Rise of Consumer Credit in Chile and Brazil Leads to Big Debts and Lender Abuses
Chile and Brazil, two of the region’s healthiest economies — are going through growing pains as the use of credit grows. The credit-fueled spending has driven extensive economic growth. But it has also opened the door to abuses, as credit issuers have used predatory techniques to lure customers, particularly young and less affluent ones, in countries where regulation is scant, annual interest charges can top 220 percent and consumers cannot seek bankruptcy protection, economists and consumer defense groups say.
A stubbornly persistent old boys’ network
When the president took office last year, becoming Chile’s first conservative leader since its democracy was restored in 1990, he packed his cabinet with wealthy former businessmen. Nearly half his ministers renounced corporate directorships to take up their posts.
Ship Brings Peace, And Chile’s Grim History, To Port
A tall ship from Chile, the Esmeralda, is touring the West Coast of the United States this month. It’s intended as a peaceful naval ambassador, but it’s stirring dark feelings about Chile’s history. The ship pulled into port in San Diego this week. The Esmeralda is the second-longest and second-tallest in the world, with a pristine white hull, brass portholes and four masts topped with Chilean flags.
Wind farm mega-project approved on Chilean island of Chiloé
A wind farm mega-project is slated for the island of Chiloé. Plans include the installation of 56 turbines, each capable of generating 112 megawatts (MW) of energy. The Environmental Evaluation Service (SEA) of the Los Lagos Region approved the Chiloé wind park on Monday.
Chile’s rescued miners growing weary of life as celebrities
They have been feted before 75,000 spectators at Old Trafford, toured the Acropolis, flown to Los Angeles as ”CNN Heroes” and received celebrity treatment at Disneyland. But perhaps most remarkably, a year after 33 Chilean miners were entombed deep beneath one of the most inhospitable spots on Earth, more than half of the men want to return below ground.
The great green land grab
Fancy your own swath of rainforest or snow-capped peak? From Britain to Botswana, the Philippines to Patagonia, there is an explosion of individuals, charities, even billionaire financiers buying up vast areas of land in the name of protecting environments. But is private ownership the way to save them?
“We need to create a new Codelco,” Mr Piñera told The Economist. “It needs funds, new organisation and new management.” He favours its partial listing on the stockmarket, but has accepted that changing the constitution to allow this is politically impossible. Instead, his government will seek to push through other changes.