If you want proof that the Brazilian economy is on fire, look no further than the TV ads. While Sarah Jessica Parker professes her love for a Sao Paulo mall, Richard Gere promotes hair care products in dubious Portuguese. What's made the influx of American stars possible, writes Bloomberg, is Brazil's booming currency—the real has been the biggest gainer of the world's most traded currencies for 4 years straight.
The real hit a 9-year high against the dollar this month as Brazil has established itself as the Western hemisphere's new economic powerhouse. Analysts are predicting a fall—but they've done so for the last 5 years, and every year they've been wrong. While Brazil booms, celebrities from Kiefer Sutherland to Pierce Brosnan will keep flying down to Rio; as one ad exec said, "Now they are not only affordable, they are actually cheaper than the locals."