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Oilmen At The Gates | The Siege of Jardim Botânico


Topic: Governance and Petrobras ADRs

Source:  Emanuel Cancella « Viomundo

In the 1990s, the oil syndicates marched in protest to the doors of Globo, in the Jardim Botânico.

The broadcaster was running a campaign in favor of privatizing Petrobras, comparing the company to a [white ]elephant and painting executives of the oil syndicates  as “maharajahs.”

Time has shown who was in the right: in recent times, Petrobras discovered the pre-salt layer, which increased our oil reserves to 60 billion barrels, guaranteeing consumption for the next 50 years … and is one of the largest oil companies, in the world.

It is notable for the fact that 75% of the taxes it paid are applied to PAC, the federal Growth Acceleration Program and to various social and cultural purposes.

In the present day, corruption is investigated and the bribe payers and takers are on their way to jail.The Federal Attorney (Ministério Público) has announced it will try to recover R$ 1 billion embezzled from the company.

Just to give an example from the recent past: In 1999, then-president Fernando Henrique Cardoso of the PSDB ordered a bailout of R$ 1.4 billion in the scandal known as the “Marka e FonteCindam Affair,” saying it was necessary to avoid the meltdown of the national financial system.

This money was never returned to the authorities, but FHC continues to pose as a knight of morality and ethical purity.

The Policia Federal, o Public Ministry and the federal Congress never pressed FHC to take responsibility.


Is the Globo propaganda machine really gearing up for infowar on a Brobdingnagian scale? Turn on the TV as you sneak behind the O Globo paywall and help produce a manchometrô.

In the present day, Globo is carrying out a systematic, daily campaign against Petrobras, and still has the guts to come calling at the door of the presidential palace, most likely to ask for money in the form of government advertising aired on its network and other vehicles.

Totally unscrupulous, Globo campaigns for the entry of U.S. oil companies into the Brazilian market to replace companies involved in the Petrobras corruption scandal.

The truth is, however, that U.S. oil companies are the dirtiest and most corrupt in the world, and produced the largest oil spill ever, into the Gulf of Mexico.

Now, Globo carries out a publicity campaign for U.S. law firms, urging shareholders to sue Petrobras.

Can that be backed up? Breathe deep and medidate on the 5Ws. I saw some news items recently about what D.C. lobbying firms have been retained. Let me see if I can retrieve them.

Avoid trying to “Globo up” the story without checking it out for yourself.

Whether these U.S. attorneys are the best defenders of the shareholders, I cannot say, given that Petrobras, despite the sordid campaign against it, is doing quite well, thank you. In the U.S. and around the world, shareholders of GM and Citibank, among others, have little to show for their investment after the meltdown of the U.S. in 2008.

I believe the time is coming for Brazilians return to the gates of Globo and put a stop to its dirty tricks against Petrobras and in favor of the Americans.

*The author is president of Sindipetro-RJ and the Federação Nacional dos Petroleiros (FNP).

The following is an op-ed in a similar spirit whose reference I have lost. Ctl-H!

Vargas Vindicated

1. Brazil is fighting the most vital battle in its history: the survival of Petrobras as a nationalized corporation. And it has done so with positive results, because if it were to lose, the loss would be the point of departure from which the Brazilian people decide they have had enough and put a stop to the lamentable failures of the past 60 years in which we have accumulated more failures than accomplishments from a structural point of view.

Principally from the structural point of view, because, thanks to the infrastructure that developed during the Vargas years — and down to the present days — we made major progress in terms of technology development and productive capacity.

3. In Brazil, prior to 1954, structural progress was achieved, not just by investments by the State, but also by promoters of private industry. By that fatal year, domestic companies of the highest quality had emerged, some of which grew into major firms.

4. These were the first, most substantial victims of the financial and technological dependence that took hold after 1955 and during the JK era, when the State was being used to promote the privatization of these industries, a trend that gradually encompassed other sectors of the economy as well.