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Petrobras | They Did It Their Way

PT received R$ 200 million in bribes from Petrobras

PT received R$ 200 million in bribes from Petrobras

Take this with a pinch of salt, but it stems from a federal investigation called “My Way,” a nickname for one of the parties involved.

Meanwhile, the headline of a long-form report regarding Petrobras, on the Bloomberg box, this morning:

“The scenario is very difficult, and I don’t see it improving in the short term,” said William Landers, who oversees $3.7 billion in Latin American stocks at BlackRock Inc. in New York. “We’re looking at a possibility of negative growth, shortages of electricity and water, bad prospects for infrastructure investment.”

The top headline today: a plea dealer reports having transferred R$ 200 million over the course of more than a decade, as Petrobras chairman Graça Foster steps down. A real challenge for optimists, but Luciano Martins Costa makes the effort to shore up the reputation of Petrobras.

Source: Luciano Martins Costa | GGN

Translated: C. Brayton

The collective resignation of the Petrobras board of directors of Petrobras, which calls for the urgent substitution of the chairman of the corporation, is the top headline in today’s dailies (February 5).

The news is full of speculation as to the name that will occupy the seat of Graça Foster, and this choice could adversely affect the performance of the company, undermining its reputation: a market-friendly figure that that will turn the focus of the news media to the political arena.

In recent days, Graça Foster came to personify all of the ethical shortcomings of the company according to a establishment to divert coverage to legal questions: for the first time, in a corruption scandal, the spotlight has been trained on agents of corruptions, business owners, and executives traditionally regarded as untouchable. Little by little, the evidence that part of the money was diverted to the slush funds of political parties.

As columnist Janio de Freitas of the Folha de S. Paulo, there are two ways of regarding Petrobras — as a company destroyed by negligence and corruption, and as a winning company that is breaking records for production and productivity and winning awards for technological innovation. News editors are hiding the fact that Petrobras continues to operate at full capacity, that most of the investments for exploration of the pre-salt have been made. The news media knows that these facts soften the blow they seek to strike.

This news coverage has other objectives, including justifying a bill of impeachment of the President, a notion emerging from the crowned head of ex-president Fernando Henrique Cardoso.

The legal opinion in which this attempted [Paraguyan] coup is part of the political agenda, and signed by attorney Ives Gandra Martins, Opus Dei spiritual guide to São Paulo governor Geraldo Alckmin, contains a curious criterion which limits the period for investigating the Petrobras to the mandate of the current president.

Opus Dei, in Brazil, is a very controversial Catholic prelacy. The chief of journalism at Globo, Ali Kamel, for example, is an adept, but rejects criticism of using his influence to promote an ideological agenda.

This must be his basic argument for a technical defense of the use of impeachment. Another legal brief might argue that the inquiry into wrongdoing based on Operation Car Wash extends over a longer period,  but this would not succeed in concentrating the focus on the departing Petrobras chair, or, for example, the President of the Republic.

Whetting Appetites

Lawyers like to cite the Roman which says, “Quod non est in actis non est in mundo”, that is, “whatever does not exists in the proceedings of a case does not exist in the world.” In this case, the same may be said of the news coverage: Whatever is not in the news media is not on the public agenda.

The collective resignation of the Petrobras board of directors of Petrobras, which calls for the urgent substitution of the chairman of the corporation, is the top headline in today’s dailies (February 5).

The news is full of speculation as to the name that will occupy the seat of Graça Foster, and this choice could adversely affect the performance of the company, undermining its reputation: a market-friendly figure that that will turn the focus of the news media to the political arena.

In recent days, Graça Foster came to personify all of the ethical shortcomings of the company according to a establishment to divert coverage to legal questions: for the first time, in a corruption scandal, the spotlight has been trained on agents of corruptions, business owners, and executives traditionally regarded as untouchable. Little by little, the evidence that part of the money was diverted to the slush funds of political parties.

As columnist Janio de Freitas of the Folha de S. Paulo, there are two ways of regarding Petrobras — as a company destroyed by negligence and corruption, and as a winning company that is breaking records for production and productivity and winning awards for technologicalinnovation. News editors are hiding the fact that Petrobras continues to operate at full capacity, that most of the investments for exploration of the pre-salt have been made. The news media knows that these facts soften the blow.

This news coverage has other objectives, such a justifying a bill of impeachment of the President, an idea emerging from the browi of ex-president Fernando Henrique Cardoso. The legal opinion in which this attempted [Paraguyan] coup is part of the political agenda, and signed by attorney Ives Gandra Martins, Opus Dei spiritual guide to São Paulo governor Geraldo Alckmin, contains a curious criterion which limits the period for investigating the Petrobras to the mandate of the current president.

This must be his basic argument for a technical defense of the use of impeachment. Another legal brief might argue that the inquiry into wrongdoing based on Operation Car Wash extends to a longer period,  but this would not help concentrate the focus on the departing Petrobras chair, and, for example, the President of the Republica.

Whetting Appetites

Lawyers like to cite the Roman which says, “Quod non est in actis non est in mundo”, that is, “whatever exists in the proceedings of a case does not exist in the world.” In this case, the same may be said of the news coverage: Whatever is not in the media is not on the public agenda.

The news media work hard to manipulate this agenda. Where possible, it omits, or treats as mere background, the corruptors, moving the focus to the figure of the Petrobras president, through which they hope to get to the federal president. This strategy whets the appetite of adventurers who occupy seats in the Congress, and whose biographies have in common the facility with which they change hats between opposition and government.

The only barrier that prevents the maneuver by the former president is the immense prestige of his successor ex-president Lula da Silva.

This circumstance creates an odd scenario: The more the press bashes  Dilma Rousseff, the more potential Lula has for victory in 2018, because unlike Lula, the current president, is not supported by the mass of party militants.

A media blitzkrieg of four years — or a successful coup, carried out in short order —  in order to undermine the political asset that is Lula might [paradoxically] lead the former metalworker back to the presidential palace.

Observing the tactics of the establishment media is aided by the fact that this media has a single purpose: to defeat the regulatory model that makes the State the conductor and regulator of economic policy, and not just an observer of market forces and their disputes.  Petrobras has become a symbol of this model, when it traded the concession system, created by Fernando Henrique Cardoso em 1997, for the production sharing system, instituted by Lula in 2009.

The major multinationals in the oil and gas sector must go without concessions in one of the world’s major wellsprings, but this is not happening in a conflict zone. The Brazilian news media applauded the end of the monopoly of Petrobras, in 1997, and condemned the pre-salt model in 2009.

This is the context behind today’s headlines, but we cannot speak of an international conspiracy. It is a simple matter of an ancient domestic political dispute.

The news media work hard to manipulate this agenda. Where possible, it omits, or treats as mere background, the corruptors, moving the focus to the figure of the Petrobras president, through which they hope to get to the federal president. This strategy whets the appetite of adventurers who occupy seats in the Congress, and whose biographies have in common the facility with which they change hats between opposition and government.

The only barrier that prevents the maneuver by the former president is the immense prestige of his successor ex-president Lula da Silva.

This circumstance creates an odd scenario: The more the press bashes  Dilma Rousseff, the more potential Lula has for victory in 2018, because unlike Lula, the current president, is not supported by the mass of party militants.

A media blitzkrieg of four years — or a successful coup, carried out in short order —  in order to undermine the political asset that is Lula might [paradoxically] lead the former metalworker back to the presidential palace.

Observing the tactics of the establishment media is aided by the fact that this media has a single purpose: to defeat the regulatory model that makes the State the conductor and regulator of economic policy, and not just an observer of market forces and their disputes.  Petrobras has become a symbol of this model, when it traded the concession system, created by Fernando Henrique Cardoso em 1997, for the production sharing system, instituted by Lula in 2009.

The major multinationals in the oil and gas sector must go without concessions in one of the world’s major wellsprings, but this is not happening in a conflict zone. The Brazilian news media applauded the end of the monopoly of Petrobras, in 1997, and condemned the pre-salt model in 2009.

This is the context behind today’s headlines, but we cannot speak of an international conspiracy. It is a simple matter of an ancient domestic political dispute.