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How Brazil Handles Its Banks

Barney Frank eat your heart out.

From the WSJ:

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva removed the chief executive of Brazil's largest public-sector bank hours after commenting on his frustration over high interest rates charged to consumers.

The replacement Wednesday of Banco do Brasil President Antônio Francisco Lima Neto by order of the nation's president has raised the specter of increasing political influence over banking decisions.

Finance Minister Guido Mantega made the government's concerns over interest-rate charges explicit, saying a major goal for the new Banco do Brasil president will be "reduction of interest spreads and rates charged on loans." He added, "Brazil is one of a few countries with government-controlled banks. At this moment of crisis, government-controlled banks can play a fundamental role."