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Father Son Cracking SafeAnybody with kids will recognize this question almost instantly. Most of us have no problems answering it. Most of us either have professions or jobs that earn us money through serving other people's needs. Some of our professions are very high profile, such as teachers and some are very low profile, such as garbage collectors. But no matter what we do and how intelligent we may be (one way or another), we all serve. Well… for the most part anyways.

However out there, there are people who do not serve. Out there, there are people who make a living off us; off our serving efforts. Out there, there are people who do not care about serving but only about stealing. No, they are not thieves; at least that's not their official designation. They are known as Ministers, particularly of the Economic or Finance persuasion.


We decided to go hunting in order to answer this question. It is obvious that if governments have some sort of ministers in charge of money, their job descriptions must be front and center. That should answer our original question. And so we did. We now present you with the product of our research with a few extra added commentaries, strictly "for information purposes".

Argentina - Ministry of Economy and Public Finance

In a typical bureaucratic fashion, they don't have a job description. That would be too dangerous as somebody may actually demand that they fulfil it (which would be a real tragedy, seeing how what they do now). Their purpose is described in a very obscure decree (not even a law) which states that the ministry is there to assist the president in:



Everything related to economic policy

To ensure that economic policies keep politicians in power.

Finance administration

To implement the unholy trinity (tax, borrow and print) and for that the Central Bank is under its direct command.

Internal commerce

To manipulate markets and to ensure productive people are taxed to the maximum

Economic relations with the provinces and the capital

To ensure that only the minimum of amount of federal money is given to provinces, unless to ensure federal politicians remain in their jobs.

Australia - Department of Finance

In a typical common-law sort of system, this department is in charge of whatever this department may be put on charge or decide that it may be in charge of. Clear now? They are there to assist the government across a "wide range of policy areas"; the most important being:



Budget delivery

To implement the unholy trinity (tax, borrow and print) and for that the Reserve Bank of Australia is under its direct control through the appointment of the governor.

Non-defense property portfolio management

Yes, in Australia the Department of Finance is a real estate agent, which poses the question, what rate do they charge?

Financial framework for government agencies

To make sure that all bureaucrats are well paid to prevent political issues hence ensuring politician's jobs are safe.

Entitlement advice to parliamentaries

To operate as a cover for all the wage raises politicians assign to themselves. Basically a CYA exercise.

Chief Operating Office of government enterprises

To make sure government so-called "enterprises" keep ticking providing inefficient services and hence keeping the employment rate lower than it should be. Whatever it takes to keep politicians in their jobs.

Strategic advice on the application of new information technologies

Right. This makes so much sense. Anytime now we would expect that the Department of Finance will issue "strategic advice" on food, clothing and brain surgery. And since we are at it, it so happens that I have this sharp pain here when I do this, may I ask them for advice?

Brazil - Ministry of Finance

Again, in a typical Latin American fashion, the functions of this ministry are defined in a presidential decree. So much for democracy. Anyhow, its functions are:



Money, credit, financial institutions, capitalization, savings, private insurance and private pension

Well, that pretty much covers everything. The only remaining question is this: why didn't they call it the "God Ministry"? They can do all this and more through their "link" to the Central Bank.


Of course, just to make sure we have this critical item covered, let's be redundantly redundant. Stealing money is at the forefront of their "duties".

Budgeting the Social Security plan

To ensure politicians retain their jobs.

Financial management and accounting of public finances

To do whatever it is that politicians want to do to suit their needs, but retaining all formalities. Yet another CYA job.

Administration of domestic and external debt

Ahh… yes! the second part of the unholy trinity. It never fails.

Economic and financial negotiations with governments

And why not? There are plenty of useless apparatchiks in need of a job description. Because, you know, the markets are not a natural process, but an artificial one that originate in governmental agreements.

Administration of general prices and public tariffs

Yes… yes… general pricing and tariffs are critical to keep politicians in their jobs. Upset people do not vote "the right way". Besides, the illusion of "fighting" inflation must be maintained at all costs.

Supervision and control of foreign trade

Yes. Foreign trade must be supervised at all costs, because who knows what may those evil, evil merchants do otherwise. They may…gasp!... try to sell you o -even worse- buy something from you! The bastards!

Studying and monitoring of economic conditions

Of course, there must be "monitoring" because otherwise… otherwise what? The economy does not depend on monitoring but on free markets? Ahh… but you see, there is plenty of bureaucrats that must be kept in their jobs.

Proposing reforms to improve the institutions that regulate the functioning of the Brazilian economy

Yes, yes. It is absolutely important that institutions regulating the functioning of markets be efficient in so doing. If you don't believe us, just ask former USSR apparatchiks how well this idea worked out.

Non-defense portfolio management

Wow! not only are they in charge of real estate, but they are also financial advisors, hotel managers, lottery administrators and "promoters of horse racing" (no, we are not making this stuff up).

Canada - Department of Finance

In Canada politicians seem know how to keep their formalities neat and tight. In a typical common-law sort of system, this department's duties can pretty much be anything, but at least they are legislated.



Preparing the federal budget.

To implement the unholy trinity (tax, borrow and print) and for that the Central Bank of Canada is owned (that's correct, owned) by the Department of Finance.

Preparing tax and tariff legislation.

Yes. Let's make sure of that critical point. Stealing is job #1.

Managing federal borrowing on financial markets.

And of course, the second prong of the unholy trinity must be clarified so that there are no doubts.

Administering major federal transfers to the provinces and territories.

To ensure that only the minimum of amount of federal money is given to provinces and territories, unless to ensure federal politicians remain in their jobs.

Developing regulatory policy for the financial sector

Because, you know, the financial sector does not work unless regulated. Proof of this fact is the 2008 economic non-event that was fully avoided due to appropriate "regulatory policies".

Representing Canada within international financial institutions.

And why not? Somebody has to travel and shop in far away and exotic lands on taxpayer's money. It might as well be their apparatchiks.

Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.

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