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“Alstom Chipped In to Toucan Slush Fund”: The Folha Dredges Up The Spreadsheet

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Arena Pública reproduces the report from the Folha de S. Paulo today: Contributions from Alstom (above, CEO Kron from the home office in France, here for some contract signings) found their way into the off-the-books campaign funds — caixa dois, which as former small child during the fall of Nixon I think is best translated as “slush fund” — of the PSDB’s Reelect Cardoso campaign in 1998.

Alstom is being probed by a Swiss judge on suspicion of engaging in bribery to win big engineering contracts in Brazil and elsewhere in the world. Its president was just here briefly and said that (1) the company is being lynch-mobbed by the Brazilian press and (2) its own internal audit found nothing untoward.


Then again, the known tendency of internal audits to find nothing wrong is precisely what continues to send the children of external auditors to good schools.

Former PSDB president and Minas Gerais senator Eduardo Azeredo has already been indicted and will stand trial in the Supreme Court for running a scheme that laundered money out of state-run companies into slush funds, using fraudulent advertising contracts.

The same scheme may have been used by some members of the government that succeeded Cardoso, giving rise to the “big monthly allowance” scandal.

But it is my impression that the preexisting PSDB scheme involved way more money. Let me check that. I think I saw someone publish an infographic on that, with bar charts and everything.

Duas empresas do grupo francês Alstom (Cegelec e ABB) são citadas nas planilhas eletrônicas do comitê financeiro do PSDB que abasteceram o caixa dois da campanha do ex-presidente Fernando Henrique Cardoso à reeleição, em 1998. Não há mensão dos valores.

Two members of the Alstom group (Cegelec and ABB) are cited in the spreadsheets of the PSDB’s finance committee, which fed the caixa dois of the campaign to reelect Cardoso in 1998. There was no mention of the sums involved.

No mention by whom? What is the source of this information?

Em reportagem -sem primeiro página- da “Folha de S. Paulo”, assinada por José Ernesto Credencio, Mario Cesar Carvalho e Andrea Michel, são reveladas planilhas que atribuem ao atual secretário de Subprefeituras de São Paulo, Andrea Matarazzo (PSDB), então secretário de Energia do Estado, a missão de buscar recursos junto à Cegelec e à ABB. As estatais de energia eram os principais clientes da Alstom no governo de São Paulo.

In a report — which ran on an inside page — by José Ernesto Credencio, Mario Cesar Carvalho and Andrea Michel, the Folha divulges spreadsheets that attribute to Andrea Matarazzo (PSDB), currently the São Paulo city secretary for subprefectures and state energy secretary at the time, the mission of raising funds from Cegelec and ABB. State-owned energy firms were Alstom’s chief government clients in the state.

As usual, you would be better off reading the original report rather than the report that the reporters reported roughly what they reported — not to mention this report that the report on what the Folha reported leaves out some of the hard facts that the Folha put in.

Em 1998, Matarazzo acumulou o cargo de secretário com o de presidente da Cesp (Companhia Energética de São Paulo), justamente uma das principais clientes da Alstom.

In 1998, Matarazzo, in addition to his other duties, took over as president of state-owned electrical generator CESP, one of Alstom’s biggest clients.

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