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"Another day, another macro-prudential measure from Brazil. On Thursday night Guido Mantega, finance minister, announced a doubling in the tax due on personal loans, from 1.5 to 3 per cent a year.

Measures like this have let Brazil reduce its reliance on high interest rates, formerly its only weapon against inflation. The trouble with high rates is they drive the currency higher and that hurts competitiveness – hence the whole currency war."

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