If you believe that self-esteem is a key ingredient of success, you now have the key to understanding what is going to happen to Brazil in the next 10 years.
Brazilian's by large had a low self esteem of themselves. "We will never get past the poverty trap", "We will always be the country of the future", "we don't have the drive", etc, etc, etc.
Well this is changing, and rapidly.
Brazil has now 2.000.000 MBAs and Business Graduates, people who believe that the future is made, not determined by the stars. That the future is not predicted by a couple of academic and gloomy economists, but it is built to specs, by engineers, administrators, auditors etc.
Even Brazilian Executives now think BIG, such as Andre Esteves, Ike Batista, and so many others. Far from being megalomaniacs, the argument can be made that Brazilian Businessmen tended to think small. Brazilian Businessmen, usually from family owned business were risk averse, invested only retained profits, and therefore had SMALL ambitions. The era of family owned businesses in Brazil is over.
Lula did wonders to improve the self esteem of the poorer, fatalistic population. A factory worker that managed to become President, and made a better job at it than the former president, a university intellectual.
Now we will have 6 years of the Olympic culture, with messages such as winning, "competition", "prepare", "train", "persevere".Brazilian kids will for the first time aim to win the Olympics, rather than aim to travel and participate in an Olympic game. Big difference.
A Brazilian Rating Company downgraded US Treasuries, rightly so, but that would have been unheard off a decade ago. So expect some poignant comments next time you travel to Brazil, and constructive criticism.