Posts Tagged ‘bribery’

Vast Mexico Bribery Case Hushed Up by Wal-Mart

April 21, 2012

After Top-Level Struggle Confronted with evidence of widespread corruption in Mexico, top Wal-Mart executives focused more on damage control than on rooting out wrongdoing, an examination by The New York Times found. 

The headlines are from Saturday’s New York Times. The news article details how Walmart de Mexico—that nation’s largest employer—regularly paid huge bribes to Mexican government officials to approve permits for new stores; how senior management of the Mexican subsidiary was party to the bribery; how Walmart headquarters in Arkansas investigated the allegations of bribery, and how, when the investigations turned up hard evidence, hq proceeded to bury it.

“It’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up.” So goes the conventional wisdom, but in this case it was both: the crime was committed by top management of the Mexico subsidiary, and the cover up was by top management of the parent company.

In my business ethics courses we use Walmart as a case study: Is the company ethical or unethical, and is it good or bad for America.

On the plus side Walmart gives employment to hundreds of thousands (more…)

Ethics: it’s tough even to give it away

August 2, 2011

Everybody talks about ethics but it seems nobody cares about it. The “ethics” talk is all about rules: bribery, conflict of interest, financial disclosure laws, nepotism, and the rest of the litany of rules of conduct that you can be fired or prosecuted for breaking.

If you subscribe to a Google alert for “ethics” you learned today that a key aide to the governor of Illinois was fined $500 and forced to resign for sending a campaign email on his state-issued cell phone. Or that the former Massachusetts State Auditor was fined $2,000 for by putting his unqualified 75-year-old cousin on the state payroll. Or that lobbyists are buying meals for Oklahoma lawmakers. That’s not about ethics, that’s about rules

Moreover, corporate ethics officers are so concerned with preventing criminal violations that they don’t have much (…any?) time for such things as the Golden Rule, arguing with the boss, or keeping one’s commitments. This became depressingly clear to me after I attended a meeting of ethics officers and academics. The meeting had focused on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which makes it illegal for American companies to pay bribes overseas.

After the meeting I made an offer to the attendees that I thought they couldn’t refuse: (more…)

Playing soccer (football) with head scarves can cause choking, so FIFA disqualifies Iran’s women

June 14, 2011

Soccer, aka futbol, aka futebol, aka football, is also known as the beautiful game. It’s the closest thing there is to a universal sport, played in over 200 countries. It’s championship game, the World Cup final, player every four years, draws a television audience of over one billion, according to FIFA, the international governing body.

FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) rules soccer internationally. And corruptly: its board is rife with bribery, which is apparently why it awarded the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, where summer temperatures reach over 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

And it rules arbitrarily, inconsistently, and ugly, as when last week it disqualified the Iran women’s team for wearing head scarves to their match with Jordan. Why? Because head scarves were dangerous. Don’t you know, they’re a choking hazard. As a result Iran won’t have a chance to qualify for the 2012 Olympics in London.

The issue has come up before, and FIFA reversed an earlier ruling against head scarves (more…)

Charlie Rangel (D-NY) is a tax cheat, an extortionist, and probably a bribe-taker. But so are a lot of people. Why am I so disturbed with Rangel?

July 30, 2010

With all the criminality in public life, why am I so disturbed with Charlie Rangel? Jack Marshall put his metaphorical finger on it in his EthicsAlarm blog: Rangel is an ethics corrupter. Marshall defines it this way:

“An ethics corrupter is a public figure of high accomplishment, a hero who encourages his admirers and followers to allow the hero’s achievements to excuse his flawed character and values…The ethics corrupter…weakens the public’s resistance to corruption and misconduct, and encourages a culture of privilege in which an individual is allowed to break the law and rules in direct proportion to his or her perceived value to society.”

As I’m disgusted by Rangel’s conduct, I’m alarmed by the people defending it. The only hopeful sign is that the House ethics committee, comprising four Democrats and four Republicans, brought charges against Rangel, and will try him on these charges, with the possible penalty upon conviction ranging from admonition to expulsion from the House of Representatives.

If Rangel had the tiniest sense of public responsibility or honor he would resign. But he doesn’t and he won’t. He’ll probably cost the Democrats control of the House in the coming election but he doesn’t care. And if they let him, neither should we.

var sc_project=6152467;

var sc_invisible=1;

var sc_security=”2276aa67″;

counter for tumblr


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 61 other followers