One of the big advantages of being a Latin American or Asian country used to be — somewhat counter-intuitively — the lack of credit available to most citizens. The banking system in, say, Brazil or Thailand simply wasn’t “advanced” enough to offer credit card, auto, or mortgage loans on a scale sufficient to turn the locals into US-style debt slaves.
But that, alas, is changing as those countries adopt their rich cousins’ worst habits.
Brazil, for instance, was once seen as a Latin American success story and future world power. But then it ramped up government spending and started encouraging its people to become “consumers.” And the rest is familiar, if depressing, history.