Search

Editors

Richard L. Cassin Publisher and Editor

Julie DiMauro Executive Editor

Andy Spalding Senior Editor

Jessica Tillipman Senior Editor

Michael Scher
Senior Editor

Elizabeth K. Spahn Contributing Editor

Eric Carlson Contributing Editor

Michael Kuria Contributing Editor

Thomas Fox Contributing Editor

Philip Fitzgerald Contributing Editor

Marc Alain Bohn Contributing Editor

Bill Waite Contributing Editor

Shruti J. Shah Contributing Editor

Russell A. Stamets Contributing Editor

Connect

Subscribe to receive the free FCPA Blog daily

Close
FCPA Blog Daily News

« Holder in Russia: Corruption is a 'Gateway Crime' | Main | China's Corruption Goes Mainstream »
Thursday
May172012

Focus on Latin America: Brazil at a Crossroads (Conclusion)

As kids we envision it over and over: we score the goal, the crowd roars, our teammates carry us off the field. In Chicago or Pittsburgh or Dallas, the ball is thrown and caught; in Mexico City and Nairobi and São Paulo, it’s kicked. Football or futbol, it makes no difference; the dream remains the same.

A few years pass, and our dreams change: building great things, obtaining positions of influence, achieving economic security. Our hopes shift from sport to business, but still they remain the same.

And throughout, we never ask ourselves what we had to do to get there: whether we cut corners, stabbed backs, bent the rules. It’s not part of the dream. We take it for granted: we achieved our goals on the merits. We won, straight up, through ability and effort.

And then a few more years pass, and the world seems not as simple. We learn that our sports heroes take performance-enhancing drugs, or abuse their spouses, or deliberately injure opposing players. And our business heroes steal intellectual property, or engage in predatory pricing, or trade on material nonpublic information.

Or pay bribes.

But the better part of us holds fast to the dreams; we press on, seeking to build a world in which our children don’t grow quite so disillusioned, so quickly.

And so it is that business and sport converge, in our dreams and in our lives, around the world. And so they will soon in Brazil, with its uncommon fortune of hosting, back to back, the world’s two greatest sporting events: in 2014, the FIFA World Cup; in 2016, the Summer Olympics.

The events will shine a piercing light on the country for all to see. What will it reveal? China’s 2008 Olympics exposed corruption and fomented public discontent. India’s 2010 Commonwealth Games were a spectacular, embarrassing, corruption-soaked debacle. China’s revelations precipitated so many anti-corruption reforms; if only they had come earlier. India’s humiliation accomplished even less; in optics and substance alike, a country’s net loss.

Whither Brazil? The country mesmerizes; will it now disappoint? On May 23rd, its legislature decides.

Whither Brazil?

__________________

Andy Spalding is a contributing editor of the FCPA Blog. He teaches international business law at the Chicago-Kent College of Law. Effective June 1, he’ll be an Assistant Professor at the University of Richmond School of Law.

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.