terça-feira, 8 de janeiro de 2019

The Precarious Future of the Nation-State (4)

                                   (Parts 1, 2 and 3 here, here and here

The recent models of capital management – the Keynesian and the neo-liberal – reveal in their crises their maladaptation, without conjuring up the causes of poverty, inequalities, wars, the new phenomenon of the masses of refugees and the worsening of a classic – climate disasters and change.

What has been brought to light in the last decades is the collapse of the autonomous power of nation-states and the driving of their political classes by multinationals – responsible for 70% of freight transport – in partnership with an oversized financial system, traveling in its own lane, this without forgetting the importance of the crime’s capital that goes unpunished. 

To this crisis in economic and social infrastructure is added the discrediting of "representative democracy", which is not democratic and represents very few, and the decrepitude of the traditional left, Leninist rooted. This is the stage where the fascist serpent's egg is hatched, without the standing up, on the left, of a radical, organized, and non-nationalist critique. 

DThe arrival at neoliberal suffocation
18 – The change to the neoliberal paradigm 
19 – The acceleration of capitalist globalization; the shortening of time
 19.1 – The Portuguese transition 
20 – The global character of ideological formatting
21 – 2008’s post-crisis

D - The arrival at neoliberal suffocation
18 - The shift to the neoliberal paradigm
In the first half of the cycle begun in the post 1939/45 war period, an upward trend was observed which corresponds to high GDP per capita growth, all the more relevant because it appeared at a time of high population growth, with the “baby boom" that followed the war and the importation of immigrants that, in Europe, moved from the poorest to the richest countries, as well as those from the Maghreb, the Pakistani and the Caribbean. The second part of the cycle portrays its downward phase, which trails beyond the subprime crisis, with the affirmation of the neoliberal paradigm: 

  • With the financialization, offshores, and debt that drowns families, companies and state entities; 
  • With the religion of competitiveness and entrepreneurship;
  • With precariousness in work and life; with the development of the internet, communications and computing in general, segmentation of production and relocation, automation, acceleration of economic integration, disintegration of borders, and the monitoring of our lives scrutinized in the so-called big data were facilitated;
  • With the market logic being applied to goods and services, but also to people, and political regimes as in the management of climate drift, becoming commonplace; 
  •  With the impunity of various traffics, such as women, children, slaves, arms, organs and drugs;
  • With the constant presence of long duration wars of great destructive impact, before the indifference of those who are outside them and watch the destruction of people and goods on a screen. The "art" of the war abandoned (even more) any rules, to be carried out by cowards who destroy from a distance, without taking risks or showing their faces, ensconced thousands of miles away, and killing as in computer games.
The following table is quite illuminating on the two phases of the fourth Kondratiev cycle until 2008; later, we shall discuss the subsequent period. If the Keynesian paradigm took advantage of conditions conducive to GDP growth and the relative improvement of people's living conditions, particularly in the West, in the mid-1970s it was bogged down by the economic and political problems of the capitalist system and opened the doors to the reactionary figures that were grouped in the Mont Pelerin Society, among them Friederich Hayek, Milton Friedman and Karl Popper, paladins of the economic liberalism, contrary to the State’s strong intervention, as happened then, and of setting capitalists as creators of humanity’s well-being. As shown in the following table, after the crisis of the 1970s, neoliberals, taking control of the world economy, showed the limitations of their paradigms and that the problem that remains to be solved is called capitalism; whether under neoliberal evangelism or with the strong commitment of the Keynesian state. 

Evolution of GDP per capita ($ 1990)

1973 /
Great Britain
12 countries in Europe *
* West and North

The upward phase that began the fourth Kondratiev wave suffered a first shake when Britain devalued the pound in 1967 and then the US (1971) suspended the possibility of converting its currency into gold... which, in fact would be impossible to meet because the available metal no longer had any correspondence with the circulating currency. The Bretton Woods architecture suffered, thus, a rude blow, and the monetary instability returned. 

The closure of the Suez Canal in 1967 (only reopened in 1975) caused major changes in the transportation of goods between Europe and Asia, as well as Europe's supply of oil from the Middle East. Then come the shock of the quadrupling of the oil price in 1973, following the concerted attitude of the Arab states after the war against Israel; which also served to increase the value of the energy component of the global product, by the OPEC countries, to the detriment of the industrialized countries; and also for the nationalization of the oil producing facilities in the possession of the latter which would, in the twenty-first century, regain possession of those energy resources in Iraq and Libya following the (or the cause?) of the Western invasions. In 1979 a new hike happened, due to the disturbances resulting from the American commissioning on Iraq to attack Iran; which originated a bloody war that dragged on for ten years. 

These changes in oil prices and logistics have created difficulties in key industries such as the steel industry, shipbuilding, heavy chemicals and the automobile industry, with consequences for unemployment levels which were residual up to those changes – and especially for less skilled workers, women, and immigrants. On the other hand, the dominant Keynesian logic will promote a strong intervention of the national State and the support of the unemployed, whose numbers grow again; and also the exploitation of the virtues of public investment and the public deficit, with the growth of indebtedness and the issuing of currency. To the increases in prices resulting from higher energy prices, the inflationary effects of public spending are added, in a context of continuous productivity stagnation. 

As inflation coexisted with a recession, it called into question the Keynesian logic for which inflation could only arise in situations of proximity to the full use of resources but not in recession and unemployment phases when there are "available production factors". This phenomenon, that came to be called stagflation, has encouraged the reawakening of neoliberal theses in experimentation in Chile since 1973, and where all the freedoms for the accumulation of capital, for the massive entry of foreign capital, for the reduction of the public spending, especially that with social content, with privatizations and brutal repression of workers' incomes and rights, took hold under the political cover of a fascist military regime. 

Chile, until then one of the Latin America countries with a stabilized market democracy, moves to the situation of neoliberal laboratory. The social expenditure borne by the State does not in any way resemble the "European social model"; while in the latter the state managed generous social security, advanced rights in the context of employment stability, the right to strike, safety in sickness and unemployment, the Chicago Boys, in their Chilean essay, reduced social burdens to indigence situations, subordinated labour rights to the aims of corporate profitability, rendered employment precarious through greater power of the capitalists, making any labour challenge highly penalized and repressed. The Chilean example has been replicated in Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, Paraguay, Ecuador, among others, although not all dictatorships have had the same neoliberal character but rather the oligarchic domination of traditional wealthy classes, in connection with fascist military.

19   - The acceleration of capitalist globalization
The Keynesian model demanded high and incessant GDP growth that became difficult to achieve in a context of stagflation; keeping the GDP fetish as a goal, the neoliberal paradigm, to achieve growth, would come to use instruments such as deregulation, privatization, state support to creation of competitiveness, free market to the detriment of labour, wage and social constraints, and borders open to the movement of goods, capital and (not always) people. From the point of view of the multitude of workers and dispossessed, Keynesian management, as the neoliberal, are only two genres of capitalist management; capitalism is always a system dependent upon capital accumulation. 

In relation to this dependence, it should be emphasized here that the incontinent drive for capital accumulation makes capitalism expansive, in terms of geography, society, and time, the latter being the object of a constant struggle for its reduction; a neurotic drive. Producing more per unit of time or the same in less time corresponds to an increase in productivity that tends to raise profit margins; getting the worker to produce more per unit of time is a way of reducing the cost of labour; and if the consumer is motivated to binge on more food, more services, and more debt for every day of his/her life, that is to insert him/her into the struggle of capital against time in the web assembled by capital to dominate it. The capitalist logic for the incessant growth of GDP is part of this avidity of anticipation of the passage of time; and which is clearly applied in the functioning of so-called financial markets. And none of this disturbs the incorporators of neoliberal or Keynesian logic, even those who call themselves "left." 

The drive of capitalism for the shortening of time entails the development of technology, beginning with nautical, when it became necessary to make the long voyages from Europe to the East or to America, which globalized the planet and allowed the latter to come to be ridden by capitalism, especially since the seventeenth century onwards, with extensive colonization and slavery. As we have already mentioned, the problem is not globalization, with the exchange of goods, cultures and affections among humans; the problem is the capitalism that dehumanizes and bastardizes these exchanges destroying, among other collateral damages, the environment, which private appropriation is impossible. 

Continuing the approach about paradigm transition in capitalism, the crisis of the 1970s shows the interdependence between Western countries, especially in Western Europe, with little differentiation and, on the other hand, their collective integration with oil-producing countries within an increasingly globalized logic that did not facilitate specific solutions within the scope of nation-states. And this interdependence will require articulation in a competitive context and great inequalities, with the use of war applied, then, only to colonial and neo-colonial spaces. 

While in the USA the contestation of the Vietnam War was increasing – as the defeat approached – and the Watergate case wrought political havoc, the USSR, taking advantage of the American paralysis, secured a strong influence in Angola and Ethiopia. The Iranian revolution and the disastrous US military intervention in Iran was another element that favoured a qualitative change, with Reagan in 1981, towards the unrestrained and brutal application of the neoliberal paradigm which, with enormous determination, had already been applied by Margaret Thatcher in Britain since 1979. The way the fights of British miners and US air traffic controllers were crushed, in both cases, is striking; without any reaction to the gravity of the moment from the unionized, domesticated and bureaucratized structures. 

19.1 – The Portuguese transition
In Europe, fascism was swept in Portugal and Greece while Franco's death carpeted a soft transition in Spain that recycled the fascist oligarchy into a future rotational system with the PSOE; and the then EEC, which had already integrated Britain, Ireland and Denmark, would prepare itself to extend the area of ​​economic integration – a single market – to the south, to the countries that had left fascism. The EEC was then essentially a free trade area with a vague underlying political project. 

In Portugal, at the time, this situation of structural, economic, social and political crisis was very clear, requiring a transition or even a change. The oil crisis ruined the global integration strategy set up in the last days of fascism and based on heavy chemistry and metallurgy, both affected by the reopening of the Suez Canal. It was followed by the fall of fascism and the absorption of hundreds of thousands of people from the colonies, the cessation of the migratory movement to Europe, given the global crisis, and then there was a huge investment in the under-capitalized companies – hence their  nationalization  – transportation, heavy industry, banking and insurance, in particular  – to the development, in parallel, of a very encompassing state apparatus faced with new or more intensive functions in the areas of education, health, economic coordination, social facilities... The State thus assumed the typical functions of safeguarding the interests of capital, in parallel with a great strengthening of its social responsibilities, which would become unbearable in the short term, even if, in a first phase, it had the support of the entire Portuguese political classes, from the right or "left" wings.

This unanimity was quickly broken, giving way to the slow passage from the Keynesian model well expressed in the program of the first PS government to the reigning neoliberalism. 

a)     In a first phase and after a short period (1974/75) of workers’ generalized struggle for better wages, the distribution of income was changed in its disfavour from 1976 onwards, with the establishment of the oligarchic power that still exists today, already without the military, but with a new generation of people, without democratic quality or personal suitability. In 1977 and 1983/85, the two "regenerative" interventions by the IMF occurred, with very visible effects (Chart 1).

Still on the graph, it can be seen that the arrival of Community funds and European integration, coupled with low labour conflicts, only lead to improvements in the weight of labour income between 1990/93, followed by a regressive period[1] and the stabilization of the weight of labour income in GDP by 2005 – with no visible impact from the euro introduction – and, in 2015, the second lowest position of a 56-year period, after the troika intervention.

                         Chart 1 - workers wages/GDP (%)
                  Source: Pordata

b)   The second phase would emerge in the mid-90s, with the agreement on privatizations between Prime Minister Cavaco (PSD) and Constâncio (PS, untill 2018, he was vice-president of ECB) under which the State "group" was alienating the companies that had been nationalized and recapitalised; all in the name of reducing the public deficit that had survived all the privatization stages that will have reached their (provisional) end after those ordered by the troika. However, in order to favour private capital, rents were created under public-private partnerships (the first, for the concession of the Vasco da Gama Bridge, was in 1994) and the losses with the sinking of the autochthonous financial sector were to be assumed by the State.
20 - The global character of ideological formatting
As we can see, institutions of a multi-national nature aim at economic objectives, the facilitation of the business of multinationals and the accumulation of capital; or themes which are vehicles for the achievement of the stated objectives. Multinationals or the entities of the diffuse and volatile financial system know how to train the political classes for their service; and they know that it is easier to act from institutions that aggregate several nation-states than to undertake lobbying actions, going from country to country, with their respective political classes. Multinationals and the financial system have since long been acting on a global basis and, in too many situations, consider that nation-states only hinder the accumulation of capital[2] with their domestic laws, parliaments and bureaucracies. They show some more respect to a few countries only, among those holding some weight in terms of global companies, having a reasonable market size (population x purchasing power) and a relatively stable political framework; as are the cases of the largest EU countries, the United States, South Korea, Japan (even though they are militarily protected by the US), China, Russia, India, Iran, Canada and a few others. The very way in which within the EU, Greece, Ireland, and Portugal were intervened, with the monitoring of the troika, was different from the attitude towards Spain, where the troika was not introduced. 

In the area of ​​materials production, the establishment of globalized, unrelated to any nation, capital, is the product of the segmentation of this production, with the development of logistics chains that include multimodal systems of transportation and cargo accommodation, as well as massification of information, distribution and sales; which allows their management in an integrated framework. Although with different material infrastructures, services and the financial system are also established in a global form. Left out of this logic are millions of small, medium-sized enterprises at the national, regional or local level, without large financial means, many of them indebted, with low profit rates and tending to dream of a marvellous return to the past, to the national guarded frontiers, own currency, courted by xenophobic and fascist rights as well as by the trotsky-stalinist "lefts". A return to the past. 

From this need for global management and subordination of nation-states and their political classes results the emerging of a denationalized, mercenary elite, producer of a unique thinking that is a central and present element in all societies. This elite manifests itself in an institutional, formal, form – IMF, WTO, EU ...; at other times, at formal – but not institutionalized – conclaves with the presence of representatives of the main nation-states, be them the G20, G7, G8, G10 ...; and also at the discrete Bilderberg, Davos and Trilateral meetings of the political elites with the top executives of the banks, the multinationals and the media, where elements of small and medium-sized countries appear annually for evaluation (some Portuguese are regularly summoned to the Bilderberg meetings). And it would be unfair to forget what we call the Hillbilly Bilderberg, a meeting of the richest members of the Portuguese entrepreneur club and local parish’s think tanks, in the already distant year of 2009. 

This management and political elite makes the 1% (referred to in the popular movements of 2011/13) that constitutes the great obstacle to the 99%, and that holds enormous power, even in a context of internal divergences, because it defends competing institutions, often with conflicting interests. It is as a product of its action and the management of conflicts within it, on a global scale, that the Empire as defined by Hardt and Negri is instituted; an empire that removes from the decision-making the other 99% of humanity – including those still voting in their respective political classes – where all the candidates to the genocide to be perpetrated for a "profitable" resizing of humanity are gathered. 

It has long been discovered that the brute force of the State – military and police – must neither, nor has it the ability to, be in the forefront of domination; they are reserves for repressive action in a situation of constant alertness, attentive to the voice of the government command, when the crowd awakens from its lethargy and rebels, sending that unique thinking down the gutter. 

One of the areas where this unique thinking is generated and propagated lies in the business schools, specialized in "business sciences", which have removed from teaching economics, sociology, history as disciplines for understanding the integration of the social and the political, focusing in ideological panaceas such as entrepreneurship or competitiveness; or in techniques such as accounting and taxation, integrated into standardized computer packages. 

          Translation “University develops all abilities, including stupidity”
Dominant in most countries or in the configuration of economic and political relations of the last decades, neoliberal catechism is incorporated into the novices of the new religion of value creation (for shareholders, it is understood), even if it is so in the most foolish way such as asset registration (the IFRS 9 normative, we suppose) by market values, which makes the balance sheets very volatile, sensitive to the moods of financial speculation, and that can at any time contribute to triggering the next global financial crisis. 

Top rated or media catechists divide their activities into various segments of this diffuse thing called the market. They stand out in the business activities as top managers or consultants[3]; as heralds in the parties market; in the well-paid media market, as opinion makers, contributing with a mixture of banalities and falsehoods to shape the thinking of the plebs, with oracles on the enigmatic and capricious designs of the economy, which contrast with the very real domestic economy, which is limited to balancing the salary with the payment of the essential expenses or the instalments of debts, the creation of which banks so much enjoy. 

Within this unique neoliberal thinking, there is a set of norms that the great economic powers on the planet – multinationals and the financial system – have defined as for widespread application by the various strains of political, national and multi-national classes: 

  • One is the privatization of everything publicly owned, formally or informally, provided it can be a source of private profit, possibly with inflated prices for this purpose, such as public-private partnerships or the so-called outsourcing of functions; this is the hiring of companies to perform specific functions within public bodies – computer services, security, cleaning, meals ... or this miserable function of temporary work in which 21st century slave traders shine under the modern name of businessmen. The troika's privatization program was very clear on this point, as in the 1990s it had been under the Cavaco-Constâncio agreement, as bosses of the PSD and PS gangs.
  • Linked to the privatizing euphoria and in contradiction with outsourcing, there is a bet on the reduction of the public expenses, in cutting off the "fats" as it is usually called, and that unvaryingly means freezing wages, reducing the number of workers in public functions, and cuts in social areas; but... never in the ​​defence and security areas, in the name of the fight against terrorism. In the fiscal policy, there is always a concern to support companies with tax cuts, while they simultaneously cry out for exemptions, subsidies and government investments in order to reduce "context costs" and create support for greater competitiveness; other times, hypocritically, to counteract the desertification of the most depressed regions. As the evildoer Portas used to say, "We have to support companies because they’re the ones creating jobs"; in this logic, Portas would rewrite the Genesis by having God to first create the entrepreneur and then gift him with servants. Public debt is precisely the result of the use of the political class for the execution of these neoliberal norms, including the assumption of losses and the harmful effects of bank and bankers’ fraud.
  • Freedom of movement of capital includes the placing abroad of domestic companies’ headquarters, to relieve the tax burden or the purchase and sale of businesses, infrastructure, and services by so-called foreign capital, although this designation is losing meaning given the globalized nature of companies, especially when they are located in offshore registers. This includes the profitable action of the vulture funds that buy companies in difficulty, reshape them, restructure them, do large scale layoffs and then sell the spoils, in a purely financial logic, without any connection to the inherent character of wealth creation one would think to be inherent to capitalism, in its earliest times, as is written in the manuals.
  • The liberalization of transactions and the functioning of the market requires the dismantling of the rules which gave some security to the workers – within the national contexts – inherited from the dwindling or extinct "European social model"; the capitalists intend to and manipulate the political classes towards making each salaried worker become an obedient, hard-working, without rights and, if possible, paid by public money precarious worker. Another aspect of this liberalization is the contempt for the extensive incorporation of elements harmful to human health in food or, by the careless production and dissemination of garbage and pollutants that permeate air and soils, contaminate the water and enter into the food chain of people and animals. The important thing is the "creation of value", the reproduction of capital, and the distribution of profits to shareholders even in the most nonsensical way, in management terms[4]. On the other hand, the disdain for regulating environmental quality and not contributing to the containment of climate change also happens, so that it does not affect the profitability and competitiveness of companies; even if it is necessary to reduce Humanity to some 600 million people, as was already floated around in the Bilderberg conclaves.
  • Financial drift is the most dynamic element of capitalism. Capital, in this context, is composed of securities in companies (stocks), bonds, public or private debt securities, CDs and other derivatives that, of course, give rise to profits and interest. Left behind are the times of the creation of financial capital, in the Hilferding’s pioneering sense, as the result of the integration between industrial enterprises and banks, with both types of institutions anchored in the same nation-state; these conglomerates seeking to maximize profits through the companies they came from, taking advantage of existing synergies and state support.
Today, more valuable than these synergies is, on the one hand, to buy and sell these bonds very frequently – as if they are burning – even if the gains in these operations are small per unit; but as they are traded frequently and in enormous volumes, this results in, after some time, these small gains materializing in large increases in the initial value held by the speculator. The instantaneous nature of information circuits worldwide and the use of powerful computers for the analysis of quotations and transactions also make extremely fast the options for the purchase of some securities and the sale of others or even for their momentary parking in a bank account, waiting for an advantageous application opportunity. Although economic journalists call the protagonists of this frenetic activity "investors", investment is what matters least to them, focusing on the gains of speculation, obtaining profits without investment, without producing any goods or services; a pure parasitism from a social point of view. Another aspect in which the domain of the financial system is observed is the debt, of families and companies, to which the public debt must be added. The latter, mutualised for payment by the multitude, is a means of creating, through the State, income favouring the financial capital in general. Debt is a way of ensuring application to speculative capital, of fuelling the bubble; one of the roles of the political classes as agents of financial capital is to convince the plebeians of their duty to honour its (impossible) payment.

21 - 2008’s post-crisis

Just as Keynesianism stumbled into the crisis of the 1970s and gave rise to the neoliberal wave, the latter found in the aftermath of the subprime crisis its systemic crisis that is far from being overcome, but is damped and hostage, in particular, to China’s economic dynamics. And a paradigm that minimally satisfies the great majority of Humanity remains to be built, so neoliberalism drags itself along politically through alliances with fascist groups, without the assertive rise of a credible alternative for change, able to enthuse the many millions of victims of the neoliberal drift, being seen; even if we are before glaring scenarios of climate catastrophe or deliberate genocide policies.
The connection between capitalism and the state, even though being permanent, went through several phases: 

  • Emerging capitalism anchored itself to a strong state intervention, in the seventeenth century, gradually created its national empires and from this partnership the nation-state was born, very useful to protect the business of its rich natives, enticing the plebs through patriotism and wage war on competition.
  • In the nineteenth century and for a few decades, until the First World War, liberals who understood the global system in the private enterprise’s image, thought to remove the state from their path, with liberalization of labour, repression of workers and free enterprise; but not doing without the affirmation of the nation-state in the fierce defence of frontiers, war and colonial expansion.
  • Things did not go well to the liberals, and the state was once again called to a central role in economic activity, with the New Deal, fascism and state capitalism, in a context of isolationist, self-centred nation state, which did not prevent the most destructive and deadly war ever (1939/45).
  • This was followed by post-war II, with the emergence of multi-national consultative bodies among nation-states, followed by integration cases in Western and Eastern Europe; and with the continuation of strong state intervention in the areas of investment, regulation and domestication of labour – this is the period of Keynesian rule in economic policy.
  • The opening of frontiers to trade and capital transactions, coupled with substantial technological development, has increased the size and power of multinationals; those, while continuing to not do without States’ support, went on to control them, addition to their accumulation logic the political classes, as mediators of their interests among the peoples, still kept on the illusion of the power of the nation-states, in the great majority of the latter. More than ever can it be said that capital has no country, only interests; but it certainly likes to see people disunited, infected by the patriotic fetish. 
  • Technological evolution in the field of communications and computing, coupled with capital’s freedom of movement, its ability to exempt itself from tax regulations and impositions, allowed the creation of a powerful financial system, largely disconnected from the economy of goods and services (the so-called real economy), as well as from the social world and labour, but whose dysfunctions are decisive for the disastrous state of the world. We reproduce, incidentally, a sentence by Mikhail Gorbatchov[5]: "... financial structures, which are not controlled by anyone, quickly adapted to globalization and took advantage of it, creating "soap bubbles" one after the other and making billions literally from the air. These billions are available to an ever smaller group of people who evade paying taxes". And recently, these "soap bubbles" like bitcoin and its copies are appearing all over the place. 
  • Finally, the relevance of the financial system and the production of multinationals, segmented and spread a little everywhere, have accelerated globalization, have been controlling it. The end of the USSR that, at the outset, seemed to be the victory of neoliberalism over state capitalism – the End of History, by Fukuyama, already object of self-criticism – destroyed that political and economic model but did not transform both Russia and China into simple corridors for the multinationals’ flows, States anchored in state-parties being maintained there, determinant and intervening in the management of the respective nation-states.
This and other texts at: 

[1] We can’t resist telling two anecdotal episodes from the domestic economics. At the beginning of the 1990s, Abel Mateus, who in the meantime circulated through the BoP and the Competition Authority, built a fabled macroeconomic model that announced a GDP growth of... 10%. And at the same time, Minister [of Finances] Braga de Macedo, commenting on the recessive crisis in Europe, referred to Portugal as an oasis (!)... which the chart shows to be a dry one, after all, unable to produce any dates, although having camels parked there .
[2] In his boorishness and arrogance Trump makes this very clear by recently referring to "shit countries” .
[3] The top consultants are few and are characterized by "pack-saddling the donkey to the owner's satisfaction" (loose translation, meaning their opinions/conclusions are issued according to the wishes of those who commissioned them).  The Price Waterhouse-Coopers (PwC) was recently banned from India; and, in Portugal, in the cases of BPN or BES, the auditors also "failed to detect" the slip of the accounts (as, by the way, did the Bank of Portugal which also uses the precious audit firms), even if they were royally paid.
[4] A Portuguese public company, the CTT (postal services), when privatized by the Passos government, was presented with an authorization to practice the banking activity, which was transferred for free by the CGD public bank. This was a clearly understood negotiation; the shareholders – including the great Goldman Sachs – were receiving hundreds of branches across the country where postal services operate and that would see banking services coupled. The CEO in charge of this postal/banking services merger was a certain Francisco Lacerda, with an annual salary of one million euros, certainly many times higher than the average CTT workers’. Recently, the company presented high losses and the same Lacerda advocated 800 layoffs while distributing fat dividends by shareholders; in an act of moving solidarity, Lacerda would have lowered his salary to a paltry € 750,000, an act of self-flagellation that sits well on a former Catholic University student. On the subject we highlight here the commentary of the journalist Nicolau Santos.
[5] Rossiskaia Gazeta, 4/20/2016

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