Posts Tagged ‘Brazilian Custody Fight’


Brazilian Custody Fight = All Accommodation – UPDATE to 12/22/09 post

December 23, 2009

12/22 and 23/2009- CNN:  Brazil high court lifts stay, allowing boy to return to U.S. Brazil high court lifts stay, allowing boy to return to U.S

Thank goodness the latest turn of events (as of yesterday 12/22/09) has the Brazilian Chief Justice overturning the ruling last week by his counterpart and requiring the boy (Sean) be returned to his US father David Goldman. While anything can still happen, Face issues—brought by the combination of the absence of any legitimate legal basis and the very serious US political pressure—in this case have outweighed the obvious Accommodation.

Read my book Lies, Bribes & Peril to get a better understanding about the concept of “Face” and “Accommodation” and other Lessons for the REAL Challenges of International Business.

Happy Holidays!


Brazilian Custody Fight, Iraqi Oil No-Bids and AMA support for Health Care Reform—What do they all have in common? Accommodation

December 22, 2009

For those from Brazil, those having spent time there or those with extensive international experience, the reason for the seemingly bizarre events surrounding the custody battle over David Goldman’s son Sean are clearly understood.  Never mind the Legal issues that should be noted (legal precedent was never on the side of the Brazilian stepfather) or the Face issues that the Brazilian government is dealing with from the international scorn—neither is the issue at the heart of the incomprehensible affair. From the years of Brazil’s lower courts’ rulings in favor of the Brazilian stepfather (finally neutralized by intense political pressure from the US causing the case to be moved to federal courts) to the latest development of a single Supreme Court justice blocking the unanimous appellate court ruling to turn Sean over immediately to his father, there is no doubt the shenanigans have been due to Accommodation—okay, bribery. If there was ever more than anecdotal proof that bribes were occurring, it came with the blocking action of the single Supreme Court justice calling for the nine-year old boy to testify. Oh please…this from a Brazilian Supreme Court judge? The amount of money must be significant. Let’s hope the Face issues prevalent here overcome the obvious bribery issues.

Last week there were news reports about the second round of bidding for Iraq’s oil fields, and how US companies (super players Exxon-Mobile and Chevron) did not put bids forward. The yield to Iraq could be as high as 200 billion (yes, with a ‘b’) per year. Now, with that kind of money involved, how can the US giants not participate? Well, the reasons put forward in the articles I read were along the lines of the US companies production sharing preferences (opposed to the flat fee per barrel required) or security concerns. Those may be valid but, once again, not the overriding reason for the US bidding moratorium.  With the US Governments increased anti-corruption actions against the likes of Siemens, Halliburton and Agility, the news reports were very lacking by not including those concerns (reporters must not have experience in Iraq or even much international experience).  Remember, until ten years ago the US was the only country in the world with anti-bribery laws of any kind (that’s not to say the ones in place in Europe, etc actually carry any deterrence value). Long before Afghanistan was making headlines for its rampant corruption, Iraq was essentially the world’s epicenter of corruption. Having worked in Iraq since the beginning of the Iraq War in 2003, I would be surprised that any contract can be won from an Iraqi Ministry without Accommodation being involved.

Not to be confused with the aforementioned Accommodation, the following Accommodation is actually legal—although if you can see a difference please let me know. In what Democratic Senators are calling the most significant endorsement of Health Care Reform, the American Medical Association (AMA) has thrown its support behind the legislation. After sixty years of opposition, what could have changed the AMA outlook this time—enhanced medical care for all causing a change of conscience? Hardly (I even gave myself a chuckle with that). Unfortunately, improved health care has nothing to do with the change of heart.  No, in a Los Angeles Times report (Sept 15, 2009) the reasons for the endorsement become crystal clear, “Of all the interest groups that have won favorable terms in closed-door negotiations this year, the association (AMA) representing the nation’s physicians may have taken home the biggest prizes, including an agreement to stop planned cuts in Medicare payments that are worth $228 billion to doctors over 10 years”.  If that is any different from the quid pro quo received by the Brazilian Supreme Court judge, or—especially—from the expectations those in the Iraqi Oil Ministry certainly have regarding the riches coming from their oil fields, I can’t make it out. Money—real money—that will absolutely enhance the accommodated party, is being promised. (SEE LA TIMES, SEPT 15,2009)

Accommodation…it’s everywhere. Read my book Lies, Bribes & Peril to get a better understanding of what’s legal and what’s not.