Business

From riches to rags, fallen tycoon Eike Batista tries a comeback

Once Brazil's richest man, Eike Batista lost his fortune and was jailed in a massive graft probe. Now, he tries to muster an improbable comeback

Eike Batista
Eike Batista at the Federal Police headquarters. Photo: Antonio Scorza/Shutterstock

When it comes to financial market tricksters, Brazil’s Eike Batista might be in a league of his own. Once featured in Forbes magazine as the world’s seventh-richest person, he suffered a stunning collapse — losing USD 35 billion in a single year after investors discovered that his commodities empire was little more than smoke and mirrors. In 2010, he infamously told Mexico’s Carlos Slim to “watch out,” as he was gunning for his position as the world’s wealthiest individual. A few years later, Mr. Batista was in jail and became the world’s first known “negative billionaire,” becoming buried...

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