The place names throughout Latin America may bear the evidence of their colonial Spanish and Portuguese origins, but from an economic standpoint, the similarities end there.
The contrast between Southern Europe’s economies and those of most of Latin America is a case study in the timing of learning one’s lesson. Brazil and its southern hemisphere compatriots have already fought their epic battles with inflation and currency devaluation – and the hard lessons of the 1990’s have shaped their current policies for the better.
Europe, on the other hand, must learn these lessons now, and with union members in the streets there protesting the trimming of state-paid benefits, it appears that they do not wish to.
While Latin America has youthful, aspirational demographics and the steady supply of commodities that the rest of the world needs, Europe has an aging population that seems more concerned with comfort and government largesse.
As the middle class populations of Latin America explode, billions will be made in selling to them. As populations in Europe gray, billions will be saved in avoiding them altogether.
Night and day.