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BEEN THERE, SEEN THAT

Lantern in the Stern by Roberto Campos

ALL THE WORLD HAS BEEN A stage for Roberto Campos, a Brazil’s statesman emeritus participated in the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference, where representatives from 44 countries met to draw up plans for the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. He returns to the New Hampshire town this month to celebrate the 50th anniversary of that gathering. On the eve of the visit, Campos, 77, is basking in the admiration of his countrymen, who have made a best-seller of his entertaining memoir Lantern in the Stern.

The title, taken from the writing of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, refers to a light in a boat that casts its illumination backward. Summed up O Estado de S. Paulo:  “A banquet for those who believe in the lessons of history”.

Henry Kissinger, John Maynard Keynes and John Kennedy, among other world figures, make cameo appearances on Campos’ stage. An unlikely cosmopolite from Cuiabá, on the Amazon’s southern fringe, he earned a Ph.D. in economics in the U.S.; as ambassador in Washington and London he came to know just about everyone. In the office of Planning Minister from 1964 to 1967, he prepared the foundation for his country’s financial system, and for 12 years he has served in Brazil’s legislature.

A master of irony and sarcasm, Campos earned the respect of his fiercest detractors, and while leftists branded him a sellout for his defense of the free market, privatization and foreign investment, Brazil edged closer and closer to his ideas.

Seção “Sightings” editada por Emily Mitchell e Stacy Perman; correspondente em Brasília: Ian McCluskey

Publicado na Revista TIME, N. York, 24 de outubro de 1994

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