Israel Klabin

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" Businessmen who live high on the hog irritate a Brazilian intellectual named Israel Klabin. "In an underdeveloped country," says Klabin, "there can be no elite." Yet Klabin himself, a businessman as well as a Sorbonne graduate, belongs to—and prizes membership in —an elite of sorts. At 36, he is one of Brazil's brightest young businessmen and the primus inter pares of an unusual family whose members share equally the profits and responsibilities of running a $130 million business complex. "We are," says Israel Klabin, "something like the Rothschilds."

"The ten brothers, sisters, cousins and nephews who are at the center of the dynastic Klabin clan completely own a group of ten companies that mine minerals, raise cattle, grow coffee and manufacture paper, tiles and textiles. They have just completed a $30 million plant expansion that will more than double their newsprint capacity to 135,000 tons, reduce Brazil's paper imports by a third. Hoping to further Brazil's development and the family fortune simultaneously, they plan to build two new plants to make paper and tile as soon as Brazil's runaway inflation slows down a bit..." [1]

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  1. Brazil: Rothschilds of the South, Time, accessed July 3, 2010.