- Country X has some sort of economic meltdown.
- Country X begs for investment from World Power Y.
- World Power Y’s investment eases the economic meltdown.
Yes, that’s seems to be a common occurrence. Debt crisis, followed by foreign (usually American or British) investment, and then repeat.
A funny thing has been happening in the Sunshine State lately though. The situation has been reversed. Through tourism and real estate investment, a developing nation – Brazil – is easing the affects of the Great Recession on Florida.
When I think of Florida, I envision old Jewish New Yorkers, sun-seeking tourists on a budget, and Mickey Mouse. Lately though, someone else has been making their presence known in Florida, Brazilians. A recent study shows that Brazilians are now the most numerous international visitors to Florida. In 2011, 1.1 million Brazilians visited Florida , and they spent $1.6 billion in the state. The beauty of these Brazilians is that, generally, they love to shop and often include guided tours to malls on their itineraries, as luxury goods in the United States cost less than they do in Brazil.
While thanking Brazilians for their tourism dollars, Floridians should also take a step back and thank them for their real estate purchases. When housing prices plummeted because of the recession, Brazilians have stepped in to buy property in Florida, especially Miami, on a large scale. Thanks to these – mostly cash-paying – Brazilians the price of condominiums has increased 50 percent since 2009. Unlike Canadian investors, who have been buying dramatically under-priced, discounted properties, Brazilians have buying luxury dwellings.
Floridians have a bunch of people, places, and things, to offer their thanks to. They can thank the last three presidents of Brazil for putting the country on sound economic footing. They can also offer platitudes to those destroying the Amazon rainforest and fueling Brazil’s economic growth. A special shout out should go out the currency, the real, for staying strong against the dollar. Whoever or whatever Floridian’s thank for their new-found foreign benefactors, Floridians should take step back for a minute and appreciate that a formally third-world country, is now helping to prop up the economy of a first-world state.