• December 2014
    M T W T F S S
    « Nov   Jan »
  • Pages

  • Marginalia

  • Accumulations

  • Advertisements

GVT-TIM Fusion Imminent


Source: EXAME

The new Minister of Communications has a well-defined mission: to promote, to the extent possible, the regulation of the Brazilian media sector. It will be an institutional assault aimed directly at the billionaire families and powerful industry figures such as the Marinhos, the Civita, the Mesquita, the Frias, and others. Berzoini has made his position clear: he opposes over-concentration and interlocking directorship in the sector. Will he be able to realize this mission?

Freely translated: C. Brayton Continue reading


Sabesp Leaks R$ 7 Billion in Market Value

Variations on this image have assumed iconic value ...

Variations on this image have assumed iconic value …

Source:Portal Vermelho (PCdoB)

Topic: Water and Sanitation; Capital Markets

As the usable capacity of the Cantareira System continues to fall on a near daily basis, the performance of the Companhia de Saneamento Básico do Estado de São Paulo (Sabesp) in the stock market has been plunging all year long. Shares in Sabesp, as of December 16, are down 37.31%, equivalent to a loss of R$ 7 billion in market value, according to data from the consultancy  Economatica.

Continue reading

Top Plea Dealer Involves Demo-Tucanos in Train Cartel Case

Cartoonist Latuff mocks the "Ali Babas" Alckmin and Serra

Cartoonist Latuff mocks the “Ali Babas” Alckmin and Serra

Topic: Former Siemens Director Accuses PSDB and DEM of maintaining bribe-fueled slush fund

Source: CartaCapital (December 11, 2014)

A document delivered on April 17, 2014 to the Brazilian capital markets authority, CADE, an autonomous agency with ties to the Minister of Justice, indicates that an ex-director of Siemens, Everton Rheinheimer, said he was in possession of “documents that prove the existence of a powerful corruption scheme in the state of São Paulo during the governorships of (Mário) Covas, (Geraldo) Alckmin e (José) Serra, and that the principal purpose of this scheme was to fuel the slush funds of the PSDB and DEM political parties.”

As reported by the Estado de S. Paulo, the German executive also says that the current chief of staff to Governor Alckmin, … Edson Aparecido (PSDB), was accused by the lobbyist Arthur Teixeira as having received a bribe from the multinationals suspected of participating in the commuter rail cartel that operated in São Paulo from 1998 to 2008.

The German former executive, one of six defendants to sign a plea bargain with CADE in which the Siemens executives will reveal the activities of the cartel, identifies Arnaldo Jardim (PPS-SP), an ally of the PSDB, as another beneficiary of the scheme.

The report delivered to CADE in April is the first official document to come to light that alleges the bribery of politicians with ties to the PSDB state government.

Before this, the federal state’s attorney and police merely voiced their suspicions of corruption involving former executives of state-owned firms, such as the commuter rail service Companhia Paulista de Trens Metropolitanos (CPTM).

In the document, Rheinheimer describes the cartel as “a corruption scheme of mammoth proportions, involving multinationals in the railway sector such as Alstom, Bombardier, Siemens and Caterpillar and the governments of São Paulo and the Federal District.”

The text also mentions Senator Aloysio Nunes Ferreira (PSDB-SP) and state secretaries José Aníbal (Energy), Jurandir Fernandes (Metro Transportation) and Rodrigo Garcia (Economic Development).

The four politicians are cited by the ex-Siemens director as “involved with Procint,” a consulting firm represented by lobbyist Arthur Teixeira and suspected of acting as go-between in bribe payments to public employees, according to the MP and PF.

When the report emerged from the Agência Estado in November, Nunes denied the charge … and authorities moved to indict.

The PF indicted the engineer Arthur Gomes Teixeira, controlling shareholder of Procint Projetos e Consultoria Internacional, is accused of operating as a lobbyist for the commuter rail cartel — an organization that infiltrated the commuter rail systems of three PSDB governships between 1998 and 2008.

Another story for another time.

Rheinheimer also points to Federal District (DF) vice-governor Tadeu Filippelli (PMDB) and former governor of the DF José Roberto Arruda as “politicians involved with MGE Transportes (Caterpillar).” MGE is accused by federal authorities as yet another pipeline for bribery, infiltrating the organization through subcontracts as a supplier to Siemens and other cartel participants.

Lastly, Rheinheimer says he is, indeed, the author of the anonymous letter that triggered the investigation of the cartel of the trains. He says he is willing to tell all he knows, but suggests that, in turn, he be nominated to a senior position at the mining company Vale.

The accusatory letter was sent to CADE and the Federal Police and annexed to the investigation of the São Paulo and DF commuter rail cartels.

Rheinheimer is a former director of Transport at Siemens, where he worked for 22 years, until March 2007. He testified to the Policia Federal under the terms of a plea bargain – in exchange for leniency in sentencing or possibly a judicial pardon.

The Auditor and Tupi Business Culture | Recent Surveys (CartaCapital)

Malaysian Navy's French-Spanish Scorpene Submarine. Brazil plans nuclear version by 2018

Malaysian Navy’s French-Spanish Scorpene Submarine. Brazil plans nuclear version by 2018

Topic: The private sector moves against corruption

Source: CartaCapital.

By: Samantha Maia

The perception of Brazil as a country where corruption is a problem exclusive to the public sector has been challenged recently by the recent twists and turns of Operation Car Wash and its focus on crimes committed by private-sector construction companies.  The change in perspective is occurring just as the new Anticorruption Law goes into effect, providing for severe punishments to companies caught engaging in illegal behavior —  a fine of 20% of gross earning, a prohibition on taking part in public tenders for five years, and a veto on funding by public banks, as well as imprisonment of executives. Consultants point to major concern about Brazilian companies, given the consequences of corruption for business, and the fragility of its current compliance structures.

According to a study by global business risk consultancy Control Risks, conducted in July of this year, 54% of Brazilian companies say they intend to increase their investment in combating bribery and corruption, and are forming committees, in their board of directors or independently, and establishing internal controls based on laws and regulations, all focused on this task. Worldwide, on average, 38% of companies plan to increase these investments and 47.5% have assigned top-level executives to focus on the battle against corruption. The survey interviewed 638 executives, 46 of them active in Brazil.

According to the survey, 48% of the Brazilians interviewed conduct risk analysis related to the reputation of new business partners, a number below the international average of 58%. The use of “bribeless” clauses in contracts with third parties was cited by 59% of Brazilians surveyed, compared to a worldwide average of 64%.

Insufficient progress in risk management is a problem pointed out in a recent study by Deloitte. Of the 124 Brazilian companies surveyed, 35% have no formal anti-corruption policy, and 40% have no one assigned to the task. The annual investment in compliance is less than R$ 1 million in 76% of the companies, a sum considered inadequate in light of the fact that 40% of the companies gross more than R$ 1 billion. Under-budgeted, anti-corruption training is not offered by 48%, while 42% say that they do not investigate information on third parties or partners that perform services in the name of the company. The same goes for suppliers and employees.

The companies seem aware of the difficulty of the challenge. Of all the companies surveyed, 55% have faced corruption charges and 57% acknowledge a higher cost of doing business in Brazil.  In the face of this problem, the companies say they intend to improve risk management. For 94%, it is desirable to involve the compliance department more proactively when entering a new market or realizing an M&A deal. In 64% of firms surveyed, this does not happen.

The presence of corporate corruption is pointed to by a survey conducted by the consultancy EY this year.  Of 70% of Brazilian executives interviewed, practices such a payment of bribes are widespread in the business sector. In the global media, that perception is held by 39%. 2,700 executives from 59 countries were heard from. Despite the numbers on the prevalence of bribes, only 12% admit suffering an attempted bribe.

For KPMG, the new Anticorruption Law is influencing the behavior of the companies. One of its effects has been the increase, since last year, of the number of auditing committees, up from 95 to 130. Companies with financial committes have risen from 50 to 56, while companies with risk management have grown from 37 to 45, all in support of the board of directors of listed companies. According to a survey of 235 companies, the annual payment to the auditors of its books has risen, on average.

Auditing is a field in which Brazil needs to invest more, according to the Institute of Independent Auditors of Brazil (IBRACON), Eduardo Pocetti. “The Brazilian market still lacks a culture of auditing. Auditors are hired only by the companies that are obliged to do so, such as listed companies or very large business groups.”  The justice system has closed in on corruption and the risk of being held accountable worries the sector.  “You must not confuse the auditor with the administrator,” says Pocetti.

I remember the day Arthur Andersen, embroiled in the Enron debacle, went down. I was working freelance at another giant consulting and auditing firm, on 6th Avenue. The e-mails coming out of the company were heart-breaking.

I later managed to negotiate a feature story on the innocents of Enron — technical VPs who sincerely believed in what they were doing and wound up with a terrible blemish on their CVs. I never completed the story, however. I was too busy freelancing like everyone else, scrambling to make ends meet as the Wall (Street) came tumbling down.

India, France and the Scorpene Submarines

According to the Telegraph of India, a no-bribery clause has been used for the first time in a military procurement contract — a procurement  for a project for which Brazil has also contracted.

New Delhi, Oct. 6: India today signed a $ 3.5-billion contract for six Scorpene submarines from France with a no-bribery clause that has been included in an international military acquisition agreement for the first time.

The agreement to acquire the Scorpene submarines “which includes five separate contracts” was announced during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Paris last month.

This is the first big-ticket military acquisition contracted by the UPA government and has been signed even as Thales, one of the partners of Scorpene-maker Armaris, is under a cloud after allegations from a former executive that it holds a “slush fund.”

But the Indian Navy, which has been projecting its desperate need for the Scorpene submarines and is clearly thankful after more than a decade of negotiations, believes that the allegations against Thales should not cast a cloud on the contracts.

“There are integrity pacts built into the contracts,” the chief of naval staff, Admiral Arun Prakash, said here just after the signing ceremony. “Also, as far as we are concerned, we are dealing with Armaris (DCMS) and MBDA and no one else”.

The fate of contractors “too strategic to be arrested” resembles the Brazilian case to a degree, do you think? The Thales case, which erupted in 2005, ended with the 2008 acquittal of the defendant, which keeps itself busy turning out yellow submarines for the Indian military.

Transparency International published examples of anti-corruption clauses in cooperation agreements in March 2010.

Brazil and the Scorpene

Wikipedia — In 2009, Brazil purchased four enlarged Scorpènes for US$9.9 billion with a technology transfer agreement and a second agreement to develop a French/Brazilian nuclear-powered submarine. The hull of the first S-BR (S35) was laid down at Cherbourg on 27 May 2010 and is to be jumboized at Brazilian Navy Shipyard in Sepetiba in late 2012.[1] The latter three submarines will be entirely built there and are planned to be commissioned in 2018, 2020, and 2021. The nuclear-powered submarine could be a variant of the Scorpène class (which would make it similar in concept to the Rubis-class submarine) or one of the more powerful Barracuda class.

Justice League | The Media Profile of Sérgio Moro

«They have discovered a new well ... of corruption»

«They have discovered a new well … of corruption»

Source: Brasil 24/7

Topics: Year-end kudos, Operation Car Wash

The judge in the Car Wash case is undergoing a media treatment similar to coverage of Supreme Court Justice Joaquim Barbosa, who, in the middle of judging the AP 470 case – the «PT payola» – accepted a “Those Who Make a Difference” award from Globo and was nicknamed “the poor kid who changed Brazil” on the cover of Veja.

In today’s edition, the Marinho family newspaper, in the column of Ancelmo Gois, named Barbosa “man of the year.”

In its final edition of the year, Abril reported that Sérgio Moro was chosen Personality of the Year in a survey conducted on Twitter; Veja called Barbosa “a national idol.”

This requires some quick fact-checking. Ancelmo’s featured Person of the Year, for example, is actually presidential candidate Marina Silva, who heads the column. See below.

Marina is person of the year (uploaded December 28)

Marina is person of the year (uploaded December 28)

Is this transformation of judges into heroic figures good for democracy or the Judicial branch of government?

Federal judge Sérgio Moro of Curitiba, presiding over the Car Wash investigation, has already been declared a hero by the daily O Globo and the Marinho brothers. The process is similar to that to which Joaquim Barbosa, former chief justice of the STF, was submitted last year. – Barbosa accepted a “Those Who Make a Difference” award from Globo and was named “the poor kid who changed Brazil” on the cover of Veja.

In today’s edition, the Marinho family newspaper, the columnist Ancelmo Gois named Barbosa “man of the year.” In its final edition of the year, Abril reported that Sérgio Moro was chosen “Personality of the Year” in a survey conducted on Twitter, and ran a profile of the magistrate; Veja called Barbosa “a national idol.”

Caveat: this was a brief and desultory item buried in today’s omnibus post – late in the series of brief bon mots that is often the signature of Ancelmo

Today, December 28, columnist Ancelmo Gois names Moro “man of the year.”

To be accurate, Marina Silva was singled out to top the list, and Moro shared the credit with other listees.

This was also the year of the federal police and the state’s attorney in our Brazilian version of “Mani pulite”, which battled corruption in Italy in the 1990s. This was the year of Aécio Neves and Eduardo Campos (in memoriam), Jaques Wagner, Fernando Pimentel and Eduardo Jorge. …

And so on …

The federal judge from Paraná, 42, in his management of the Car Wash case, has displayed technical expertise and civic-mindedness as he inserts a finger into the open wound of corruption, exposing the works contractors who take part in a rigged game and traditionally enjoy impunity,” the columnist wrote.

Moro was also named “personality of the year,” based on a survey conducted by Veja using Twitter.

Veja using Twitter as an indicator of public opinion.

How unjournalistic and unscientific is that? Let us count the ways.

Dark Forces On The Move

Veja blogger Reinaldo Azevedo warned that reactionary forces were preparing to “destroy” Moro.

In this week’s edition, read Daniel Pereira and Robson Bonin as they demonstrate that the Workers Party’s target at the moment is judge Sérgio Moro, who is taking care of (part of) the Car Wash case, a case certainly more serious than the «payola of the PT». The party already has its heavy artillery ready for use against Moro.

One of the defense attorneys told VEJA: “Irrefutable evidence of corruption has been produced, so we have little to gain debating the merits of the case. Our strategy is to discover serious error in the case in an attempt to undermine the judge.”

A list of unsavory strategies, depending on an ad hominem attack on Moro, follows.

“A National Idol”

Below, an excerpt of the article on Moro in O Globo, in which he is called “a national idol.”

«Moro, Man of the Year– Responsible in the first instance for the cases stemming from the Car Wash case, Sérgio Moro is the most respected colleague of fellow federal judges. And he is also a national idol. While the complexity of the crimes under investigation represents the greatest challenge he has ever faced, it also represents evidence of his bona fides. Moro won a contest for “Personality of the Year” with 160,637 votes, or 47% of the total. He beat out a number of people who distinguished themselves in 2014, both at home and abroad …»

Joaquim Barbosa was held up as a virtuous example by various establishment media outlets, but his behavior as a magistrate was far from exemplary. In the «payola of the PT» case (AP 470), he placed his own interests, such as a future political career, above the law. As rapporteur of AP 470, he violated a venerable rule of jurisprudence, attacking several colleagues when his own views were rejected by members of the plenary session.

The lionization and cult of Barbosa set a bad example. And now, will the media transformation of Sérgio Moro into a hero be a good thing for democracy and the judicial branch?

The tabloidoid — what is the story of this media company, I wonder? — Brasil247 makes a valid point, but engages in a degree of exaggeration and melodrama.

Ex Party


It is always puzzling to me how Brazilian justice survives the tsunami of leaks, rumors, and most of all the absolute Carnaval of ex parte communications. Here is what Judge Moro had to say in a recent interview.

Presiding judge of the Car Wash case, Sérgio Moro affirms that “the investigation and prosecution have no partisan colors” and that “the case is not directed against Petrobras. The state-controlled company is the victim of these crimes. The investigation and disclosure of misconduct, though it may involve momentary burden, will greatly benefit the company in the future.”  Declarations were registered in the forwarding of the case to a trial judge, which has targeted executives of major contractors; Moro states that the investigation enjoys the full support of high-ranking authorities, such as President Dilma Rousseff and Senator Aécio Neves.

Good night and good luck.

Playboy Brasil and The Lost Franchises


Whistleblower Mônica Velosa — Mônica bares all! — struck a blow for naked forty-somethings

Source: Portal Vermelho.

Suffering a financial crisis, the Abril publishing group is considering doing away with its traditional Playboy magazine. The topic formed part of the agenda of the company’s year-end meeting, which also contemplated the end of another men’s magazine, Men’s Health. The company recently announced the end of the print edition of tech magazine Info.

Abril has long made a living cloning U.S. print media

The closure of Men’s Health more certain: it has been scheduled to close by July 2015. Its print edition and its online version have both called for the cancellation of subscriptions. Playboy, however, with its powerful branding, is being approached with more caution.

Continue reading

Estado | Vanina Vanini and the R$ Billion Man


On the Brazilian political scene at the moment, sectors of the Brazilian press would like you to believe that the incumbent PT are down to their last two outs in the ninth inning with men on second and third and no one but the pitcher to send to the plate — see …

Crisis at Petrobras haunts the second mandate of Dilma

PT leaders fear that accusations involving Graça Foster will undermine Dilma’s second mandate and demand a thorough house-cleaning in the upper management of company as part of cabinet reform.

That subhed appeared on December 14 in the opinion pages of the Estado de S. Paulo. All signs were that a Petrobras board member named Vanina Vanini — also the name of an obscure popular song — was being groomed for the role of muse and whistleblower of an exploding scandal.

At the moment, however, all is quiet on the Northeastern Front, after a dueling pair of prime-time interviews last week on Sunday-night  Globo.


On Christmas Eve, however, the Estado de S. Paulo went to extraordinary lengths to publish the entirety of an internal disciplinary report on Vanina (above). Vi O Mundo bookmarks this brilliant feat of obtaining and posting a PDF file — I guess you could say that the brilliance is the getting of it, despite transparency measures.

Petrobras digs deep in its investigation of “misdeeds,” and the reasons for presenting Venina as “the heroine” emerge.

Let me first excerpt and translate an investigative piece in which the Estado de S. Paulo had the remarkable idea of collecting the documents in the case — mainly board of directors meetings of a listed company, which should not be impossible to get your hands on if you live in the land of NYSE-Euronext — and narrating what went on at them.

Afterwards, the sad and really rather mundane story of the woman who would be the muse of a presidential impeachment.

Today’s story is by Ricardo Brandt & Fausto Macedo, the latter of whom has led the coverage where the facts take him. Kudos.

Costa et caterva

24 de dezembro de 2014 | 08:50

By Fernando Brito | Tijolaço

Christmas Eve brings surprises to those who believe they can wear out the government with insinuations of complicity between the current Petrobras board and the massive fraud of Paulo Roberto Costa et caterva.

Last night, the Petrobras board of directors decided to form an over-watch committee coordinated by a board-level director of Governance recruited from the private sector.

This will be a committee that has no recipes for pizza,* judging from the persons selected to serve on it: two persons capable of leaving the most outspoken Toucan completely mute.

*Pizza is a local metaphor for investigations that generate a lot of sturm und drang but no results; the opposing sides all go out for pizza together afterwards.

The first is Andreas Pohlmann, who oversaw the process of “cleaning up” Siemens in Germany, after the million-dollar sentences the company suffered at home and in the U.S.

The second is Ellen Gracie, a former Supreme Court judge, nominated by president Fernando Henrique Cardoso and even sounded out to serve as running mate to Aécio Neves this year.

The tasks of the committee: “approve the investigation plan; receive and analyze information forwarded by the offices; ensure the independence of the investigation such that it is not interfered with or obstructed; to analyze, approve and make feasible the implementation of recommendations made by the offices; communicate and/or authorize offices to communicate with the proper authorities, including regulatory agencies, as to the status of the enquiry, its findings, as well as actions taken by the company; and to prepare a final report regarding the findings of the probe and the recommendation of the committee with respect to internal policies and procedures related to these findings.”

In other words, the auditors hired will be in full command of the investigation.

If someone wants to point out the risk of partisanship on the panel, therefore, it would be that it is “contra” rather than “pro.”

Continue reading