FT Business Book of the Year

Best business books

All the books listed for the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award

Brazillionaires by Alex Cuadros


Brazil has had an extraordinary start to the century. Ten years ago, it was feted as a country that could do no wrong. Poverty and inequality were falling and businesses boomed.But the wheels have fallen off. The country is mired in its worst ever recession. Cuadros’s blend of memoir, exposé and historical narrative provides a wonderful vehicle to explain how this state of affairs was reached. A former reporter on Bloomberg’s “billionaire reporting team”, he does this by going to the heart of the matter: money. — Read the complete FT review


In 2012, Brazilian tycoon Eike Batista was the eighth richest man in the world, his $30bn fortune built on Brazil’s incredible natural resources. By the middle of 2013 he had lost it all, engulfed in scandal. Brazillionaires is a fast-paced account of Batista’s rise and fall: a story of helicopter flights, beach-front penthouses and high-speed car crashes. Along the way, it tells the parallel story of Brazil itself, a country caught in the cycle of boom and bust, renewed hope and dashed promise; a country where the hyper-rich are at the heart of the economy – and where their wealth can buy immense political power.

Stefan Zweig said in 1941 that Brazil was the country of the future; Brazilians joke that it always will be. Today, rampant corruption and endemic inequality threaten to derail the new Brazilian Dream. The brazillionaires are the key to understanding that dream; through them Brazillionaires tells the story of their country’s past, present and future.