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Opinion, by Michael Royster

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Actually, it’s 3.01, the number of Brazilian reais needed to purchase one US dollar at the close of the commercial exchange markets yesterday, March 5, 2015. That’s the highest it’s been since August 2004.

2004 wasn’t that bad, comparatively speaking. In October 2002, just before the election of President Lula, the dollar had soared to the record level (under the Plano Real) of R$3,95. The market expected Lula to be a socialist spendthrift, a devotee of Castro and Chavez, expanding costly governmental programs at the . . .

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