In this profile I did for the Los Angeles Times, sources explain that his catastrophic losses this year were in part related to his, erm, shall we say, unique personality. Much about the way he behaves will shock English-speaking readers, and the way he promised investors more than he could deliver led the markets to punish him severely.
His losses were far worse than anything else going on in Brazil. It is him, and not the economy more generally, that really tanked. The current wisdom is that Brazil will probably re-balance to more modest but decent growth, and that Eike’s companies will probably do OK eventually.
The problem, however, is that he quite purposefully and forcefully made himself a symbol of Brazil’s success. And not just the long-term opportunities for natural resource extraction he represents. His getting REALLY RICH, RIGHT NOW became a goal in itself, and, the myth went, proof of Brazil’s worth. That never made much sense.