Tupi SEC: New Superintendent of Information Asymmetries

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São Paulo elevator news screens (Linux-powered, by the way) are started to pop up in the fancier buildings. “Telefônica denies conversations the Holland’s KPN over a proposed sale” (Friday, October 28). Features a red light-green light (but not yellow-light) heads-up display of traffic conditions on the major roadways that kind of reminds you of the Homeland Security “terror alert level” display (still yellow after these years).

The Comissão de Valores Mobiliários (CVM), Brazil’s securities regulator, announces:

A Comissão de Valores Mobiliários (CVM) informa que a Superintendência de Relações com Investidores Institucionais (SIN) será reestruturada com o objetivo de centralizar em uma única área técnica as atividades relacionadas aos fundos de investimento e seus prestadores de serviços. A partir de 1º de março, Carlos Alberto Rebello Sobrinho assume a SIN, após dez anos à frente da Superintendência de Registro de Valores Mobiliários (SRE).

… that Superintendency of Institutional Investor Relations (SIN) will be restructured with the objective of centralizing activities related to investment funds and their service providers in one technical department. Starting March 1, Carlos Alberto Rebello Sobrinho will take over SIN after ten years as superintendent of the securities registry (SRE).

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Turtles all the way down: Malcolm McLaren ransom-note aesthetic enjoys revival in Blighty book design circles. Would somebody please smuggle this book to South America for me on the next packet steamer to Santos?

British journalism | Hacks at work | Economist.com: In the course of trying to document for a Metropolitan colleague the informal Colonial terms of art “hack” (journalist) and “flack” (public relations professional), conversation turns to whether the Economist is any good anymore (I hold my hand, palm down, parallel to the floor, and make the wiggling motion denoting ambivalence).

Which leads to this bit of doggerel:

You cannot hope to bribe or twist,
Thank God, the British journalist.
But seeing what the man will do
Unbribed, there’s no occasion to!

It’s a review of a book by Nick Davies of the U.K. Guardian called Flat Earth News.

The Economist manages not to mention the title of the book even once in its review.

The Economist apparently thinks the Five Ws are optional. The name of the book is not as important as what the Economist thinks of the book.

The title does appear in an associated “opportunity to buy” “related items” box on the Web page.

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Technical Note: Quote Bloat in Potential Tupi Tie-Up !

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“Investors in the Pernambuco Stock Exchange”: I visited the exchange in historic downtown Recife once (the building was colonial and pink) but am so freaking fat in the photo that I hesitate to publish it. Whether Brazilian regional exchanges might someday awake from their provincial torpor is kind of an interesting topic to speculate about, though.

When translating quotes from one language into another, we should do so in an idiomatic way rather than with pedantic literalness. Care must be taken to ensure that the tone of the translation is equivalent to the tone of the original. Beware of translating quotes in newspaper pickups back into the original language of the source. If a French politician gives an interview to an American newspaper, it is almost certain that the translation back into French will be wrong and in some cases the quote could be very different. In such cases, the fewer quotes and the more reported speech, the better.A Handbook for Reuters Journalism, “Quotes”

Notice to the Market: The Bovespa, Brazil’s main stock exchange, launched an IPO not so long ago, and there has been newsflow in recent weeks according to which it is thinking of merging with the BM&F (“the Chicago Mercantile Exchange of Brazil,” sort of).

Which is certainly not a completely weird thought to have.

After all, at a certain point, the possibilities of a NYSE-CME combination were kicked around, weren’t they?

The Folha de S. Paulo reported such a merger would potentially produce “the second-largest exchange group in the world.”

Then had to run an erratum correcting “in the world” to “in South America” or “in Latin America,” I forget which now.

The CVM, Brazil’s securities regulator, is notably interested in trying to get a handle on rumor mills, disinformation campaigns, and the general employment of noise machinery to clog the gears of the free and efficient operation of the capital markets with baffling bullshit.

See also

The CVM questioned the exchange about remarks to the press on the matter, and the exchange replied on January 18.

I mostly reproduce it as an exercise in evaluating the quality of newsflow in translation, which is kind of my thing these days (I am doing some modest consulting on this topic these days for the New York office of an investor relations agency that specializes in Tupi public companies.)

Just to make it clear: I do not have any information at all on the substance of the matter in question, and I most certainly would not be telling tales out of school about it even if I did.

Verdict: Not too bad.

We acknowledge receipt and thank you for your referenced [?] letter. In answer to your query [inquiry], we inform you that the headline of the news report published in the January 16, 2008 edition of newspaper Valor Econômico, issue of January 16, 2008, which was worded [read] “Fusão Bovespa-BM&F faz sentido, diz Gilberto Mifano” (“Merger Bovespa_-BM&F merger makes sense, says Gilberto Mifano”), is not an accurate quote quotation of anything the undersigned Gilberto Mifano told the newspaper reporter when he was interviewed [in his capacity?] as chief executive officer of Bovespa Holding S.A.

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“Not with a decline, but with a miscalculation”: Apocalypse Dow, Reloaded

Post-hack ergo propter hack?

NewsOK clips the follow-up from AP’s Daniel Sorid to last year’s trading-system glitch at NYSE.

It is encouraging to see someone pursuing a mysterious major malfunction at a strategic tech Big Dig with this degree of doggedness.

Those who fail to learn from major systems malfunctions are doomed to repeat the last voyage of the Hindenburg.

See also

The item is from the (non)patented NMM Google News Alert on one of the more interesting words in the English language: glitch.

NEW YORK — With the stock market plunging, and the Dow Jones industrials already down hundreds of points, Wall Street’s most closely watched gauge dropped precipitously, in the process choking off electronic trading systems at the New York Stock Exchange.

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Rio: Fudgeships In The Awarding of Judgeships?

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Vintage roleta with bichos. Source: Musem of the Policia Civil, Rio de Janeiro

The suspicion is that the content of the exam was leaked to benefit sons, daughters-in-law, sons-in-law and nephews of senior judges of the state court. Among those approved for judgeships by the examination process, seven are related to senior Rio judges.

Lilian Matsuura of Consultor Jurídico (Brazil) reports:

Houve fraude no 41º concurso para ingresso na magistratura feito pelo Tribunal de Justiça do Rio de Janeiro em 2006. Esta é a conclusão do relator do processo sobre o caso no Conselho Nacional de Justiça, promotor Felipe Locke Cavalcanti. O julgamento, contudo, não terminou porque o conselheiro Técio Lins e Silva pediu vista dos autos.

There was fraud in the 41st competitive entrance examination for the judiciary conducted by the state supreme court of Rio de Janeiro in 2006. That was the conclusion of the investigating magistrate for the National Justice Council (CNJ), prosecutor Felipe Locke Cavalcanti. The case has not concluded yet, however, because CNJ councillor Técio Lins e Silva has requested time to review the case file.

Ao ler seu voto de 51 páginas na sessão nesta terça-feira (26/2), o relator afirmou que houve quebra de sigilo do conteúdo da prova, além de diversas outras irregularidades. Com isso, os 24 juízes aprovados, e que estão trabalhando, correm o risco de ter de deixar os gabinetes. Apesar de constar que o processo não foi lícito, Locke não chegou a uma conclusão em relação ao que deve ser feito. Não conseguiu decidir se todos os aprovados devem perder o cargo ou apenas aqueles que se beneficiaram com a fraude.

Reading out his 51-pp. opinion in the Tuesday session of the CNJ, the investigating magistrate said [the contents of the test leaked out], along with other irregularities. With this, the 24 judges approved, who are already at work, run the risk of having to vacate their offices. Although he found that the process was not valid, Locke did not state a conclusion about what ought to be done about it. He could not manage to decide whether all those approved for judgeships should lose their posts or only those who benefited from the fraud.

The CNJ is an independent oversight body for the Brazilian judiciary, established in recent years.

The irritable Maierovitch, a former federal judge and national “drug czar” turned columnist, has questioned in the past whether the oversight is really all that effective. See

The judiciary has suffered a scandal or two in the last year or so, including two cases from the Rio-São Paulo corridor involving senior judges accused of selling verdicts favoring organized crime interests such as illegal gambling enterprises.

“Legal certainty” seems to have emerged as a major theme at the multilateral donor and credit agencies.

More on that in a minute. The following does tend to leave with the negative impression that some of the judges who might be adjudicating your contract dispute (7 of the  24 candidates approved are related to court members) might be disposed to lie, cheat, steal and otherwise engage in personal conduct not conducive to upholding the fabled majesty of the law in the eyes of its postulants.

As suspeitas eram de quebra de sigilo e fraude para beneficiar filhos, noras, genros e sobrinhos de desembargadores do TJ fluminense. Entre os aprovados no processo, sete têm parentesco com desembargadores.

The suspicion is that the content of the exam was leaked to benefit sons, daughters-in-law, sons-in-law and nephews of senior judges of the state court. Among those approved for judgeships by the examination process, seven are related to senior Rio judges.


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So NIRI and Yet So Far

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“Sarbanes-Oxley inside!”

This comes to the e-mail inbox from the National Investor Relations Institute (which could really, really use a good copyeditor for its newsletter, by the way).

Too bad we are not in New York. This could be interesting. Seriously. It’s $50, but I bet I could gobble up at least that much in cocktail shrimp and gin.

While investors and analysts continue to rely on traditional print and broadcast media they are also becoming more “new media savvy,” presenting new challenges for the IR professional.

How will the ongoing and inexorable agglomeration of the Reuters-Thomson-NEWS-Dow infotainment complex affect your company’s never-ending battle against the gabbling ratfink and the churning of the rumor mills?

Result: While IROs need to continue to cater to the needs of the traditional media they must also understand how the recent acquisitions and mergers – such as News Corporation’s acquisition of Dow Jones & Co. (including The Wall Street Journal), and Thomson Corporation’s acquisition of Reuters Group PLC – will affect the journalists who cover their industry. IRO’s also need to closely follow Web-based reporting and blogs.

But only the blogs that people whose opinions matter are actually foolish enough to be reading instead of getting serious work done.

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São Paulo Diary: Globo Takes a Gamble on Spiderman

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Terraço: slightly decrepit yet strangely graceful landmark across from the desert that the Praça da República has become.

As it happens, Robert had contacted the Globo network’s Fantástico and invited it to televise the stunt live — and according to him, the TV equipment is what tipped the security guard off.

He said his sponsors pay him the value of a luxury car for every climb, but asked that the exact amount not be published. His São Paulo adventure was bankrolled by the online casino Golden Palace.

Golden Palace, the online casino that grew their fame by utilizing odd advertising schemes, pleaded guilty yesterday to charges of illegal online gambling in Quebec, Canada. —Casino Gambling Web, November 30, 2007

Maguila, o segurança, frustra a ”vingança” do Homem-Aranha: “Magilla [the Gorilla] the security guard thwarts ‘revenge’ of Spiderman.”

I read it in the print edition of the Estado de S. Paulo on the CPTM commuter train on my way back from Lapa — transferring at Barra Funda — where I have gone to see the feds about my visa and application for permanent alienhood.

As Chico Buarque says,

Eu fui pra Lapa mais perdi a viagem …

But that is another story.

In this case, a Frenchman known for accepting corporate sponsorship to scale tall buildings is prevented from scaling the Terraço Italiano — its rooftop restaurant is a lovely spot — after tipping a team from the Globo TV network he would be trying it.

The Globo team hems and haws and argues that it was merely there to provide (exclusive) “serious” journalistic coverage of [an event of compelling public interest] [a garden-variety (“Drink Slurm!”) paid publicity stunt] [a publicity stunt paid for by a criminal organization.]

Magilla the security guard pantses the man from France as he makes the attempt.

Maguila nem precisou de superpoderes para vencer o Homem-Aranha anteontem à noite, no Terraço Itália, centro de São Paulo. Tudo bem, ele rasgou o terno. Mas bastou esticar os braços, alcançar o tornozelo do “herói” e puxá-lo até arrancar-lhe as calças. Foi assim, de forma nada heróica, que o francês Alain Robert, de 45 anos – conhecido como “Homem-Aranha” por escalar os mais famosos prédios do mundo -, foi parar no 3º Distrito. Alerta, Adilson Marques da Silva, de 34, o Maguila, impediu que Robert descesse, pelo lado de fora, sem equipamento de segurança, 41 andares do Itália, um dos edifícios mais altos da capital.

Magilla did not even need superpowers to defeat Spiderman the other evening at the Terraço Italia in downtown São Paulo. It is true that he tore his suit in the attempt. But all he needed to do was stretch out his arms, grab the ankle of the “superhero” and pull until he pulled the man’s pants off. It was in this less than heroic fashion that the Frenchman Alain Robert, 45, known as “Spiderman” because of his habit of climbing the world’s most famous buildings, wound up in the 3rd District stationhouse. The alert Adilson “Magilla” Marques da Silva, 34, prevented Robert from descending, from the outside, without safety equipment, the 41 floors of the building, one of the tallest in the city.

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