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Nassif: The Case of the Tieppo Red Herring

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Veja magazine, March 2002: “The Dossier Wars: Politicians and spies have set up a slander industry in Brazil.” Right: And Veja is that industry’s Yoyodyne. Ask Veja about the work that Jairo Martins later did for it (and testified to a congressional committee about).

Mass hysteria and stupidity can make a real difference to a business’ bottom line. … –Rhymer Rigby. “Craze Management.” Management Today. London: Jun 1998. p. 58

Nassif on the Tieppo Red Herring and the Escola Base Moral Panic (Google Documents): Brazilian journalist Luis Nassif has been writing a series on the decay of Brazilian journalism, with special reference to the Editora Abril’s Veja magazine (above).

He also recently rereleased a 2000 book of his on “Brazilian journalism in the 1990s” as a free PDF download. I have been reading it and taking notes. It makes an interesting counterpoint to the strikingly self-serving Notícias do Planalto, by former Veja editor Mario Sergio Conti, which is taking up considerable space on my nightstand lately as well.

It also adds to my notes on the byzantine back-story to the Brasil Telecom-Oi merger — possibly the business story of the year here in Brazil, and a deal fraught with complex political risks that are a bit difficult to get your head around.

Carlos Jereissati of Oi remains controversial for his role in the 1998 privatization of Telebrás, for example, along with Daniel Dantas of Banco Opportunity, whose allegedly promiscuous relationship with Veja editorial management is a principal focus of Nassif’s series.

I make no claims to having unraveled this back-story, mind you. It is merely part of my ongoing personal effort to learn how to boil Brazilian journalism before consuming it, applying two simple maxims I have developed for this purpose:

  1. Time is money because life is short
  2. Therefore, the first thing you need to do is separate the signal from the noise, and ignore the noise

Two principal sources of noise in Brazilian journalism, including a certain strain in local business journalism: (1) Lynch mob-inciting “moral panic” and (2) autohagiography by proxy.

It is interesting and useful to note, however, that Nassif’s current project is the continuation of a theme he written extensively about in the past, applying the same “case study” method.

I had not heard much about the derivatives scandal involving the Tieppo brokerage house (which suffered Central Bank intervention in 1980), for example. I am going to add it to my notes.

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The Morning Jolt of Chimarrão: April 14, 2008

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Source: Latibex/Espirito Santo Research (63% of recommendations last year were “buy,” according to a Spanish regulatory filing.)

Hasty notes on my bleary-eyed morning scan of the Brazilian business news, in no particular order.

CVM Instruction 467 goes into effect this week. The Brazilian securities regulator requires prior approval and registration of derivatives contracts traded in organized markets. Details below.

The Gazeta Mercantil and DCI regularly have fresh news while Valor is still having its morning mate with pão de queijo. It’s 7:00 a.m. and the leading business daily has yet to ring the opening bell. Why is that? Union work rules? On the other hand, the Gazeta‘s Web site is a usability nightmare. I plan to go back to just buying it on the newsstand.

This week, we might learn why many observers in the Brazilian press predicted with great confidence that the official announcement of the Brasil Telecom-Oi merger would come last week.

The “BrOI” merger announcement never came. See

Brasil Telecom shares were up more than 4.5% in Friday trading on the Bovespa.

The optimism may have to do with the timing of two announcements: A deadline for proposed modifications to the regulations on telephone concessions (the PGO, or General Concession Plan) from Anatal (the Brazilian FCC), and the naming of a new Anatel commissioner by MiniCom Costa, reportedly backed by former president Sarney, Emília Maria Silva Ribeiro.

O presidente da Agência Nacional de Telecomunicações (Anatel), Ronaldo Sardenberg, disse que em menos de uma semana será divulgada a proposta da agência para as novas regras para a telefonia fixa e mudanças no Plano Geral de Outorgas (PGO). Em entrevista à Globo News, Sardenberg afirmou que o novo PGO vai demandar contrapartidas das empresas. As mudanças recomendadas pelo Ministério das Comunicações e que estão em estudo pela Anatel viabilizam a eventual compra da Brasil Telecom (BrT) pela Oi.

Anatel president Sardenberg said [last Friday that] the agency’s proposal for amendments to the PGO would be released in less than a week. He told GloboNews that the new PGO will require reciprocal adjustments by telephone operators. The Ministry of Communications backs the changes Anatel is studying because it wants to make a BrT-Oi merger possible.

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