Car Wash | Big Brother Is Watching

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Jean Wyllys, an openly gay Big Brother Brasil winner elected in 2010 to the federal congress by the PSOL, writing this week in CartaCapital.

In the Car Wash case, the major corruption schemes – constantly portrayed in the media as proof of the moral degradation of specific individuals and generally associated with the party in power – are shown for what they really are: a fundamental component of a sociopolitical system controlled not by corrupt civil servants but by the companies that corrupt them.

Nine such companies are currently under investigation: OAS, UTC, Queiroz Galvão, Odebrecht, Camargo Corrêa, Iesa, Galvão Engenharia, Mendes Junior, and Engevix. Altogether, they have R$ 59 billion in contracts with Petrobras.

In Rio de Janeiro alone, three companies  (OAS, Camargo Corrêa and Odebrecht) are participating as associates in various consortia building the ten largest public works for the World Cup and the Olympics (Subway Line 4, Maracanã, Parque Olímpico, Transcarioca, Transolímpica, Porto Maravilha etc.) at a cost of R$ 30 billion.

They have contracts with governments of nearly every stripe and color. Some have partnered with government in the privatization of airports and other PAC projects, and some are working on the São Paulo subway, marred by a corruption scandal in which governor Geraldo Alckmin, who also received money from public works contractors for his campaign, is under investigation.

More recently, the state-owned Sabesp [BVMF:SBSP3] —  has fessed up to delaying news about a looming water shortage in the state during the campaign season.

The CEO of Sabesp was overheard on tape telling her colleagues that it was a “mistake” to postpone public announcements on the issue.

If it does not rain by November, there will be outages where now there seem to be discreet adjustments in the middle of the night, the morning paper says.

Both federal and state administrations have made extensive use of the PPP — public-private partnership — to organize Pharaonic undertakings. Is there something endemic about the model, that makes it risk-insensitive?  Continue reading

Street Fighting Men | Military Police Snub Lawmakers

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Governor Geraldo Alckmin’s state secretary for public safety (SSP) and the military police have simply ignored a public hearing summoned by the federal Public Ministry to discuss police violence during social protests. Fernando Grella and Roberto Meira, from the SSP and the PM, respectively, simply failed to show up at the scheduled time.

Source: GGN | Rede Brasil Atual

Photographer Sérgio Andrade Silva lost an eye to a rubber bullet last May while covering a street protest

Photographer Sérgio Andrade Silva lost an eye to a rubber bullet last May while covering a street protest

São Paulo – São Paulo state public safety secretary Fernando Grella Vieira and the commandant of the state military police, Benedito Roberto Meira, failed to show up at a public hearing on the actions of police during protests, scheduled for Tuesday afternoon at the federal Public Ministry for the 3rd Region (MPF-3) at the request of the NGO Conectas Direitos Humanos. The event drew state and federal state’s attorneys,  legal experts, activists, social movements and civil society organizations to the seat of the 3rd Federal Regional Court in downtown São Paulo.

Deputy federal prosecutor for civil rights Jeferson Aparecido Dias, called the absence of spokespersons for the Alckmin administration “lamentable.” “It makes them seem like they are not amenable to dialogue, not least because no reason was given for the absences,” he said.

Dias said he could not understand the posture of the two, given that the MPF represents the Judiciary and has no involvement in partisan politics. “If this were an initiative of the state legislature, one might justify the absence in reference to certain (political) interests. But the MPF is an institution of the Republic,” he said.

During the debate, Grella was to be represented by an aide, Já Meira, who sent a message that she would not be able to attend. She sent a second note saying she was on her way. Half an hour later, she cancelled once more.

The purpose of the event was to discuss the conduct of police during protests, ….

Continue reading

Não temos ‘informações avassaladoras’ para suspender contratos com empreiteiras, diz Graça Foster – Economia – Notícia – VEJA.com

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November 17 –With its ADRs at $9.35, down 6.8$, everything at the Bovespa is coming down alongside Petrobras. (You might want to read Michael Kaufman at BidnessETC for an overview.)

Meanwhile, while awaiting the return of Chairman Dilma from the G20, Petrobras news and rumor could not help becoming the buzzmost item on the editor’s desk.

First, the Petrobras Investor Relations office has politely underscored the fact that oil production is at a record high in the history of oil companies, while announcing that third quarter results will be late in coming as accountants figure out what hole all that graft fits in, and how to make it — the Brazilian government — whole.

And as if that were not enough, it is reported that chief architects of the Petrobras machine may have played a similarly central role in the growth spurt of the energy business in Northern Brasil. Continue reading

Camargo & Sons| Doing The Laundry

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Source: El Pais Brasil (PRISA):

The rumors circulating in Brazil’s major cities turned out to be true. The business sector woke with a start today with the arrest and questioning of ranking executives of Petrobras and representatives of Petrobras suppliers with contracts in the billions of dollars, all as part of Operation Lava  Jato (Carwash). Panic has been a more than adequately justified response by the recipients of 85 arrest warrants served Friday at home and in the offices of public works contractors (some of them as emblematic and institutional as Odebrecht and Camargo.)

The worries began in late October with the affidavit of Julio Camargo, an executive with engineering company Toyo-Setal, the first of the “penitents” from outside Petrobras to testify to a network of bribes, commissions and money-laundering that has jolted public opinion and, according to the Federal Police, may have siphoned off billions of dollars.

Camargo is not just a ranking executive of a firm whose annual contracts with Petrobras are worth R$ 3.5 million (it is the largest such company in Brazil). “It was at the heart of the corruption scheme,” as a source close to the investigation had said several weeks earlier. Three companies under its control (Treviso, Piemonte e Auguri) made million-dollar deposits into fictitious firms used by the black market money-changer Alberto Youssef, a key figure in the network and the second “penitent” to plea bargain with the federal Public Ministry.

Continue reading

Petrobras & Petropress

Screenshot from 2014-11-14 14:07:07

By SharpCharts Workbench

Petrobras ADRs decline steeply due to

  • A very large federal police and attorney general operation against bribery – “Operation Carwash” – the seventh chapter of which dominates the headlines today.
  • Media coverage strikes me as an “orgy of evidence,” another instance in which partisan federal police leak freely according to the needs of the mainstream media. Example: Mountains of money make for good cover graphics — «Here it is, in R$ 200 bills!
  • It will be interesting to see whether the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices statute might be applied to these international wheelings and dealings.
  • Third straight quarter in which results are not forthcoming

Leaving aside the complex politics of the congressional inquiry however (which has not managed a quorum in weeks as the hourglass flows), there is positive news.

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PBR should hold on to that IR consultant.

Sampa > The New Sheriff

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São Paulo is witnessing a remarkable campaign against corruption thanks to the role of the municipal comptroller (Controladoria Geral do Município, or CGM) created by Mayor Fernando Haddad.

During the Lula years, the TCEs (state accounting tribunals) were rotten with nepotism and bribery themselves – in the news recently, the umpteenth magistrate who ruled to table a case against himself –and so the Lula government created a parallel system of federal tribunals at the cabinet level, headed by Jorge Hage.

But these efforts and results trace their roots back to 2001-2004, when Marta Suplicy was running the city. The results of those efforts, however, were slow in catching the public eye, before the election in which the Serra-Kassab administration took the city

The current hiatus represents the rebirth of a previous system, stronger than the old, but tracing its roots back ten years.

Continue reading

A Snapshot | Telefonica S.A. (ADR)

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The following is the sort of shovel work my freelance translation practice churns out, on a good day.  Inquire within. In the meantime, I am testing the screenshot editor Shutter.

Spanish company reports earnings of € 2,849 million euros in the first three quarters, 9.4% less than the same period in 2013.

The Spanish telecoms giant posted net earnings of € 2,849 million between January and September, representing a fall-off of 9.4% over the same period last year, according to a Material Fact and Notice filed with the Spanish market regulator, the CNMV.

The company said that the fall-off in results was related to the depreciation of certain assets in the countries where it operates.

Telefónica recorded turnover of €  37,978 million in the first three quarters, representing a decline of nearly 11% compared with the previous period.

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