Rossano Maranhão has accepted the post of Secretary of Civil Aviation offered by President Dilma. In the new post he will have change of both ANAC and Infrareo. Her selection is surprising to some because he, while head of Banco do Brasil, had some major conflicts with PT leaders. He subsequently because head of Banco Safra.
His history includes Masters degrees from the University of Illinois in Economics, University of Brasilia in Political Economics and a stint at Citibank before joining Banco do Brasil in 1976.
My personal view is that he was a superb choice who will speed privatization, force efficiencies on both ANAC and Infraero as well as establish clearly delineated responsibilities. He has not too much life outside of work, and is known as a fairly tough taskmaster. NOTE: I do admit a personal bias in his favor.
JBCarioca, I hope your expectations on Rossano Maranhão's efficiency results in a good thing, but I am afraid that he (or anyone else) is in for an impossible task.
Brazil is courting disaster with the lack of preparation for the upcoming Summer Olympics and Football World Cup, which will be the two signposts of Dilma's (and his) administration in this area.
As always in Brazil, everything is being left to be done at the last (im)possible minute, which contributes to the proverbial disorder, corruption and precariousness with which everything eventually was, is and will be done and, at the end, all questionable events will be received with a sigh of relief that something uglier hasn't happened and we haven't lose face . . .
(Sorry for the rant; having seen this before, feeling a little bit tired)
Feb 6, 11, 5:33 am
The odds that everything is done and ready are very low, but then my expectations are low too. Some improvements will be accomplished with him in charge, not all we need, but still better than we otherwise would have had.
Even if President Dilma and her new technocrats can work miracles Brazil needs a huge flood of miracles for another twenty years or so to reach an acceptable level of performance. Still, some is far better than none, don't you agree?
Feb 6, 11, 8:31 am
JB (forgive me for abbreviating your username; I'm also a carioca, it's like a brotherhood), of course I do agree with you! It could have been a political appointee from the Sarney clan . . .
In fact, he appears to have been chosen by his relationship with Antonio Pallocci, which is as good as one can get in Brazilian politics now.
Let's hope that Henrique Meirelles (ex-Central Bank Head) be confirmed at the helm of the as-yet-to-be-created Olympic Authority. Although not directly involved in the restructuring of the airport system, he is sure to lend his (heavier)weight to Mr. Rossano's efforts.
Feb 6, 11, 9:40 am
Were Henrique to actually get that job Dilma might have job approval higher than did Lula. So far it is looking incredibly good. I hope things continue to improve.
Of course i would also like to have positive things to say about GIG. That may not be so soon.
Feb 7, 11, 8:01 am
We certainly have at least one Dilma cheerleader here. To make big changes in the airports, and general culture of getting things done, depends less on the one person in charge of one area (whether civil aviation or Olympics) than it does the person at the top, and the resources they have at their disposable (and, of course, competing claims on those same resources). Same thing is true in other countries. I'm not sure how much one person getting chosen to head the aviation sector is going to have on Dilma's approval ratings. There are also many other areas that voters are interested in, at the same time that she has to make up a big budget deficit. And one would need to ask, if having this guy in charge is going to make such a huge difference (keeping in mind that he can issue all of the directives he wants but others, including local politicians, have to implement them), why didn't Dilma's predecessor fix things more? Lula was in office for 8 years. And having the new guy in charge of aviation is going to make even bigger changes (for the better) in just over 3 years, when the World Cup starts?
What remains to be seen in terms of the Olympics is whether the 2016 games will, as in virtually all previous games, the host country loses more money than it gains from being the host. We often hear phrases such as "put the city on the map." But the costs can keep on going for years and years after the event ends. And the promised boom in cultural and sports activities, etc. coming from venues being constructed (politicians love to make such grandiose claims) don't always pan out. Montreal is one example. But the World Cup is more important to most travelers, not because they like football/soccer more, but because more cities will be involved with, if one believes the promises, more airports being improved. Fortaleza is already missing deadlines for upgrades of the stadia to be used assuming they do have one of the WC games. No apparent changes to the airport yet.
Feb 7, 11, 9:14 am
We certainly have at least one Dilma cheerleader here.
As the designated Dilma cheerleader (I suppose it is me to whom you are referring) a minor clarification or two might be in order:
1) My enthusiasm about her is primarily the extent to which she has exceeded all expectations. I did not vote for her, but had to hold my nose to support Serra.
2) One person does make and can make a huge difference. Only having cabinet meetings on Fridays, eliminating corporate jets for ministers and starting meetings on time are three tiny things but they are a big change anyway. Striving for technical competence in leaders of state enterprises is also a very big change.
There is such a backlog of things to do and correct that skeptics are quite likely to be proven correct. It is still a good idea to cheer progress when it happens and I am choosing to do that.
It is more difficult to find people who see the positive changes than it is to find ones ready to complain about the negatives.
Feb 7, 11, 9:21 am
To understand what is at stake here, we need to know something about Brazilian politics and this, as usual, will not be a gracious affair . . .
Dilma's hold on the Government coalition is far more precarious than that of Lula (and his' was not great, despite his popularity with the population).
These posts (Olympic Authority and Head of Civil Aviation) will have a wide mandate and, presumably, money to implement it. As usual, the combination of power and money keeps politicians salivating for them.
Rossano Maranhão (confirmed as Head of Civil Aviation) and Henrique Meirelles (widely speculated as future head of the Olympic Authority) are not political indications; if confirmed they would have been chosen against the will of the political parties that comprise the government parliamentary base in Congress.
There is already some discontentment caused by previous episodes in the sharing of the booty, er ... administrative responsibilities of a common elected government. Personally, I believe that Congress will try to check-mate Dilma at the first opportunity for her attempts to not honor the unwritten script of Brazilian politics (No, I have not voted on her, nor on Lula.)
Feb 7, 11, 9:31 am
I did not vote for her, but had to hold my nose to support Serra.
I was very happy to be abroad on election day (second ballot) and so being able to avoid voting on Dilma or Serra.
(If a non-Brazilian is reading this, voting is mandatory in Brazil, any one non-voting must justify or pay a (small) fine, being traveling is such an excuse)
Feb 7, 11, 11:00 am
To understand what is at stake here, we need to know something about Brazilian politics...)
This was elegant in simplicity and clarity. Thanks for your contribution. I wish I had your writing ability.
Feb 7, 11, 8:26 pm
JB, I (as innumerable others) have benefited immensely from the knowledge in FT, including from several contributions of yours; it is an honor to be acknowledged as member of the team, albeit a junior one, and to help keep the ball running.
Feb 10, 11, 2:57 pm
Guys... I hope those of you that are posting that things will not get done in time for the WCup and the Olympics are dead wrong. A lot is at stake for Brazil with these very important events, and the fate of South America as a Continent rides on the success that Brazil must have with hosting these mega important events that will bring the entire attention & focus of the world to this region.
As an Argentine, I am giving Brazil and its people the benefit of the doubt, more so... I am reasonably confidend that Brazil can get its act together and will show the world that it can pull this off, the entire MercoSur will have a chance to benefit if this happens. I think that FIFA and the International Olympic Committee will do its part in ensuring that the funds and the efforts stay focused. A very recent example of what international pressure can do was the last World Cup.... many doubted the South Africans and they did have plenty of hiccups along the way, but they made it and hosted a great event.
Brazil will do the same, and Im guessing even a little better. Im keeping my fingers crossed from Buenos Aires....
Feb 11, 11, 2:03 am
Guys... I hope those of you that are posting that things will not get done in time for the WCup and the Olympics are dead wrong.
I hope you are right. After the early successes in Dilma's favor I suspect we will see major improvements quite quickly. There will be fire and opposition, but it seems quite probable that, as with crime in Rio and other places, people have had enough and are prepared to make fundamental changes. The 'austerity' plan announced yesterday will probably be the toughest test yet. If they get away with that there is real hope.
Thanks for having faith in Brazil.
Feb 11, 11, 3:11 am
Gaucho, I agree that these are important events, but I don't see that "the fate of South America as a Continent rides on the success that Brazil must have with hosting" them - Wow, that has been a little bit dramatic to me.
I don't have pleasure in being skeptical for the sake of it, but I also am unable to buy all the hype generated by governments, business and everyone else: most everyone has something to "sell" (I'm OK! with it, it's part of human nature) and, if one wants to keep his sanity and not became too frustrated, one needs to learn what really to expect when someone makes an announcement or promotes something - people here on FT are usually very good on dissecting airline industries marketing ploys.
Governments also do it, on an overwhelming level, all the time. As for reality, we will have to wait for it. Of course it doesn't hurts if we wait with our fingers crossed, as I'm doing also . . .
Feb 11, 11, 6:50 am
It is good having somebody be realistic, but with fingers crossed. my fingers are often crossed. Still, this is the first time in eight years that there has been a declared effort to:
1) deal with the domestic budget deficit;
2) reign in political operatives and implant 'technocrats' (I hate the word but like the concept) in state companies;
3) impose operating discipline in the Federal Government;
4) Run meetings on time!
among other things.
Feb 11, 11, 7:57 pm
JB, comparing anything to the last eight years introduces a "Lula" distortion. He was a bluff that kind of suceeded, in a sense (a political sense, only). For the country it was a tragedy, in terms of wasted opportunities.
Dilma is an incognita and, to put Brazil on her hands was Lula's greatest irresponsibility, an act of supreme hubris that, irrespective of Dilma's future performance, was truly unpardonable.
As positive points for her, she is disciplined, she can be focused, she is not midiatic, she can manage . . .
But . . .
She is not the CEO of a business, she is not the boss, she is the President of a country, one that is characterized by a political and administrative gridlock and vast, huge necessities. This is a country where everything still awaits to be done, but the prevalence of red tape turns everything illegal for the private sector (unless you have offical connections). Nothing works in Brazil per se, only by cajoling, bribing, menacing,. . .
She is a total neophyte in politics, she does not have a proper power base (only an indirect one, from Lula). Politically, she must be managed by her allies (her only "friends" are the people Lula asked to support her: Pallocci, Gilberto Carvalho, etc ...), her foes hope to manage her (PMDB has no other desire than to take effective hold of the government); her best luck is that there is no opposition.
Within this picture, if there will be some crisis during her term, legitimate or fabricated, I think she and her government will be eaten alive by the vultures in Congress.
Do you remember the Mensalão crisis during Lula's first term? Both Lula and José Dirceu were much more experienced politicians than Dilma, but Lula made the decision to not incorporate PMDB into his government, opting instead to pay "allowances" to several small parties to coopt them; it was the insatiable appetite of this alliance that subsequently caused that crisis; Lula had to sacrifice José Dirceu to survive. Dilma is not Lula, she has not a José Dirceu, PMDB is even hungrier than that alliance of small parties.
- - -
Sorry, I don't want to sound too gloom . . .
This is an analysis only (Who? Me? No, not a prediction!), as best as I can do, based on what can be learned from the recent history - but history almost never repeats itself exactly; its lessons, if one insists to read as predictions, are better received as the ancient greek oracles: each one takes the most convenient interpretation, inquirer beware.
Feb 12, 11, 4:56 am
JB, comparing anything to the last eight years introduces a "Lula" distortion.
I cannot responsibly disagree with anything you say. All that is the corollary to my more positive view. An argument further to support your pessimism is the announcement that she's rehabilitating José Dirceu.
While agreeing with your points (not stipulating, but agreeing) Dilma still is doing far better than anybody had a right to expect. Nobody can know exactly what will happen when a crisis occurs, good or bad.
Dilma by virtue of her famous temper may have both positive and negative results. Her efforts so far have still been largely positive IMO, so I cannot but give her the benefit of doubts.
Her idiotic decision on José Dirceu does try my optimism. Only the reality that the idea was probably Lula's holds me from absolute fury.
Feb 12, 11, 6:25 pm
JB, I think it would be impossible for her not to condone the rehabilitation of José Dirceu.
He is (and always has been) the real leader of PT. Not even Lula has the same level of leadership inside PT. Lula is respected as larger than the party, as someone responsible for the votes, but he is not identified with the party (ideology, organization, minutiae) as Dirceu is.
I don't think Dilma likes Dirceu (nor Dirceu likes her, as he was Lula's presumed heir before being sacrificed to save him at the Mensalão scandal) but, as she is a new face in the party (she was originally from PDT, Brizolla's party), she must respect this as an internal party decision.
That was not a fight for her.
Feb 13, 11, 6:10 am
JB, I think it would be impossible for her not to condone the rehabilitation of José Dirceu.
That being true does not alter the poor precedent it continues. That such has always been the case still does not support the quest for greater professionalism that Dilma advocates. Her lack of political base makes it more difficult but her temper may even help now.
Feb 13, 11, 11:35 am
When I listed Dilma's positive points in a previous post, I forgot to include that she appears to be fearless, a quality she probably will need to make evident from time to time, as Brazilian politics is still in a somewhat thugish state and intimidation is widely used as an "argument".
(thugish not in a Russian/Central Asian, physical way, but through forging/prosecuting one of the several not-often-enforced-laws, by direct blackmail or by coopting/buying-off others' "allies")
Feb 13, 11, 2:41 pm
That is a really good point, NPF, a trait she probably got from her parents who knew life in Bulgaria at the worst times.
Feb 13, 11, 4:29 pm
Yeah, I think life in Bulgaria was much harsher than anything we have here!
We live in a very priviledged country in so many aspects (the nature made ones); sometimes we aim very high and forget what we have . . .
Anyway, if we are to dream, let's dream it right!
Feb 27, 11, 11:42 am
I'm afraid there will be a rocky path ahead for both the Civil Aviation Secretariat (SAC) and the Olympic Authority (APO), ostensibly for different reasons; perhaps a common one:
Mr. Rossano Maranhão, already designated as Head of SAC, is delaying his commitment to the new post (by not giving up his position as Head of Banco Safra) to the point where Presidente Dilma is searching for another person.
What we don't yet know is if he is doing this because he prefers to stay at Banco Safra or if he realized that he would not be fully backed by the government to do what he thinks has to be done at the post.
As for the Olympic Authority, the law creating it was finally voted and approved at the Câmara dos Deputados (still needs to be approved at the Senate), but it was stripped-down of most of its executive powers, being now mainly a consultive/normative body. In particular, all works will have to be done in accord to the bidding laws of public service (an exception to this rule was considered ealier, but was abandoned due to objections from Rio's Mayor) and, instead of a central authority, everything will be done by Federal, State and City Government (How? Don't ask me . . .).
Mr. Henrique Meirelles is reported to be considering not accepting an indication to head this newly configured APO, due to the lack of executive powers of the position.
These are bad developments. I am hoping, but not expecting, that the political players might realize they are about to destroy the entire show. Eduardo Paes should be ashamed of himself. He's been seething lately because he's being upstaged by the RJ state at every event. He should be much better than this.
Mar 3, 11, 5:18 am
NPF predicted this. Rossano Maranhão officially dropped out yesterday after it became clear that his authority would be emasculated. What will happen now? I do not know, but this is a good day for pessimism.
Mar 4, 11, 6:51 am
As always, Brazilan politics is murky, at best . . .
Mr. Maranhão was previously invited 1n 2007 to head Infraero but declined, citing concerns on leaving Banco Safra.
As for his new appointment (now dropped out), frankly, I have never understood SAC's proposed structure (Infraero + ANAC), comprising both the executive and planning/oversight functions. Even in best established governing bodies such a mixture is prone to problems; in Brazil . . .
It was said that it was being done to take Infraero out of the Ministry of Defense but, if that was the reason, just do it and do not create another convoluted structure.
Mr. Maranhão has a good record as an executive, he has resisted excessive and undue political interference while at Banco do Brasil; I would have liked to have had him at helm of Infraero, but I always though the proposed structure to SAC not to be viable.
Mar 4, 11, 7:13 am
By the way, there are rumours that Mr. Henrique Meirelles will not be appointed to head the hollowed-out Olympic Authority, being retained for future designation as new head to Vale, the mining company.
While Vale is a private company, most voting shares are owned by public pension funds. The current head, Mr. Roger Agnelli, by his independence, is a long time foe of both Lula and Dilma. His current term is near its end and Brazilian government is pressing Vale to participate in Belo Monte dam, which he is refusing; Mr. Meirelles is considered an acceptable compromise by all parts.
If all this happens, and there are no other solutions to ANAC and Infraero, we will be back to the starting point with reference to the airports' problems, unfortunately.
Mar 4, 11, 10:12 am
...we will be back to the starting point with reference to the airports' problems, unfortunately.
With or without him it seems to me we are back at the starting point. I hope there is a miracle somewhere, but I cannot see where that could be. You do have an unusually clear way of expressing complex things. I appreciate that, thanks.