15 October 2010

Bob Haldeman Interview (36)

Now the government had a problem: how were they going to
tackle the copper companies in what manner and with whom? So
the president elected two people: Raul Saez, a brilliant
engineer who just passed away last year, who had worked his way
up. The highest job he had before he moved up was as the head
of Endesa, the power company. He was an excellent engineer,
capable, and a big thinker with a lot of international

Long-neglected rail yard at the deserted industrial
site of the Braden Copper Mine, ghost town of Sewell, Chile

If you remember, in 1955 they legislated and made this
auditing group, the Departamento de Cobre . It was a watchdog on
the copper companies. The man who was the vice president of
that group was Javier Lagarrigue, the second man elected by
Frei. He was a Christian Democrat and a nice fellow. I had
known him for years, and he knew the copper business pretty
well. I think he had been in that -department since 1955, and we
are now up to 1964.

Frei said to the two of them, "I want you to tackle the
companies and see what you can do."

Well, they sat down and figured out, "We've got to go first
where we can get the most out of the softest and the easiest."
They decided the order would be from the easiest to the hardest,
and the easiest was Bob Koenig. Bob had Cerro de Pasco in Peru;
he had Latin experience, and he couldn't care less. He knew
that you had to go along with the political current and tides.

We know the last is going to be Kennecott, because "they
are Peck's Bad Boy; they're the hard nuts, and we're quite sure
we're going to get nothing out of them. So we'll take number
two, Anaconda, because they have all their eggs in the Chilean
basket." They had no other income outside of Chile, an inside
board of directors, re-elected their own president and their own
directors every year, and gave themselves all a raise every
year. They were sitting in this little copper-tinsel world with
no other source of income.

They called in Mr. Koenig, and the conversations started.
After a couple or three weeks they struck a deal where they, the
Chileans, would buy in 25 percent of the company. It was based
on asset and liability the value of the company, everything
above board payments. Bob Koenig was very pleased with it and

Index to Haldeman Interview

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