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'White People With Blue Eyes' Caused Economic Crisis?

Joshua Chaney

Posted: Mar 28th 2009 9:42AM

Filed under: News, Culture, The Economy, Muskingum College

Brazil's President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva recently blamed the global economic crisis on "white people with blue eyes," and said it was wrong that black and indigenous people should pay for white people's mistakes, the Financial Times reported.

Standing next to UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown at a joint press conference in Brasilia, Lula da Silva told reporters: "This crisis was caused by the irrational behaviour of white people with blue eyes, who before the crisis appeared to know everything and now demonstrate that they know nothing."

"I do not know any black or indigenous bankers so I can only say [it is wrong] that this part of mankind which is victimised more than any other should pay for the crisis," he added.

What a fun position Gordon Brown found himself in!
"I'm not going to attribute blame to any individuals," Brown said, probably wishing he would have skipped out on the Brazilian stop of his five-day tour of Europe, the United States and South America.

Brown's tour was in preparation for Thursday's G20 summit. Brown made a joint appeal for the world's biggest economies to pledge $100 billion to boost global trade.

Adding to his analysis of the economic crisis, Lula da Silva likened protectionism to addictive drugs.

"I compare protectionism to a drug," he said. "Why do people use drugs? Because they are in crisis and they think the drug will help them. But its effects pass quickly."

While not as shocking as the first pronouncement, this isn't winning a Nobel any time soon either. Such extreme statements also won't help Brazil's campaign for a bigger voice in international financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund and the Financial Stability Forum. At least until their president drastically alters his thinking.

And that might be the only positive development to come of all this.

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