. October 11, 2012 SouthAmerica: I just posted this info on Brazzil magazine in response to a question from one of the readers of that magazine. I also posted this information in other websites in the internet. The reader was surprised that the Brazilian justice system is in the process of punishing and sending to prison some very powerful people in Brazil regarding the âMensalÃ£o scandalâ of few years ago. Brazzil magazine: Reply to Joao da Silva Ricardo: Joao, at the end of the day the âMensalÃ£o scandalâ in Brazil is about corruption at a level of ânickels and dimes.â The âMensalÃ£o scandalâ is described as: âthe boldest, and most scandalous case of corruption ever to have taken place in Brazil.â Basically we are talking about a small number of people who participated on this scandal (about 40 people), and a very small amount of money â we are talking about ânickels and dimes.â And surprisingly the high powered people involved on this scandal are all going to end up in prison in Brazil. Contrast that with the most corrupt country on earth where the well connected people are free do do anything they want with no chance of any of them ending up in prison. Today, the United States has the justice system of a âBanana Republicâ, and the hot shots of Wall Street and senior US government officials from the Treasury Department can act with impunity. In the United States we had the biggest financial scandal of all time that affected and still affecting millions of people around the world, and the US justice system has done nothing about all the widespread corruption that has been going on in Wall Street for many years. In Brazil they are sending to prison the powerful people for a scandal regarding ânickels and dimes.â In contrast the âBanana Republic of the United Statesâ has done nothing regarding the corruption and fraud regarding trillions of US dollars. Here is what is at the core of the problems regarding the US political and economic problems: "In contrast, the United States has a much more polished and sophisticated corruption system called lobbying." Here is what I wrote on this subject about 2 years ago: Brazzil Magazine â April 23, 2010 Brazil and the New Economic Miracle. The US Has a Lot to Learn! Written by Ricardo C. Amaral ...And if you don't believe me that the US economic system is in deep trouble and beyond repair, then you don't need to look any further than what has transpired in the United States since the financial meltdown of 2008. The US financial system ended up in intensive care, and almost died a quick death. And what has happened in the United States since then regarding any efforts by Congress to try to fix the problems that caused the collapse of the US and global financial system in 2008? As usual, Americans learned nothing from these past fiascos, and if anything the problems are becoming even bigger today with much bigger surviving financial institutions that are fighting very hard against any government regulation of their business, and they use their powerful lobbying connections to fight very hard to keep things as they were before the last financial meltdown. How dumb can you be? And next time, when the coming collapse and financial meltdown become a reality once again, then the safety net of the US government won't be there. This time around Wall Street has exhausted the financial resources of the United States. Remember, since the Wall Street bailouts of 2008, the scoundrels of Wall Street have consistently been milking all the US government resources to the bone, and they also have been putting in place a structure for another major US government bailout of Wall Street in the future - for US taxpayers to pay for the bets that went sour for Wall Street. When it comes to forms of corruption, in Brazil they still have a crude and old system and they use terms that include: bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, patronage, graft, and embezzlement. In contrast, the United States has a much more polished and sophisticated corruption system called lobbying. And the American lobbying system works in a very efficient way by buying favors directly from the politicians through campaign contributions. US Economic and Financial System Is Incapable of Meaningful Change Let me give you another major example that would explain why the US economic and financial system is doomed, and incapable of meaningful change. ...Anyway, the American economic and financial system is in shambles, and it does not have a prayer to get better any time soon, because of the way lobbying and the free market work. Conclusion Brazil is ready for the new economic miracle of this new century, and it is prepared to lift the Brazilian economy to new heights; to materialize and make a reality one of the great economic development stories of the 21st Century. ***** BloombergBusinessweek â October 10, 2012 âBrazil: Majority of top court convicts ex-top aideâ Jenny Barchfield â Bloomberg RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) â The one-time right-hand-man of popular former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was found guilty on a corruption charge by a majority of 10 Supreme Court justices Tuesday, who ruled he orchestrated a widespread cash-for-votes scheme that came to light seven years ago. Six of the eight justices who voted found Jose Dirceu guilty of "active corruption" by organizing the scheme to buy congressional support for Silva's policies through regular payments to legislators in exchange for their votes. Two more justices will vote Wednesday, producing a formal verdict, but a majority is all that's needed for conviction. The case is known in Brazil as "mensalao," or big monthly allowance, for the sums of up to $10,000 handed over to politicians. Widely seen as the biggest political corruption scandal in Brazil's history, the case has done little to tarnish the reputation enjoyed by Silva, who left office after two 4-year terms on Jan. 1, 2011, with an 87 percent approval rating. Silva, who remains a powerful political force in Brazil, faces no accusations of wrongdoing. A poll by the Datafolha polling institute said earlier this year that 57 percent of Brazilians would like to see Silva return to the presidency in 2014. Dirceu, a former revolutionary turned federal lawmaker once seen by many as a potential Brazilian president, was an early member of the leftist Workers Party and served as party president from 1995 through 2002, when he was named chief of staff upon Silva becoming Brazil's first working-class leader. In that role Dirceu was the second most-powerful man in Latin America's largest nation before the scandal broke in 2005 and forced him from the Cabinet. ***** You can read about the details of the âMensalÃ£o scandalâ at: MensalÃ£o scandal http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mensalão_scandal .