Fernando Henrique Cardoso has seen the bad times, the boom times, and now the crisis. As president of Brazil from 1995-2002, he consolidated the country’s democracy and reformed its economy. In the following decade the surge in Brazil’s fortunes caught the world’s attention, and the country was awarded both the World Cup and the Olympics. But sitting in his office in São Paulo last week, Cardoso, now 86, calmly acknowledged that Brazil faces "a moral and economic crisis". The economy shrank by almost 8% in 2015 and 2016. President Dilma Rousseff was impeached and removed from office last year. The current president, Michel Temer, and about 40% of the members of Congress are under investigation over corruption. This Brazilian crisis has global implications. In the good times, the country became a symbol of the triumph of liberal politics and economics around the world. In the bad times, however, Brazil’s plight has become a symptom of a global crisis in the liberal order.By cutting s...

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