Faria Limers and their musos

Another tweet related to Brazil and Nassim Nicholas Taleb:

Faria Limers Bolsonaristas vão ficar bravos com você Taleb.

It took me a few minutes to figure out those Limers:

Bolsonarists from Faria Lima Avenue are going to get mad at you, Taleb.

A avenida Brigadeiro Faria Lima, or Brig. Gen. Faria Lima Avenue, is the Wall Street of São Paulo. More precisely, it’s used metonymically to refer to a quadrangular area of 460,000 square meters including a section of that avenue. See this 2019 article in Veja São Paulo. Its subtitle says, if I understand correctly:

With the highest paychecks in the city, the largest companies and the most sought-after square meters, this life becomes a symbol of wealth.

Nothing unusual about it: you’d expect the largest city of a Top 10 economy to include at least one such district.

The desire to make lots of money in the shortest stretch of time possible drives up the heart rates of the farimalimers. In a country that has a turbulent (and guilt-riddled) relationship with capitalism, it’s a hub that brings to mind a hypothetical encounter between Wall Street in New York City and Silicon Valley in California, where those tribes almost mix together.

This article launched a thousand memes on the Net when it got published — very recently, it turns out, in December 2019.

But I’m old enough to recall, although vaguely, that Banco Garantia almost collapsed in 1998 (or 1997?) and was sold to Credit Suisse for relative peanuts. It’s hard to believe that Brazil had only had one investment bank before the 1997-8 meltdown. All those investment bankers had to be physically located somewhere, and if it wasn’t the little “county” (condado) on Avenue Faria Lima, it must have been some other sweet patch in the city.

Apparently, the farialimers have a reputation for supporting Bolsonaro for his economic policy:

The stigma of being a Bolsonarist stronghold was reinforced by the informal polling in the “county” last year and especially by the passionate defense of the government by one of its biggest influenciadores (yes, over there it’s influencers). The biggest of them even gets stopped in the street, and called an idol.

The Veja SP story has two curious Brazilian Portuguese words, holerite and muso.

The first means paycheck or payslip and is derived from Hollerith, the surname of the American inventor who developed “an electromechanical tabulating machine for punched cards to assist in summarizing information and, later, in accounting.”

The second is not 100% clear to me, although there’s something in it of “idol” (my choice in the snippet above), “role model,” or “guru.” It denotes a man both handsome and full of inner goodness, supremely worthy of trust and imitation. On the other hand, some style manuals insist the word does not exist and should always be put in quotation marks.

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