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(Reuters)   How did Wal-Mart expand to be Mexico's largest employer so rapidly?   (reuters.com) divider line 69
    More: Obvious, Wal-Mart, Mexico, Mexican, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Last Falling, internal controls, permanent residency, Alcatel-Lucent  
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3041 clicks; posted to Business » on 22 Apr 2012 at 4:40 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-04-22 02:49:38 AM
Can the Arkansas state Attorney General dissolve Wal-Mart for something like this?
 
2012-04-22 04:42:57 AM

cman: Can the Arkansas state Attorney General dissolve Wal-Mart for something like this?


Probably. But I bert his pockets are lined with walmart dollars too.
 
2012-04-22 05:25:33 AM
If the mob tried this, the feds would be using RICO laws to arrest every one even remotely involved. Walmart execs however, are apparently above the law...
 
2012-04-22 05:41:28 AM
2.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-04-22 05:50:36 AM
Always low prices.

Always.
 
2012-04-22 06:24:07 AM
 
2012-04-22 06:26:25 AM
Additionally, why post the Reuters link when the NYT article was published on their own site yesterday?
 
2012-04-22 06:57:14 AM

AfroSpatula: Additionally, why post the Reuters link when the NYT article was published on their own site yesterday?


Maybe because NYT requires an account and Reuters doesn't.

/went to a Wal-Mart in downtown Cancun -- looked just like ones in the U.S.
//.... except the greeters there aren't employed by Wal-Mart
/// the clients looked and sounded identical though
 
2012-04-22 08:43:24 AM
I was trying to come up with a snarky, funny or sarcastic headline for this, but I could not.

The corruption in big business, and even more the corruption they engage in, in other countries, is just too much for my level of disgust tolerance.

that pretty much all of them engage in it doesn't make it any better.

fncking humanity, how does it work?
 
2012-04-22 08:46:28 AM

realityVSperception: If the mob tried this, the feds would be using RICO laws to arrest every one even remotely involved. Walmart execs however, are apparently above the law...


The FCPA allows businesses to bribe officials if it is normally done in that country. And in Mexico, this is normal.

"Payments which expedite or secure the performance of a routine governmental action by a foreign official, political party or party official are not prohibited."
 
2012-04-22 08:51:17 AM
I love the illegals Walmart graciously supplies to employers in their parking lot. Additionally, it's nice to know if I ever need a new stolen identity, all I have to do is drive to Walmart's parking lot.
 
2012-04-22 08:57:28 AM
Don't worry that we shut down the previous internal investigation. We've started up a new internal investigation, which will totally come to fruition this time because we're not the same company we were 6 years ago.

For seriously?
 
2012-04-22 09:18:24 AM
"Many of the alleged activities in The New York Times article are more than six years old. If these allegations are true, it is not a reflection of who we are or what we stand for," said David Tovar, vice president of corporate communications at Wal-Mart.

Let's see.

$24 million in bribes paid out by 2005.

Total sales revenue in 2011 Walmart in Mexico: $29 billion.

Yeah, this is not a reflection of your company. It captures you perfectly.
 
2012-04-22 09:27:37 AM

baronbloodbath: Always low prices wages.

Always.



/yup
//always
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-04-22 09:28:59 AM
When I took FCPA training the unstated message from the case studies was "be too big to fail." Wal-Mart is too big to fail. Lower level managers are the ones who get smacked by the feds.

Can the Arkansas state Attorney General dissolve Wal-Mart for something like this?

Probably not, though I don't know details of state law. There is no allegation here that the main purpose of Wal-Mart is outside of what its corporate charter allows.
 
2012-04-22 09:42:50 AM

realityVSperception: If the mob tried this, the feds would be using RICO laws to arrest every one even remotely involved. Walmart execs however, are apparently above the law...


But, but they are Job Creators TM
and campaign financiers...
Nothing to see here citizen, move along...
 
2012-04-22 09:46:25 AM

cavehobbit: I was trying to come up with a snarky, funny or sarcastic headline for this, but I could not.

The corruption in big business, and even more the corruption they engage in, in other countries, is just too much for my level of disgust tolerance.

that pretty much all of them engage in it doesn't make it any better.

fncking humanity, how does it work?


Oh, and *NOT* subby.

I was referring to the story in general this weekend
 
2012-04-22 09:51:02 AM

ZAZ: When I took FCPA training the unstated message from the case studies was "be too big to fail." Wal-Mart is too big to fail. Lower level managers are the ones who get smacked by the feds.

Can the Arkansas state Attorney General dissolve Wal-Mart for something like this?

Probably not, though I don't know details of state law. There is no allegation here that the main purpose of Wal-Mart is outside of what its corporate charter allows.


Not sure it would be a good idea in any case. The number of folks that would suffer from loss of jobs in that case would be huge.

What really needs to be done is remove the shield of immunity corporate officers and managers seem to have. Rather than dissolve the corporation, the officers and boards of directors need to face prosecution along with the actual people violating the law. And serve jail time if convicted of being aprt of the illegal activity whether they actively endorsed it or just set condition's and policies that left no other options.
 
2012-04-22 09:56:11 AM
WalMart is disgusting. Until WalMart set up in Mexico, bribery was unheard of. It was the Sweden of central America. Every executive at Walmart should get the death penalty.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-04-22 09:58:30 AM
cavehobbit

If the people setting the policy expected or intended illegal results they can be held accountable as accessories or co-conspirators. Likewise if they tried hard not to know what they should have suspected (see "ostrich instruction").
 
2012-04-22 09:59:46 AM

ArkAngel: "Payments which expedite or secure the performance of a routine governmental action by a foreign official, political party or party official are not prohibited."


If that's the case, then technically the probe isn't valid. Even in the U.S. using legal loopholes to get what you want is considered good business practice, if not downright savvy.

So who, other than the obvious, has an axe to grind with WalMart?
 
2012-04-22 10:01:44 AM
More reason to take every supporter of Free Trade and put a bullet in their head

Lets continue StupidNomics until we all drop dead
 
2012-04-22 10:16:13 AM

ZAZ: "ostrich instruction"


New term for me, and a good one, though I am not sure it applies to what I am thinking of.

I am thinking more along the lines of officers setting polices that, while technically legal, have performance goals or incentives that effectively require illegal activity to attain. Telling your V.P.'s and below that they will be financially penalized for failing to meet impossible goals, and financially rewarded for doing so, sets the ground for cutting corners, violating laws and regulations, or resorting to bribery of officials. Setting deadlines that can not be met without 'expediting' issuance of government permits and approvals is an example.
 
2012-04-22 10:26:49 AM
ArkAngel:
The FCPA allows businesses to bribe officials if it is normally done in that country. And in Mexico, this is normal.

So very, very much.

I worked in Mexico a couple of years ago, and you could tell when someone didn't get his "consideration."

Heck, we took seven trailers of gear into the country, and someone was dumb enough to forget to "tip" the customs inspectors. The result? All seven trailers were completely (and ineptly) unloaded, "inspected," and reloaded - and a lot of equipment was damaged or destroyed. We're talking about things like lift forks punched into $300 road cases - twice, at 90 degree angles (they hit the case once, flipped it sideways, and holed it again a couple of inches over), or $150 lighting instruments that arrived in pieces small enough to fit into a coffee cup...

Overall, by not paying the "fees," they saved a few hundred bucks - and lost a few thousand in broken equipment and lost time.
 
2012-04-22 10:33:15 AM

beta_plus: WalMart is disgusting. Until WalMart set up in Mexico, bribery was unheard of. It was the Sweden of central America. Every executive at Walmart should get the death penalty.


You know what else? Walmart employ MEXICANS not Americans there. They're taking US jobs!!!1!
 
2012-04-22 10:38:36 AM
The economy in the US collapsed and Mexican labor went back or stayed home?
 
2012-04-22 10:51:50 AM
According to the *other* walmart story currently - bribes. lots, and lots, of bribes.
 
2012-04-22 10:52:54 AM

UCFRoadWarrior: More reason to take every supporter of Free Trade and put a bullet in their head

Lets continue StupidNomics until we all drop dead


I switched to mercantilism in Civ IV and my economy is running smooth as butter.
 
2012-04-22 11:07:42 AM

realityVSperception: If the mob tried this, the feds would be using RICO laws to arrest every one even remotely involved. Walmart execs however, are apparently above the law...


FCPA ain't no joke and if nothing else this is gonna cost Wal-mart a LOT, I've seen ads from Doc-review staffing firms in DC Metro looking for Spanish-speaking attorneys with Foreign Corrupt Practices Act experience. Now I know what they need them for, and even at the shiat rates that doc review pays hiring hundreds of attorney's ain't cheap, especially bi-lingual ones (figure $40+/hr each- and that just for the guys who do the blunt-force first pass relevancy review, then you gotta have the High-dollar folks figure out what it all means and decide what they have to turn over to DOJ)
 
2012-04-22 11:16:03 AM
they took our jerbs!
 
2012-04-22 11:23:04 AM

beta_plus: WalMart is disgusting. Until WalMart set up in Mexico, bribery was unheard of. It was the Sweden of central America. Every executive at Walmart should get the death penalty.


+1

Mexico, how does it work?
 
2012-04-22 11:59:19 AM
Magorn:
FCPA ain't no joke and if nothing else this is gonna cost Wal-mart a LOT

Read this one again ...

ArkAngel:
"Payments which expedite or secure the performance of a routine governmental action by a foreign official, political party or party official are not prohibited."

In other words, if you have to bribe a corrupt local official to get him to issue a building permit that he's supposed to issue in the first place, it's "no harm, no foul." Considering the size and amount of money involved in building something the size of a Wal-Mart, the fact that they only spent one-tenth of percent of sales on bribes indicates "cost of doing business" more than anything. Actually, it sounds like they got off really cheap under the circumstances.

It's probably going to cost Wal-Mart... not much, and possibly nothing at all.
 
2012-04-22 12:05:54 PM
cdn1.alexanderhiggins.com
 
2012-04-22 12:17:55 PM
petslady.com

/Yo quiero Walmart!
 
2012-04-22 12:21:14 PM
By opening a couple of super centers?
 
2012-04-22 12:25:08 PM

UCFRoadWarrior: More reason to take every supporter of Free Trade and put a bullet in their head

Lets continue StupidNomics until we all drop dead


This has to be a troll or someone definetely failed an Econ class
 
2012-04-22 12:26:31 PM
Same way WinDixie became the largest employer in Jacksonville. Lots of derpers voting against their own economic self interests in order to ensure brazillionairs don't have to pay no taxes, and Jesus.
 
2012-04-22 12:34:54 PM
Mexico's largest employer? I imagine they're counting the Mexican nationals they have hired here in the US.
 
2012-04-22 12:39:55 PM

baronbloodbath: Always low prices.

Always.


Actually, they don't even have that as an excuse anymore. I've found some places that sell stuff for even less, or items of higher quality at the same price as WM's inferior junk.
 
2012-04-22 12:51:45 PM

cavehobbit: I was trying to come up with a snarky, funny or sarcastic headline for this, but I could not.

The corruption in big business, and even more the corruption they engage in, in other countries, is just too much for my level of disgust tolerance.

that pretty much all of them engage in it doesn't make it any better.

fncking humanity, how does it work?


Humanity is a daydream of effete poets.
 
2012-04-22 01:18:15 PM
"Actually, they don't even have that as an excuse anymore. I've found some places that sell stuff for even less, or items of higher quality at the same price as WM's inferior junk."

And in Mexico, they don't even push the lowest price mantra. I actually went to WM while in Mexico a few years ago and was impressed by how much cleaner, organized and great selection as compared to traditional Mexican grocery stores.

It's funny. I won't step foot in WM here, 20 miles from Bentonville, but will 1500 miles away.
 
2012-04-22 01:20:28 PM

ArkAngel: realityVSperception: If the mob tried this, the feds would be using RICO laws to arrest every one even remotely involved. Walmart execs however, are apparently above the law...

The FCPA allows businesses to bribe officials if it is normally done in that country. And in Mexico, this is normal.

"Payments which expedite or secure the performance of a routine governmental action by a foreign official, political party or party official are not prohibited."


It's not the crime, its the coverup

Wal-Mart sent investigators to Mexico City and found a paper trail of hundreds of suspect payments totaling more than $24 million, but the company's leaders then shut down the investigation and notified neither U.S. nor Mexican law enforcement officials, the Times reported.

From the RICO wiki entry

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly referred to as the RICO Act or simply RICO, is a United States federal law that provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. The RICO Act focuses specifically on racketeering, and it allows for the leaders of a syndicate to be tried for the crimes which they ordered others to do or assisted them, closing a perceived loophole that allowed someone who told a man to, for example, murder, to be exempt from the trial because they did not actually do it.


RICO offenses

Under the law, the meaning of racketeering activity is set out at 18 U.S.C. § 1961. As currently amended it includes:

Any act of bribery, counterfeiting, theft, embezzlement, fraud, dealing in obscene matter, obstruction of justice, slavery, racketeering, gambling, money laundering, commission of murder-for-hire, and several other offenses covered under the Federal criminal code (Title 18);


Their own investigators determined a crime was indeed commited. Covering it up lands management in obstruction of justice territory. Given that it was systemic in the organization, (because just 1 guy did not bribe all of Mexico) IMHO RICO applies.
 
2012-04-22 01:27:49 PM

cavehobbit: ZAZ: When I took FCPA training the unstated message from the case studies was "be too big to fail." Wal-Mart is too big to fail. Lower level managers are the ones who get smacked by the feds.

Can the Arkansas state Attorney General dissolve Wal-Mart for something like this?

Probably not, though I don't know details of state law. There is no allegation here that the main purpose of Wal-Mart is outside of what its corporate charter allows.

Not sure it would be a good idea in any case. The number of folks that would suffer from loss of jobs in that case would be huge.

What really needs to be done is remove the shield of immunity corporate officers and managers seem to have. Rather than dissolve the corporation, the officers and boards of directors need to face prosecution along with the actual people violating the law. And serve jail time if convicted of being aprt of the illegal activity whether they actively endorsed it or just set condition's and policies that left no other options.


In other words, a RICO law

The RICO Act focuses specifically on racketeering, and it allows for the leaders of a syndicate to be tried for the crimes which they ordered others to do or assisted them...
 
2012-04-22 01:33:03 PM
I didn't read the whole article, but how is this different than getting building permits in the U.S., except maybe not directly a "cash" bribe? For the corner CVS to open, they had to go through all kinds of hoops, pay for widening of the road, a fancy stone sign and clock saying the township name on it, landscaping, fancy lighting, etc. Around here, stuff like that is a must or you will not be given a building permit.
 
2012-04-22 01:47:22 PM

MBZ321: I didn't read the whole article, but how is this different than getting building permits in the U.S., except maybe not directly a "cash" bribe? For the corner CVS to open, they had to go through all kinds of hoops, pay for widening of the road, a fancy stone sign and clock saying the township name on it, landscaping, fancy lighting, etc. Around here, stuff like that is a must or you will not be given a building permit.


Basically, that's how it works overseas as well. If a bribe is part of doing business, it's legal(in highly simplistic terms).
 
2012-04-22 02:00:02 PM

MBZ321: I didn't read the whole article, but how is this different than getting building permits in the U.S., except maybe not directly a "cash" bribe? For the corner CVS to open, they had to go through all kinds of hoops, pay for widening of the road, a fancy stone sign and clock saying the township name on it, landscaping, fancy lighting, etc. Around here, stuff like that is a must or you will not be given a building permit.


CVS bribed everyone in town, including the guys who can bust you for bribery. Wal-Mart paid Mexico but they didn't pay the U.S. to let them get away with paying Mexico.

That's why the damages are called a fine, as in "fine, here's your cut."
 
2012-04-22 02:41:41 PM
It is never the crime, it's the coverup that gets ya
 
2012-04-22 03:11:38 PM
Here in the US, bribes are called "campaign donations".
 
2012-04-22 03:12:15 PM

bhcompy: Mexico's largest employer? I imagine they're counting the Mexican nationals they have hired here in the US.


Probably not. They employ over 700,000 Canadians at Canadian Wal-Marts, which is almost the population of New Brunswick. Counting only employed people, it would be the entire working population of a city, say, the National Capital Region (Ottawa-Gatineau) or Winnipeg.

Mexico is several times more populous than Canada and more of its middle classes would shop at Wal-Mart than in Canada or the USA because they are poorer.
 
2012-04-22 03:18:52 PM
According to the article, the government has sorta changed how they interpret the statutes in recent years. Problem is, these allegations stem from several years ago, when the attitudes were different.
 
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