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By Sarah de Sainte Croix, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – With disbursements totaling over R$178 billion last year, pundits are calling the BNDES (Banco Nacional do Desenvolvimento, or Brazilian National Development Bank) the most significant lender in the Western hemisphere. However, some economists have criticized the bank’s lending policies as being inconsistent with its own goals and priorities.

According to the BNDES website, “The Brazilian Development Bank is the main financing agent for development in Brazil. Since its foundation, in 1952, [it] has played . . .

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