A Big Banker Was Wanted For Arrest in Brazil; Why Not Elsewhere?
|February 6, 2014||Posted by Staff under Corruption|
A 2014 excerpt of BBC, Feb 6.
The former director of Brazil’s state-owned bank, who was sentenced in Brazil for corruption and money-laundering, has been arrested in Italy.
Henrique Pizzolato, who has dual Brazilian and Italian citizenship, fled to Italy in order to avoid a 12-year prison sentence.
Pizzolato was one of 25 politicians, businessmen and bankers convicted in the big political corruption trial known as Mensalao, or big monthly allowance.
It’s one of the biggest political corruption scandals in the Brazil’s recent history. The Supreme Court found that politicians from the Lula led Workers Party — head of the minority government — were making regular payments to members of the governing coalition in exchange for their support in Congress.
The scheme used funds from government bodies, such as Banco do Brasil, for which Pizzolato worked.
Public funds were also used to pay off debts from election campaigns.
The former chief-of-staff of ex-President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva is serving a long prison sentence.
Ed Notes: In Iceland, bankers went to jail for cheating depositors and citizens. But what must happen behind the scenes for a prominent person to be arrested in a corrupt country? Seduce the wrong guy’s wife? That aside, the “log-rolling” in the US Congress is also corrupt — when politicians of the two big party agree to subsidize each other’s backers — albeit legal.
Such payments are not only morally offensive, not only fatten the few insiders at the expense of everyone else, not only tilt the playing field away from fair and efficient businesses, such unjust spending also pushes the global ecosystem — and hence human civilization — closer to collapse. Who receives those public funds? Military contractors, who are huge polluters. Huge polluters themselves, like the oil companies and agri-business. Not to mention mega-ranchers, loggers, and miners who no longer dig but blow whole mountain tops off coal deposits. There are plenty of pressing reasons to demand an end to political spending.
But both politics and nature abhor a vacuum. Political spending must be replaced by something, and that something is a dividend to the citizenry, funded by society’s immense spending for land, resources, and government-granted privileges it uses. At the same time that government loses its discretionary power over spending it should lose its discretionary power of taxation, which is rife with loopholes as favors to insiders. Limit legislators to recovering the socially-generated value of nature and privilege. That’d topple the elite so they’d have to compete with everyone else who’d be much better off.