Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Disaster of Sarbannes-Oxley

March 5, 2008

Overseas Investments

Investment U E-Letter: Issue # 507
Monday, January 30, 2006

Overseas Investments: Another Fine Mess For U.S. Stocks…and the Growing Case For Investing Abroad
by Mark Skousen, Chairman, Investment U

"It" - a new U.S. government regulation - is a costly monster.

Just one provision of the law (the infamous section 404) cost the average company $4.36 million last year. Total compliance came to $6.1 billion to public companies overall. As a result of "it," the four largest accounting firms have raised their fees 78% to 134%.

Professor Ivy Zhang at the University of Rochester calculates that "it" has resulted in a cumulative loss of $1.4 trillion in shareholder value since going into effect, an average loss of $460 for every person in America.

Of course, those in Congress who voted for "it" said "it" was the price we had to pay to clean up Wall Street's image following the scandals of Enron and WorldCom. And while "it" might create some short-term setbacks, they believed Wall Street and the financial world would eventually get used to "it," all for the better.

But now the truth about "it" is coming out, and from all appearances, the cure may be worse than the disease…

No, "it" is not something you find on eBay. Rather, "it" is the dreaded Sarbanes-Oxley law passed in 2002 to prevent fraud and increase transparency and compliance of publicly traded companies. And with that comes the opportunities for overseas investments in 2006. But before we get into investing abroad, let's take a look at the many implications of Sarbanes-Oxley…

The Growing Disaster Called "Sarbox"

So far, Sarbox (as "it" is called) has completely backfired. Recently, The Wall Street Journal issued several negative reports on Sarbox:

  • Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) have had to postpone going public due to increased compliance costs.
  • Many pubic companies are now going overseas, especially outsourcing to India, to reduce the costs of compliance.
  • And most importantly, last Thursday's Wall Street Journal (January 26, 2006) reported a dramatic fallout in the number of foreign companies listing their shares in New York.

In fact, according to Citigroup, in 2000, nine out of every 10 dollars raised by foreign companies through new stock offerings were done in New York rather than London or Luxembourg - the two other main choices.

Today, nine out of 10 dollars are raised overseas through new company listings in London or Luxembourg. The chart below illustrates the big migration:

Overseas Investments: Percentage of Money Raised in the U.S. from Foreign IPOs

The cause of this sharp drop-off in foreign listings in New York? "The U.S. requirements are far more rigorous," said Gagan Banga, executive director of Indiabulls Financial Services, who decided to list in London instead.

Foreigners blame the U.S. on two counts:

  • Excessive accounting and disclosure rules of Sarbox
  • Underperformance of the U.S. market. I think these two go hand in hand.

The fact is that Sarbox is unnecessary. The private market was already cleaning up the accounting scandals without government help: Financial magazines exposed the frauds, accounting firms were establishing more rigorous standards, and the ivy league business schools (including Columbia, where I taught) were busy expanding courses in business ethics.

What Should Investors Do? Consider Overseas Investments!

It's pointless to write your Congressman and complain. Leave it up to the lobbyists. (The complaints by small business have been so intense that the SEC has recommended exempting companies with a market cap under $150 million from the ugly 404 regulations.)

The best bet is to invest overseas. Foreign markets will continue to outperform U.S. markets due to the cost advantage of going abroad, and their economies are growing faster than ours.

My Recommendations:

Last week, I recommended investing in the MSCI Emerging Markets Fund (AMEX: EEM). It continues to rise. Today, I suggest you add The India Fund (NYSE: IFN) as an overseas investment to your portfolio. This is where companies are benefiting from outsourcing and Sarbox regulations. It's on the move.

Today's IU Crib Sheet

  • The unnecessary corporate expense due to the Sarbox legislation isn't the only reason to think about an overseas investment… Check out Investment U #497: Stock Market Predictions for 2006: A Huge Bull Market in Foreign Stocks! It's another case for putting your investment dollars to work outside of U.S. stocks…and into the burgeoning profitable sector of investing abroad.

Good trading,


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A fire, and only minutes to make critical decisions

A fire, and only minutes to make critical decisions

BOSTON (MarketWatch) -- At 6:45 a.m. on Feb. 22 my daughter burst into my office yelling something about a fire in the chimney. There was no immediate danger, but smoke was building, there were flames shooting out the chimney cap and it was clear everyone needed to be out.

The fire department had been called, a few precautions were taken to minimize the fire and whatever fuel it had, and then my wife and I walked out of the house to meet the first officers to the scene.

And as soon as I stepped out of the house, I realized I had made a mistake. The "family disaster kit" had been left downstairs, back in my office, and there was no way the officers were going to let me back in to get it, regardless of the danger of the situation.

In the end, it turned out to be little more than a fire drill; the fire was extinguished within a half hour, there was minimal damage and, most importantly, everyone was safe.

In the scheme of disaster prevention, however, the drill was a mild failure, because in the five minutes I had to safeguard my family's life, I left behind the finances. Had this been a real disaster, it would have tested the veracity of the manufacturer's claims that I had purchased a fireproof box. (Several safety experts I talked with said that leaving behind the file in a fire is the right thing to do, that it only travels in disasters -- like hurricanes -- where evacuation comes with some advance warning.)

Moreover, when things calmed down, I checked the box and found some key areas where it would have let us down.

"Disasters can strike quickly and without warning," says Darlene Sparks-Washington, director for preparedness for the American Red Cross. "Taking action to prepare in advance can reduce the physical, emotional and financial impact of a disaster, and help you respond faster in a disaster situation where every second counts."

The idea behind any disaster file is to have the important, this-will-rebuild-your-life data in one place.

It's not the safe-keeping spot for one-of-a-kind documents, like birth certificates and marriage records, which belong in a safe-deposit box, but a certified copy of those papers in the disaster file is a good idea in case you need to produce them to get government assistance.

In a hurricane or earthquake, the same problem that destroys your home could endanger the bank vault of your safe-deposit box. Copies of the documents can also be left with a trusted friend or relative who lives in another city -- to guard against natural disasters -- although experts are split on this idea, noting that the documents in the file would be an identity thief's dream and inappropriate to give anyone.

What to include

The file -- kept in a waterproof/fireproof box -- should include your financial records and account numbers, along with contact details for those accounts. When I made my file a few years back, in the wake of all of the hurricanes that had been in the news, I simplified the process by following an expert tip to copy a month's worth of bills, plus bank and brokerage statements, thereby securing account numbers and customer-service phone lines, precisely what is necessary in case of emergency.

In a real catastrophe, it might seem frivolous to have credit-card numbers handy, but past disasters -- like those big hurricanes -- have been rife with tales of consumers who had to battle creditors over late fees and other charges. By calling immediately after the bad event, a consumer may be able to get some measure of leniency from lenders. Moreover, ignoring those responsibilities -- even during a crisis -- increases the potential for hassle.

Next, experts suggest adding in mortgage and loan information, employee-benefit statements and, perhaps most importantly, copies of insurance policies.

There are a number of software packages that include organizers that will help you create your inventory of key financial information. But software programs are only as good as the person keeping them, and copying information on your computer won't be much help if your computer is destroyed.

If, as a result, you prefer to stay low-tech, check out the "Your Important Records" section of "Your Financial Organizer," a booklet produced by TIAA-CREF. You can find the booklet by searching online at or you can go directly to the records page at

Once your accounts are secure, include a copy of a "household inventory." Your inventory should contain as much detail as possible about purchase dates and prices, current value of an item and more, but it does not have to be a written record. Take a video camera and walk from one end of your home to the other, making a travelogue of everything you see. Or print pictures with descriptions on the back. The Insurance Information Institute offers free software for helping to prepare a home inventory; you can download it at

Don't forget cash

Jocelyn Silsby, manager of preparedness implementation for the Red Cross, said that the last thing to go into the disaster box is "enough cash to last you for three days, just because there are some disasters that could make it that the banks are closed, or the ATMs are not available, or you don't have your cards and can't get replacements for a few days."

A few experts suggest tossing the most recent tax return in the file, but there's a good chance the paperwork is on file with your tax preparer. Moreover, in the middle of a crisis, future dealings with the Internal Revenue Service are about the last thing a consumer needs to worry about.

The one plus to putting tax records into the file is that it creates a logical time to update the paperwork. Upon returning to my office after the chimney fire, I found several items out of date.

"Your file is only good if it's current," said Silsby. "The question becomes how many things have changed that you will forget about. ... I like the idea that when you change your clocks, you also change the batteries on your smoke detectors, and check your disaster file."

In other words, check in on your file this weekend, before or after you move the clocks. As the recent experience in my home proved, you never know when it's going to be your turn to have the disaster drill become your reality.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Why Did William F. Buckley Jr. Talk Like That?

Why Did William F. Buckley Jr. Talk Like That?The origins of his "preposterously mellifluous" voice.

Conservative writer William F. Buckley Jr., who founded the magazine National Review and once ran for mayor of New York City, died Wednesday at the age of 82. Buckley was famous for his idiosyncratic way of speaking and was described in obituaries as having a "High Church accent," a "patrician accent and a polysyllabic vocabulary," and a voice "so preposterously mellifluous that it seemed that, even as he was speaking, he had some brandy in the back of his mouth that he needed to evaluate before swallowing it." How did Buckley end up talking like that?

He was an upper-class prep. English was not Buckley's first language: His nanny taught him Spanish, and he attended university in Mexico for some time. But there's little evidence of any Spanish influence in his Connecticut lockjaw sound. Instead, his aristocratic drawl, quasi-British pronunciations, and fondness for Latinate vocabulary seem to have originated at the schools he attended as a boy: St. John's Beaumont in England, when he was 13, followed by the Millbrook School in upstate New York. According to Buckley biographer Sam Tanenhaus, few of the writer's siblings shared his peculiar way of speaking. Tanenhaus also points out that Buckley picked up elements of a Southern drawl from his parents, both of whom were from the South.

But if you listen to Buckley's many debates—with Gore Vidal, Noam Chomsky, and others—the first thing you'll notice is a distinctly British rhythm and melody. His pronunciation was likewise British-influenced in its lack of rhoticity—meaning he drops his "r"s. (An American "r" is generally pronounced with a tongue curled about 45 degrees; the Brits leave their tongues flat. Buckley is often somewhere in the middle.) This style of speech used to characterize upper-class New Englanders as a whole, since many of the region's earliest settlers hailed from (old) England. (Fewer "r"s were dropped among the more diverse mix of immigrants in New York.) There's also the yod, which is the "ew" sound in music and usual—like our friends across the pond, Buckley keeps the yod for words like news and pursue. He also pronounces the "t" in words like writer. And for vowels in words like thought and wrong, he rounded his lips, not unlike the English. Meanwhile, he stressed few words when he spoke but would pounce on an important one, every once in a while. (Contrast with John Wayne, who tended to stress every single word, in exactly the same way.)

Buckley's old-fashioned way of speaking wasn't too far from the British-influenced mid-Atlantic accent, which the Hollywood studios taught to actors in the 1930s and '40s. You'll pick up some of the same pronunciations and cadences from recordings of Franklin D. Roosevelt*, as well as Katharine Hepburn—who was, after all, from a wealthy Connecticut family, like Buckley.

The conservative thinker may have shared an accent with some other men of the same age and social class, but his mannerisms and gestures made him entirely unique—and occasionally prone to caricature. He tended to pause for long stretches, wag his tongue, and open his mouth in an exaggerated way. To emphasize a point, he would make a tent with his fingers or grin as he spoke a key word. Toss in his wit, his blue-blooded accent, and his affinity for fancy words, and Buckley had created his own personal language, or idiolect.

Got a question about today's news? Ask the Explainer.

Explainer thanks David Bowie of the University of Central Florida, Jack Chambers of the University of Toronto, John Fought, formerly of the University of Pennsylvania, Joel Goldes of the Dialect Coach, and Paul Meier of International Dialects of English Archive.

Correction, Feb. 29, 2008: This article originally misspelled Franklin D. Roosevelt's name. (Return to the corrected sentence.)

The Kremlin's Really Bad Month: March 1983

March 03, 2008

The Kremlin's Really Bad Month: March 1983

By Paul Kengor
"[T]he powers that be in Washington are threatening the course of world history, neither more nor less."
-Grigori Dadyants, Sotsialisticheskaya Industriya, March 1983

"It is an Evil Empire. It's time to close it down."
-Ronald Reagan, White House, March 1983

It was 25 years ago this month, March 1983, that the Soviet Union went into hysterics, both realizing and arguably beginning the terminal phase in its deadly life cycle.

The Kremlin had been deeply troubled ever since the inauguration of President Ronald Reagan in January 1981, a total turnabout from its confident surge in the latter 1970s, when it looked like Moscow was winning the Cold War. The Soviet leadership was taken aback by Reagan's bravado in his very first press conference, where the new president calmly explained to a stunned Washington press corps that the Soviet leadership had "openly and publicly declared that the only morality they recognize is what will further their cause, meaning they reserve unto themselves the right to commit any crime, to lie, to cheat." Reagan had left no doubt that Jimmy Carter was out of the White House.

Moscow's fears only heightened throughout 1981 and 1982, struck by the president's public projections that communism and the Soviet Union itself were doomed, statements he made repeatedly from the campus of Notre Dame University in May 1981 to Westminster in London in June 1982, to name only two. The Soviets privately fumed over what they suspected Reagan was pursuing in Poland, in Afghanistan, in Nicaragua, and via relationships with the likes of Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul II.

Consequently, the Kremlin already sensed it was at the arc of a crisis going into March 1983. It could not have imagined what was about to happen next, as Reagan that month would issue a devastating rhetorical blow, followed by the disclosure of a major Cold War directive, and then finishing with an announcement of a research program that would terrify the Soviet leadership, ultimately becoming Mikhail Gorbachev's obsession.

The first of these came on March 8, 1983, when Ronald Reagan proclaimed that there was "sin and evil in the world," and that he was duty-bound, "by Scripture and the Lord Jesus," to oppose it with all his might. Among those sins and evils was the "focus of evil in the modern world," said Reagan-the Soviet Union, which was nothing short of an "Evil Empire."

Liberals, of course, went nuts, as did the Soviets -- but not the Soviets' captives, who celebrated from inside the gulag, ecstatic that finally the West had a leader willing to speak the truth. Reagan was speaking to cowards in the West in particular, the haughty, the prideful, when he exhorted:

"I urge you to beware the ... temptation of blithely declaring yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault, to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong and good and evil."

The Moderates were Alarmed

The moderates inside the Reagan White House were equally alarmed. Nancy Reagan and her close friend Mike Deaver were certain that if Ronnie would simply stop making these Neanderthal comments, the Nobel Committee would come to the door with the Peace Prize for the conservative president. About a week after the speech, Nancy invited to dinner another of her moderate friends, Stu Spencer. The two of them pressed the president, expressing reservations over his abrasive speech. Reagan waved them off: "It is an Evil Empire," he instructed them. "It's time to close it down."

The Evil Empire speech could not have been more high-profile. It was done openly by Reagan for all to hear. The intended audience was the world, and Reagan wanted everyone, everywhere, to hear it -- as they did indeed.

That was not the intention with what happened next that March 1983. A week after the Evil Empire speech came something on March 16, 1983 that sent the Soviets into fits. On that date, reporter Robert Toth of the Los Angeles Times broke the scoop of a lifetime, compliments of one of the serial leakers in the Reagan administration:.

Toth revealed that two months earlier, in mid-January, President Reagan had secretly signed NSDD-75, a highly classified document, and one of the boldest strokes of the entire Cold War. Written principally by Harvard professor Richard Pipes, with the economic elements developed by Roger Robinson -- both operating within Bill Clark's National Security Council -- NSDD-75 dedicated the Reagan administration to nothing short of reversing the Soviet communist empire and even the USSR itself, advocating the end of the Marxist directorship and the launching of political pluralism in the USSR. As Pipes put it, NSDD-75 was "a clear break from the past. [NSDD-75] said our goal was no longer to coexist with the Soviet Union but to change the Soviet system. At its root was the belief that we had it in our power to alter the Soviet system."

This would be achieved by various external pressures, including covert economic warfare. Among the practitioners of this campaign, beyond Reagan's NSC, were Bill Casey and his team at the CIA -- men like Casey's special assistant, Herb Meyer.

Neither the Soviets nor the world in general were supposed to know about NSDD-75. They learned about it from the Toth article. This was discovered firsthand by Marc Zimmerman, an unknown legislative aide to then-Rep. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), who found himself being pumped for information by a KGB agent in March 1983 -- a case that soon exploded onto every front page in America. The agent was armed with a copy of the Times article.

Zimmerman found that the Soviet agent (who, of course, did not identify himself as an agent) was "obsessed" with NSDD-75, and understandably so. "He told me, ‘Hey, you know, your government is trying to destabilize the Soviet Union,'" recalls Zimmerman today. "As evidence, he pulled the article from his coat pocket. He was really shaken up by the article. The KGB had their agents all over this."

Just a week earlier, TASS, the official Soviet news agency, had issued a press release warning that Reagan's Evil Empire speech had symbolized the reality that it was now "official state policy" for the Reagan team to make its "crusade against communism ... the fatal denouement to which Mr. Reagan is nudging the world." Now, with the disclosure about NSDD-75, articles began running in the Soviet press with titles like "New Directive ... Threatens History."

A piece by Grigori Dadyants in Sotsialisticheskaya Industriya stated, "Directive 75 speaks of changing the Soviet Union's domestic policy. In other words, the powers that be in Washington are threatening the course of world history, neither more nor less." The Moscow Domestic Service released two statements on the directive, dubbing the "plan" a "subversive" attempt "to try to influence the internal situation" within the USSR. "[T]he task," said Moscow, was "to exhaust the Soviet economy ... to undermine the socioeconomic system and international position of the Soviet state." This was quite accurate; finally, there was some truth in the Soviet press.

Even then, the Soviets had seen nothing yet. Their really bad month was about to get worse, as Ronald Reagan was holding a secret that he was about to share with the world on March 23, 1983: "My fellow Americans, tonight we're launching an effort which holds the promise of changing the course of human history," declared the president that evening in a nationally televised address. He announced his Strategic Defense Initiative, a vision for a space-based missile-defense system.

Coming only two weeks after the Evil Empire speech, and one week after the report on NSDD-75-not to mention other audacious military initiatives underway, from the deployment of the MX Missile to the Pershing IIs-Reagan's remarks left Moscow shell-shocked. They also stunned his own staff. Four days before the speech, only Bill Clark, Bud McFarlane, John Poindexter, and science advisor George Keyworth knew what was to come.

The Problem with Leaks

That secrecy was necessary: Reagan had a terrible problem with leaks, which had been particularly acute in 1982 and 1983, to the point where he had Bill Clark investigate the matter and even considered employing a polygraph. Clark ensured that only those who needed to know about SDI would know ahead of time. He and Reagan did not want SDI to be sabotaged by an in-house opponent as a lame-brain idea prior to its announcement.

As an example of the internal opposition, Keyworth recalled a Monday meeting in the Oval Office with Secretary of State George Shultz before the Wednesday evening speech. "Shultz called me a lunatic in front of the president," remembered Keyworth, "and said the implication of this new initiative was that it would destroy the NATO alliance. It would not work ... and was the idea of a blooming madman." Shultz did not realize at that point that he had just called Reagan a madman in front of his top advisers -- since the idea was completely Reagan's.

The Soviets could, however, count on getting some help from their useful idiots in the American left. It took Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) less than 24 hours to lampoon Reagan's SDI speech as "misleading Red-scare tactics and reckless Star Wars schemes." The New York Times quickly followed suit, noting in a story a week later that the SDI proposal was "Mr. Reagan's answer to the film ‘Star Wars.'" White House reporters like Helen Thomas immediately embraced the critics' new name for Reagan's initiative, refusing Reagan's direct appeal to call SDI by its actual name. Here's one exchange at a press conference:

Thomas: Mr. President, if you are flexible, are you willing to trade off research on "Star Wars" ... or are you against any negotiations on "Star Wars"?

Reagan: Well, let me say, what has been called "Star Wars"-and, Helen, I wish whoever coined that expression would take it back again-

Thomas: Well, Strategic Defense-

Reagan: -because it gives a false impression of what it is we're talking about.

Despite Reagan's plea, Thomas continued: "May I ask you, then, if ‘Star Wars'-even if you don't like the term, it's quite popular...."

The term was popular because reporters used it. Reagan's request was reasonable: the program's name was the Strategic Defense Initiative. A supposed unbiased reporter ought to call it by its proper name, not the term of derision used by partisan detractors.

So, before SDI could work its magic in panicking the Soviets and bringing them to the negotiating table, it first had to survive its domestic opponents right here in America. Still, try as they might, the left's attempt to ridicule SDI failed miserably, as the Soviets took it eminently seriously. There was literally no other issue, in all the subsequent US-Soviet summits, that absorbed Mikhail Gorbachev's attention as much as SDI. The transcripts of the summits show this unmistakably, and Gorbachev and his aides all attested to the fact.

SDI was "The Silver Bullet"

In the end, SDI was one of the single most influential factors in bringing the Soviets to the negotiating table and ending the Cold War. It was a silver bullet. According to CIA official Herb Meyer,

"The intelligence coming in the morning of March 24 -- literally hours after the president's SDI speech -- was different from anything we'd seen before. The Soviet Union's top military officials had understood instantly that President Reagan had found a way to win the Cold War. He had described SDI as ‘a shield over the United States.' But they understood that it was really a lid over the Soviet Union. It meant their missiles would be worthless."

Meyer notes that the Soviets understood that even if SDI could not shoot down all of their missiles, it introduced a devastating uncertainty that sent their nuclear strategy into a tailspin -- and they knew that America had the money to do the research.

Genrikh Trofimenko, head of the Institute for U.S.A. and Canada Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, later said that "99% of all Russians believe that Reagan won the Cold War because of his insistence on SDI."

SDI was a deep thrust to the underbelly of the Soviet system that March 1983, and the crowning touch on a month of repeated assaults on the Kremlin.

Needless to say, President Reagan had much more in store for the Soviets in the months and years ahead, from Reykjavik to the Brandenburg Gate. By the end of March 1983, however, the Soviets knew the game was up. Alas, they had an adversary in Washington who knew how weak they truly were, and who wasn't afraid to say so-and who was confident he could finish them off.

At that point in the timeline of the Cold War, the Soviet communist grip had only half a dozen years left. In March 1983, 25 years ago this month, that was something that history could not know; it could only know that the Cold War was really heating up. The Soviets felt the heat; for them, it was a really bad month, and arguably the start of their end.

Paul Kengor is author of The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism (HarperPerennial, 2007) and professor of political science at Grove City College. His latest book is The Judge: William P. Clark, Ronald Reagan's Top Hand (Ignatius Press, 2007).

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Imigração para Canadá e Austrália



Viviane Macedo

O interesse de outros países em profissionais brasileiros tem aumentando com o passar dos anos, e esse olhar de fora é promissor. Já são muitas as vagas destinadas para imigrantes e muitos países dão prioridade aos brasileiros na seleção.

Québec, no Canadá, é um exemplo de mercado que abre portas aos profissionais brasileiros. A província, que recruta cerca de 45 mil imigrantes todos os anos, tem tanto interesse na mão-de-obra nacional que envia sistematicamente representantes ao Brasil para caçar talentos. Com poucos habitantes e uma taxa de natalidade muito baixa, o governo de Québec decidiu buscar profissionais qualificados em outros países para dar continuidade à sustentação da economia e do mercado locais.

A Austrália também tem um programa muito parecido para recrutar imigrantes. Com um território bastante extenso e uma população de apenas 21 milhões de habitantes – quase a metade da do Estado de São Paulo -, a demanda do mercado de trabalho local não consegue ser suprida e o país necessita buscar talentos no exterior. E os profissionais brasileiros se destacam naturalmente, graças à simpatia, à capacidade de adaptação e à facilidade de aprendizado.


Apesar de estar sempre aberto à imigração e buscar ativamente estrangeiros, Québec realiza um processo criterioso de seleção, pois não são todos os perfis que se encaixam às necessidades da província. Um pré-requisito fundamental para conseguir o visto é o conhecimento de francês, o idioma local.

O Canadá tem dois idiomas, mas cada província tem autonomia para escolher o seu. E Québec, por questões históricas, escolheu o francês para ser sua língua oficial. "O profissional precisa ter, no mínimo, 150 horas de estudo do idioma. Mas, se aprovado durante todo o processo, ele ganha do governo um curso de mil horas gratuitas para melhorar a fluência e, com isso, aumentar suas chances de empregabilidade na província", afirma Soraia Tandel, agente de imigração de Québec.

A região canadense está à procura de profissionais jovens, preferencialmente até 35 anos de idade. O estado civil não influencia na possível aprovação do imigrante, assim como o fato de ter ou não filhos. Mas é indispensável que ele tenha os estudos concluídos e experiência profissional em seu país de origem.

Todos os requisitos que formam o perfil ideal para a imigração têm um motivo importante: o profissional que consegue entrar em Québec exerce a profissão em que se formou e atuou - por isso ele precisa ter fluência e dominar a língua local. "A idéia é trabalhar na área mesmo, e não ir para ser faxineiro ou coisas do tipo. A proposta não é lavar chão, limpar prato. É trabalhar com a profissão. Por isso o profissional precisa estar enquadrado no perfil", explica Soraia.


Segundo Soraia, Québec financia uma série de ONGs – Organizações Não-Governamentais especializadas em Recursos Humanos para ajudar o imigrante a ingressar no mercado de trabalho mais rapidamente: "Cada imigrante tem um serviço de apoio, às vezes individual, às vezes em grupo, para elaboração de currículo, elaboração de carta de apresentação, identificação das empresas que estão contratando, ateliê sobre mercado de trabalho, sobre como passar numa entrevista. Então ele chega na província desempregado, mas não fica sem assistência, ele recebe tudo isso até conseguir um emprego", garante.

O governo também oferece escola, até o ensino médio, e sistema de saúde gratuitamente.


Tudo começa com uma palestra, onde é apresentada a idéia do programa. A agente de imigração fala como acontece o processo e explica quem está habilitado a participar. Depois da palestra e do recolhimento de todas as informações necessárias, o interessado deve estudar francês. Durante o curso ele já pode providenciar todos os documentos e preencher os formulários, que estão descritos no site de Québec .

O próximo passo, já com 150 horas de estudo do francês concluídas, é uma entrevista de seleção, que dá aos aprovados o Certificado de Seleção de Québec - CSQ, documento oficial que atesta que ele está sendo selecionado. Já com o certificado em mãos, o interresado na imigração precisa entrar em contato com o consulado do Canadá em São Paulo (SP) para solicitar o visto. O processo de seleção conta ainda com verificação de antecedentes criminais e exames médicos, para averiguar o histórico de saúde do candidato. Todos os processos envolvem taxas e os valores podem ser conferidos no site da província.


A Austrália também tem um programa que recebe imigrantes do mundo inteiro todos os anos. Em 2007, por exemplo, 110 mil vistos serão concedidos. O país, que vive um quadro adverso com relação ao crescimento da população, não consegue dar conta da demanda do mercado de trabalho e também vai buscar profissionais qualificados no exterior para preencher suas vagas.

Apesar de selecionar profissionais de diversas partes do mundo, a Austrália tem dado grande atenção aos brasileiros e já atraiu muita mão-de-obra daqui.


A Austrália faz todo o seu processo por um sistema de pontos - a pontuação do candidato determina se ele será aprovado ou não no programa. "O governo vai dar mais pontos para quem é mais jovem, para quem fala mais inglês, para quem tem mais experiência. Esse sistema de pontos restringe bastante e segmenta melhor o perfil do profissional que o país procura", explica Érica Carneiro, diretora da Visacorp – agência de imigração australiana.

O profissional precisa ter, no máximo, 44 anos, falar inglês em nível intermediário (com bom nível) e ter trabalhado, no mínimo, um ano dos últimos dois anos.


A Austrália recebe profissionais de todas as áreas, mas a necessidade do mercado de trabalho local varia. Hoje, por exemplo, as atividades que estão em alta são Contabilidade; Tecnologia da Informação; Engenharias Civil, Mecânica, Elétrica e de Mineração; Terapia Ocupacional, Gastronomia e Psicologia. "Há muitas outras áreas, mas que hoje oferecem menos chances", afirma Érica.


A Visacorp é uma empresa registrada só de imigração australiana e presta serviços para pessoas que pretendem entrar no programa. Seu primeiro trabalho é analisar se o profissional tem chances de ser bem-sucedido no processo. "Muita gente se equivoca com a Lei, porque ela é complexa e ambígua. O profissional pensa que pode pedir o visto, gasta dinheiro, dá entrada e ele é recusado. Nós fazemos uma análise do caso da pessoa e dizemos a verdade, se há ou não chances, para só depois darmos início aos trâmites", conta Érica.

Se após essa primeira avaliação for identificado que a pessoa tem chances de ser aceita, ela fecha contrato com a agência, recebe uma lista com todos os documentos necessários e aguarda a resposta do governo da Austrália. Mais informações sobre o processo podem ser conferidos no site da Visacorp .


O profissional interessado em imigrar para a Austrália pode também fazer esse processo sozinho, seguindo as instruções disponíveis no site do governo do país. Porém, quem fizer essa opção deve estar ciente de que não terá a mesma orientação. "Quando o profissional contrata uma empresa, ele tem um processo muito mais rápido, porque a agência já sabe o que ele precisa e como proceder da melhor forma, tomando as providências necessárias para conseguir o visto. Com a Visacorp, por exemplo, num período entre nove meses e um ano o profissional já está com o visto na mão", afirma Érica.


Preocupados com a violência de São Paulo e dispostos a encarar novos desafios profissionais, Bianca e Odimar Tomazeli decidiram mudar do Brasil. O casal ainda não tinha um caminho traçado, então começou as pesquisas para conhecer um pouco mais sobre outros países. A princípio, Bianca queria ir para os Estados Unidos, mas o marido não concordava com a idéia. Foi quando conheceram uma pessoa que morava no Canadá havia 25 anos. Conversando com ela sobre o país, os dois ficaram bastante animados. "Simplesmente me apaixonei pela idéia de morar em Montreal e, a partir daí, começamos a procurar informações sobre a imigração, que não era tão fácil quanto hoje, e nos preparar para mudar de país", conta Bianca.

Ambos são profissionais de informática e estão trabalhando na área. Eles garantem que fizeram a melhor escolha e não têm vontade de voltar a morar no Brasil. "Eu estive no Brasil em dezembro de 2006 e deu pra sentir na pele a diferença. Acho que a tranqüilidade de você poder andar na rua às 3h da madrugada sem ter medo é algo que não tem preço", diz Odimar.

Sobre a realização profissional, os dois são unânimes: estão completamente realizados, felizes com a carreira e curtindo cada minuto. "Minha experiência está sendo ótima. Eu trabalho num ambiente bilíngüe, francês e inglês, o tempo todo, jamais me imaginei num cenário assim”, declara Odimar. E para Bianca a realização é a mesma. "Estou adorando essa experiência. Nunca achei que conseguiria chegar no nível que estou hoje", finaliza.

Fogo de Chão: Conquistando paladares em todo o mundo



Viviane Macedo

Trabalhando com churrasco desde os 14 anos, ele tem convicção de que fez a escolha certa, e o sucesso do seu negócio não o deixa mentir. Arri Coser, sócio-fundador do Fogo de Chão, comprou a churrascaria em 1980, junto com seu irmão, Jair.

Apaixonado pelo que faz, Coser contou ao Jornal Carreira & Sucesso um pouco da história da empresa e a forma como ela foi conquistando os paladares em todo o mundo. Ele faz questão de deixar claro que o mérito não é só dele: o irmão sempre esteve junto, trabalhando para o sucesso que conquistaram: "Eu e o meu irmão sempre juntos. Quando eu falo no Fogo de Chão, eu falo de nós dois, sempre."

Jornal Carreira & Sucesso: Conte um pouco sobre o início do Fogo de Chão, ainda em Porto Alegre:
Arri Coser:
O Fogo de Chão foi fundado em 1979. Em 1980, nós a compramos e mudamos o conceito. De à la carte passamos a espeto corrido, que é o rodízio hoje. Ficamos alguns anos lá, testando nossas habilidades em cada função, em cada área. Por ser um negócio menor, tínhamos algumas dificuldades para encontrar fornecedores, e determinados processos eram mais difíceis por não sermos grandes, o que nos fez aprender muito. Depois de alguns anos fizemos outros restaurantes diferentes lá em Porto Alegre. E de 1985 para 1986 viemos para São Paulo, quando abrimos a nossa primeira loja em Moema. E em 1987 abrimos a de Santo Amaro.

C&S: E você dirigia sozinho ou tinha alguém mais?
Eu e o meu irmão sempre juntos. Quando eu falo no Fogo de Chão, eu falo de nós dois, sempre! Nós começamos em quatro, depois tivemos outros sócios, no percurso de São Paulo, até 1990, quando mudamos de direção e voltamos a ser de novo como era no início.

C&S: Desde os 14 anos que você trabalha nessa área. Quantos anos você tinha quando comprou o Fogo de Chão?
Eu tinha 17 para 18 anos.

C&S: Vocês compraram e mudaram um pouco o conceito de tudo. Como foi a receptividade?
Na verdade, nós não mudamos o conceito. Como eram sete dias por semana de à la carte, a gente fez um dia de rodízio de teste, que era o domingo. E foi um sucesso, a receptividade foi ótima, então passamos a fazer nos outros dias também. Foi o cliente que escolheu, não fomos nós. Apenas apresentamos o sistema e o cliente aprovou.

C&S: E como se deu a vinda para São Paulo? Por que vocês decidiram vir para cá?
Porto Alegre era uma cidade menor, e ainda hoje é uma cidade pequena, e todos os clientes que eram de São Paulo diziam que tínhamos que vir pra cá, que daria muito certo. E ficamos pensando nisso. Na época, havia festivais lá no Sul e o júri era formado por pessoas que moravam em São Paulo: Silvio Lancelotti, Dias Gomes, da Globo, César Camargo Mariano... Todo esse pessoal ficava lá, e eles iam três noites seguidas em nosso restaurante. Eles tinham o mesmo discurso dos outros: diziam que a gente devia vir para São Paulo, que com certeza daria certo, e por esse motivo que eu até falo que eles são como padrinhos. Eles deram telefones das próprias casas e diziam que podíamos ligar que eles iriam nos receber quando viéssemos para cá.
Como eles, tivemos um monte de clientes que fizeram essas coisas, e claro que ouvimos! Por coincidência ou não, apareceu um terreno em Moema, foi quando nós viemos, alugamos o terreno, construímos o restaurante e abrimos. E eu brinco muito, e costumo dizer que essas coisas de mudanças de cidade ou de país a gente não tem que fazer muita conta, nem pensar nas dificuldades, se não você não vai. Então, se é pra ir, eu estou indo. Depois a gente vê o que acontece.

C&S: Vocês estavam numa cidade relativamente pequena, se comparada a São Paulo. Como foi se adaptar aqui e criar uma estrutura na cidade grande?
A vantagem é que aqui você tem mais público, existe mais poder aquisitivo. E, com isso, você resolve todos os problemas que você tem, desenvolve fornecedores e tudo se torna mais fácil.

C&S: E, em sua opinião, quais foram as maiores dificuldades que vocês enfrentaram aqui.
Falta de dinheiro, falta de financiamento, porque nós não tínhamos crédito na época. Então tínhamos de recorrer a conhecidos para arrecadar fundos e construir o negócio.

C&S: Muita gente tenta abrir um negócio, fazer uma estrutura, mas não consegue o sucesso que vocês conseguiram. A que você atribui esse sucesso?
Mais ou menos 10% de imaginação e sonho, e o resto tudo transpiração mesmo. Na maioria das vezes, o projeto não é bem-sucedido porque a pessoa não tem vocação para o negócio, simplesmente acha que aquilo dá certo e faz. Pra mim, tem de se apaixonar. Eu sou apaixonado pelo meu negócio! Gosto de comida, do serviço, de gente. Assim fica mais fácil fazer, porque quando se apaixona não tem problema se você trabalha 20, 22 ou 24 horas. Quando fazemos o que nos dá prazer, não nos cansamos disso. Eu acho que, independente do negócio que a pessoa quer fazer, ela precisa antes se perguntar se é apaixonada por isso. A maioria das pessoas monta um negócio porque não quer mais trabalhar como empregado, e estão enganadas porque aí é que elas vão trabalhar como empregado mesmo, ainda mais porque o cliente que é o seu patrão. Uma outra coisa muito importante é ter tempo para se dedicar àquilo, para que de fato dê certo. No meu caso foi muito bom, porque, na época, eu era solteiro, não tinha família, então tinha toda a chance de me dedicar nesse tempo que nós precisávamos.

C&S: E, depois do sucesso aqui, vocês foram para os EUA?
É. Depois daqui, para lá foi a mesma coisa. Mas daí foi meu irmão que fez toda a história por lá.

C&S: E como tudo aconteceu?
Foi mais ou menos a mesma coisa que aconteceu quando viemos para São Paulo. Também recebíamos muitos clientes americanos, que falavam que tínhamos de ir pra lá. Hoje temos clientes do mundo inteiro e todos dizem a mesma coisa. Mas a América me encantou quando eu fui conhecer, e vi o poder de compra, a estrutura que ela tem. Fiquei encantado. Era o país que eu mais conhecia e tinha viajado até aquele momento. Então fomos pra lá. Meu irmão foi e não voltou mais...(risos). Meus sócios na época também foram junto com ele. Foi um time nosso daqui de São Paulo que fez todo o sucesso da operação lá. Essas pessoas fizeram a diferença.

C&S: E quantos funcionários vocês têm hoje?
Hoje nós temos quase 500 aqui no Brasil e 650 lá, nos Estados Unidos. Até o final do ano, teremos 1.200 no total. Serão 500 aqui no Brasil e 700 lá.

C&S: O pessoal que está à frente do negócio nos EUA é daqui?
Hoje é a minoria, mas foram só os postos-chaves das operações. É a mesma coisa que as multinacionais que vieram para cá.

C&S:Você disse que deu certo lá por causa das pessoas que foram daqui. Esse reconhecimento vocês tentam passar para esses funcionários sempre?
Nem preciso passar. Eles sabem disso, porque eu fico falando isso o tempo todo para eles (risos). Todos eles sabem disso!

C&S: Você se sente uma pessoa realizada profissionalmente?
Eu sempre fui realizado, desde que eu comecei a trabalhar, lá com 14 anos, por ter escolhido essa profissão. Então, isso agrega e alegra, é divertido. Não posso entrar no restaurante triste, porque as pessoas vão para lá para comemorar. Tenho convicção de que escolhi a coisa certa e já faz parte de mim, isso de estar de bom humor o tempo todo.