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Best of the Web

Peruvian women are deemedto be better borrowers than men; heavily indebted Rio de Janeiro looks to sell anisland mansion; and the repercussions of structural economic trends in the Americas.

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Amongthe unbanked, women look to be best paying

A study that aims to measure the contribution of women to Peru'sfinancial system shows that in general, women in the county have better credit scoresthan men, María José Gallo reports for ElComercio. The number of women who are part of Peru's economically active populationhas grown 25% during the last 10 years, surpassing the growth rate for the oppositegender. Many women were found to be working in nontraditional areas, while othersare self-employed. Even among the unbanked population, the study found that womenhave a lower risk of defaulting on their debts compared to men.

The Olympiceffect will not save Brazil's workers from recession

The Brazilian government's vow to boost employment through theOlympic Games in Rio de Janeiro is looking more like an empty promise with everypassing minute, much to the dismay of the 11% of the country's population that iscurrently unemployed. The Financial Times'Joe Leahy finds little relief in a study by an official sponsor of the games thatclaimed the event would create 1.79 million jobs. Although a number that high wouldgo a long way to ease double-digit unemployment, most of these jobs will be temporary,meaning that scores of part-time workers will be dumped back into the labor marketwhen the games conclude. Regardless of what happens after the Olympics, "thedays when employees occupied podium position in workplace relations are in the past,"Leahy asserts.

Riode Janeiro fire sale starts with governor's island mansion

Behind the sale of Rio de Janeiro's Brocoio Island mansion isa Brazilian state in frenzy, as local officials scamper to fix Rio's financial blundersahead of the Olympic Games in August. The state of Rio de Janeiro is broke and onthe verge of social collapse, and its governor is now looking to sell his personalsummer residence and the island on which it sits in a deal that "could be abargain for someone with a few million dollars laying around," writes DavidBiller of Bloomberg News. Conditions in Rio have deteriorated to the point wherepolice officers greeted arriving visitors with a banner proclaiming, "Welcometo Hell." The mansion's sale will do little to resolve the state's fiscal woes,but as the author points out, "in desperate times every bit helps."

Lessonsfor restoring the American dream from Latin America

Carol Graham, writing for the Brookings Institution, delves intothe pursuit of happiness (and rise of desperation) in the Americas and the reasonswhy the poor in the U.S. are faring worse than their counterparts south of the border.The poor of Latin America are much more likely to trust in the notion that hardwork will improve their conditions. The region has almost rid itself of extremepoverty and the middle class is expanding. The U.S., on the other hand, has seenthe sharpest rise in inequality out of all OECD countries in recent decades, andmuch of the difference is explained through globalization-driven structural economictrends. In this scenario, "Latin America can provide some important lessons"to the U.S. to restore "the tattered American dream."