“Brazil Borks Banker, Tupi No. 1 Most Wanted!”

https://i2.wp.com/www.videversus.com.br/imagens/Salvatore%20Cacciola2.jpg
Cacciola: as an Italian citizen, not extraditable, until recently.

Time will tell whether the emergence of the quasi government is to be viewed as a symptom of decline in our democratic government, or a harbinger of a new, creative management era where the purportedly artificial barriers between the governmental and private sectors are breached as a matter of principle. — Kevin R. Kosar, “The Quasi Government: Hybrid Organizations with Both Government and Private Sector Legal Characteristics” (Congressional Research Service, February 13, 2007)

Salvatore Cacciola é preso em Mônaco: a banker sentenced to 13 years after having been found to have pulled some astonishing stuff on an astonishing scale is arrested in Monaco and is due to be extradited. He was No. 1 on the Tupi most wanted list, Globo/G1 reports.

O ex-dono do Banco Marka foi envolvido em um escândalo em janeiro de 1999, época em que o real estava para sofrer uma maxidesvalorização em relação ao dólar.

The former owner of the Marka bank was involved in a scandal in January 1999, at a time when the Brazilian real was suffering a megadevaluation in relation to the dollar.

O ex-banqueiro teria sido beneficiado por receber informações privilegiadas sobre política cambial, juros e outros assuntos sigilosos do então presidente do BC, Francisco Lopes.

The former banker was charged with receiving inside information on monetary policy, interest rates and other secret matters from then Central Bank president, Francisco Lopes.

Além disso, Cacciola teria se beneficiado de um empréstimo concedido pelo BC que resultou num prejuízo de R$ 1,5 bilhão aos cofres públicos, em razão da baixa cotação utilizada na operação financeira.

Further, Cacciola is charged with benefiting from a loan from the Central Bank that resulted in a loss of R$1.5 billion to the public treasury, because of the low exchange rate used in the transaction.

Na época do episódio, Francisco Lopes alegou que o dinheiro foi emprestado ao Marka para evitar uma crise que abalaria todo o sistema financeiro nacional.

At the time, Lopes alleged that the money was lent to Marka to avoid a crisis that would have brought down the national financial system.

The man was found guilty of defrauding investors last year during the crisis as well.

So what ever happened to the Brazilian Alan Greenspan there?

April 4, 2005, Consultor Jurídico:

A juíza Ana Paula Vieira de Carvalho, da 6ª Vara Federal Criminal do Rio de Janeiro, condenou o ex-presidente do Banco Central, Francisco Lopes, a dez anos de prisão e 120 dias-multa, fixados em cinco salários mínimos por dia, por peculato. Hoje, o valor é de R$ 156 mil.

A federal judge in Rio sentenced the former Central Bank president to 10 years in prison and a fine set at 120 days times five minimum salaries per day, for the crime of misuse of public funds. In current terms, the fine would be R$156,000.

Na mesma sentença, foram condenados a ex-diretora do BC, Tereza Grossi, e o controlador do banco Marka, Salvatore Cacciola. Tereza foi condenada a seis anos de reclusão e 72 dias-multa, no valor unitário de três salários mínimos. Cacciola pegou 13 anos de prisão por peculato e gestão fraudulenta.

In the same sentence, former Central Bank director Tereza Grossi and the controller of the Marka bank, Salvatore Cacciola,were found guilty as well. Tereza was sentenced to six years and a fine. Cacciola got 13 years for fraud and misuse of public funds.

Na sentença, a juíza Ana Paula tachou a gestão de Cacciola à frente do banco Marka de irresponsável e desonesta. Francisco Lopes e Tereza são acusados pelo Ministério Público de favorecer os bancos Marka e FonteCindam às vésperas da desvalorização do real, em janeiro de 1999.

In her sentence, the judge slammed Cacciola’s management of the Marka bank as irresponsible and dishonest. Lopes and Tereza are accused by the federal prosecutor of providing favorable treatment to the Marka and FonteCindam banks on the eve of the devaluation of the real in January 1999.

The judge had this to say of Lopes:

Cuida-se de homem de notável capacidade intelectual, cujos ensinamentos têm, segundo a prova dos autos, muito influenciado o pensamento econômico brasileiro nas últimas décadas. Tendo ocupado cargos públicos relevantíssimos, dele se poderia esperar, haja vista sua capacidade e as oportunidades de formação profissional e acadêmica que a vida lhe deu, uma especial preocupação com valores éticos e morais que cercam o exercício da função pública. Muito embora sua atuação, em relação ao Banco MARKA, pudesse inicialmente ser justificada para a evitação de um risco sistêmico, a forma imoral de intervenção bem demonstra sua concepção distorcida das relações entre o Estado e a iniciativa privada. O mesmo se diga quanto à operação com o FONTECINDAM, para o qual sequer existia o citado risco e cuja realização se deveu, de forma precípua, a relações promíscuas entre a autarquia e ex-funcionário ocupante de alto cargo no banco socorrido. Na qualidade de Presidente do Banco Central à época, tem especial responsabilidade pelo ocorrido, em decorrência do total domínio final do fato. As circunstâncias e conseqüências do crime são-lhe também desfavoráveis, haja vista o descomunal volume de recursos públicos (cerca de um bilhão e meio de reais) de que se teriam beneficiado ilicitamente os particulares envolvidos, sem ressarcimento aos cofres públicos.

This is man of notable intellectual capacity whose teachings have influenced Brazilian economic thinking substantially, as these proceedings have shown. He has occupied public posts of the utmost importance, which would lead one to expect from him, given his talents and the opportunities for education and training his life has afforded him, a special concern with ethics and morality in the exercise of public authority. Even if his actions in the case of Banco MARKA can be justified by the need to avoid systematic risk, the immoral form this intervention took clearly demonstrates his distorted view of relations between the State and the private sector. The same can be said of the transaction with FONTECINDAM, in which said risk never even existed and whose realization was due, pure and simply, to promiscuous relations between the central bank and a former bank official occupying a leadership position in said private bank. In his capacity as president of the Central Bank of Brazil at the time, he has special responsiblity for what took place, given his complete authority over the entire matter. The circumstances and consequences of this crime are also unfavorable to him, given the enormous sums of public money (nearly R$1.5 billion) with which the defendants were illegally favored, without compensation to the public treasury.

It is common to hear around here, from gabbling hysterical virgins of the “for a decent Brazil” persuasion, that “under Cardoso, millions were stolen. But Lula has stolen billions.” Seriously. Blogged ad nauseam.

The director of the documentary Manda Bala — gabbling translated pra inglês ver as “Send a Bullet” — for example, kept telling the Sundance infotainment press that the infamous “frog farm” was used to launder billions.

He says this. “Billions.”

The man, Jader Barbalho, actually stands accused of skimming some tens of millions.

Which is bad enough, of course.

And God knows what ever became of the investigation into those dealings.

It’s all shrouded in a cloud of David “Fear and Misinformation Abound” Sasaki-style FUD.

So look: You read a lot of things in the Brazilian news media.

They ain’t necessarily so.

In fact, in this instance, it has a good chance of being the exact opposite of what is the case.

Some Brazilian news sources are more reliable than others — and some, even many, are responsibly adult up to international standards, don’t get me wrong.

But the sources that are not often gabble and confabulate to a devastating degree.

And then Larry Rohter pumps this sludge back into the pipeline for re-export under the heading of “press sources say.”

So the intelligent thing to do here is to boil the content coming down the pipeline before consuming it.

Otherwise, the local piriri can really, really knock you flat. As I can testify from personal experience.

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