Translating Corporate Speak: Venezuela and VNT

by Johnny Debacle

Hugo Chávez, CEO of Venezuela, a leading provider of faux-populism and professional nationalization services, said this about CA Nacional Telefonos de Venezuela (NYSE (but not for long!): VNT) and whether it will be nationalized.

Corporate speak:

Have we taken over CANTV yet? Call the bosses and name a new board of directors.

-Hugo Chávez on his weekly TV show, “Hello President”

Translation:

Yes, we have nationalized CANTV.

Corporate speak:

Don’t come and say the company is worth so much. You guys are crazy. We will pay what the law says and when the government decide

-Chávez on how much should be paid to the current shareholders of the NYSE listed CANTV to compensate them for the nationalization.

Translation:

Being that I am now both the law and the government, expect céntimos on the dollar compared to the market value. You guys were crazy for having your money in a security with a stated high likelihood risk of being taken by me, Hugo Chávez.

Corporate speak:

The National Assembly, controlled by the president’s political allies, is expected to give final approval this week to what it calls the “enabling law,” which would give Chávez the authority to pass a series of laws by decree during an 18-month period.

-From an AP report

Translation:

The National Assembly, comprised of people mostly elected with Chávez’s money, thought that the “enabling Hugo Chávez to be dictator law” just didn’t have the right je ne sais quoi, and thus created the abbreviated title.

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