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When Brazilian bank holidays meet financial regulation

What gated communities can teach us about gaming the system.

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Brazil had three long holiday weekends in a row in April. The middle one found me with my family 75 kilometres outside São Paulo, spending a couple of nights at a house in an exclusive gated community. 

One half of the couple who rent the house is a senior private banker but – before there is any cry of corruption ahead of this year’s Awards for excellence decisions – my invitation had come by the way of his wife to mine: they have been friends since childhood, growing up in the same small town in the interior of the state. 

The complex is impressive. We passed through two large guarded gates to get to the house. Security was tight – or the administration was loose with the paperwork – either way the banker had to drive down to the first gate and vouch for us. We followed him through the complex – large houses sprawled lazily over the hills. All seemed to have a pool and a view to the impressively mountainous horizon. 

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