewhat outlandish turn of events, Brazil has embraced Vladimir Putin, a figure who has desperately sought to end his country's political and diplomatic isolation.
While no one is claiming that the goals have actually been reached, indications are that the reported progress is significantly overstated. This sleight of hand is accomplished statistically by making the truly vulnerable and poor populations disappear into a larger pool of data collected on a macro scale from the better-off.
The "New Development Bank" announced in Fortaleza this week marks the launch of a collective lending platform steered exclusively by the BRICS countries. With an authorized capital of $100 billion, it could lend up to $34 billion per year. It is not an understatement to say that this is a new kind of bank for a new world order. For the first time in history, infrastructure spending consistently exceeds military expenditure.