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(ABC)   Walmart spokesman: The e-mails released that show CEO was told about the bribes before they happened "leaves the wrong impression that our public statements {that we didn't know about the bribes} are contradicted" Baghdad Bob? Is that you?   (abcnews.go.com) divider line 89
    More: Unlikely, Baghdad Bob, Wal-Mart, CEO, foreign official, bribes, Brooke Buchanan, Henry A. Waxman, documents  
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6516 clicks; posted to Main » on 11 Jan 2013 at 3:22 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-11 02:19:28 PM  
Impression?  Like the 'impression' a hammer leaves when beaten against one's forehead.

I will say I'm getting sick having to take a mess of training modules at work every time some other company farks up.
 
2013-01-11 02:31:57 PM  
Meh, I figure that many businesses have to grease the wheels both here and abroad to get things moving.
 
2013-01-11 02:34:27 PM  

basemetal: Meh, I figure that many businesses have to grease the wheels both here and abroad to get things moving.


Well, having taken all those awful training modules I can say there are ways to do it without breaking the laws.  The laws are pretty clear and straightforward.
 
2013-01-11 02:42:29 PM  

basemetal: Meh, I figure that many businesses have to grease the wheels both here and abroad to get things moving.


As a kid I learned, you don't get punished for the things you do, you get punished for getting caught. It's not about being right or wrong, it's about being smart or stupid.
 
2013-01-11 02:59:10 PM  

basemetal: Meh, I figure that many businesses have to grease the wheels both here and abroad to get things moving.


Would it be better if we called it fees? It's Mexico if you dont show up with a pocket full of 20s to hand out you won't even get of the airport grounds!
 
2013-01-11 03:26:31 PM  
Do they really need a Walmart on the site of ancient ruins? Es Stupido.
 
2013-01-11 03:26:44 PM  
I'm shocked, SHOCKED that Walmart Mexico officials would hand out bribes.
 
2013-01-11 03:28:00 PM  
Ah, hello. Well first of all I'd like to apologize for the behaviour of certain of my colleagues you may have seen earlier, but they are from broken homes, circus families and so on and they are in no way representative of the new modern improved British Navy. They are a small vociferous minority; and may I take this opportunity of emphasizing that there is no cannibalism in the British Navy. Absolutely none, and when I say none, I mean there is a certain amount, more than we are prepared to admit, but all new ratings are warned that if they wake up in the morning and find any toothmarks at all anywhere on their bodies, they're to tell me immediately so that I can immediately take every measure to hush the whole thing up. And, finally, necrophilia is right out.
 
2013-01-11 03:30:17 PM  
Sounds like something Mitt "I was retro-actively not the CEO of Bain Capital over that date range" Rmoney would say.
 
2013-01-11 03:30:25 PM  
When in Rome.
 
2013-01-11 03:30:29 PM  
It isn't that they didn't not first know about it beforehand. It's just that they weren't uninformed when the time rolled around even when they couldn't have gotten the papers after the fact.
 
2013-01-11 03:31:09 PM  

rumpelstiltskin: basemetal: Meh, I figure that many businesses have to grease the wheels both here and abroad to get things moving.

As a kid I learned, you don't get punished for the things you do, you get punished for getting caught. It's not about being right or wrong, it's about being smart or stupid.


I don't like to acknowledge the role that chance plays, so when I have a sprout of good luck, I attribute that to my superior intelligence or work ethic.
 
2013-01-11 03:33:38 PM  
Anyone who has worked in any level of executive management knows that e-mail is hardly the medium that CEOs use to run their business.

It's far more likely that he was CCed on the e-mail chain with a ton of RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:FW:RE - but hes culpable because he was copied?

Now if he was directly mailed this issue and did nothing, that's an entirely different issue.

/the higher up you are the more e-mail you get and the less e-mail you read...
//seen inboxes from executives with 50,000 messages sitting in there... total insanity.
 
2013-01-11 03:33:49 PM  

The Stealth Hippopotamus: basemetal: Meh, I figure that many businesses have to grease the wheels both here and abroad to get things moving.

Would it be better if we called it fees? It's Mexico if you dont show up with a pocket full of 20s to hand out you won't even get of the airport grounds!


Which is why the FCPA is a rather bullshiat law that does nothing but reduce the competitiveness of US companies in (corrupt) foreign countries.

/Heck, in France, you used to be able to write off foreign bribes on your taxes
//the frogs changed the law in 2002 (IIRC), but Airbus and a few others are still notorious for graft
 
2013-01-11 03:37:58 PM  

themasterdebater: Now if he was directly mailed this issue and did nothing, that's an entirely different issue.

The emails released Thursday include an email from November 2005 from Maritza Munich, then general counsel of Wal-Mart International, to Duke and other senior Wal-Mart executives. The email informed them of charges related to bribes paid to obtain permits for a store in Mexico.

 
2013-01-11 03:40:14 PM  

OptionC: The Stealth Hippopotamus: basemetal: Meh, I figure that many businesses have to grease the wheels both here and abroad to get things moving.

Would it be better if we called it fees? It's Mexico if you dont show up with a pocket full of 20s to hand out you won't even get of the airport grounds!

Which is why the FCPA is a rather bullshiat law that does nothing but reduce the competitiveness of US companies in (corrupt) foreign countries.

/Heck, in France, you used to be able to write off foreign bribes on your taxes
//the frogs changed the law in 2002 (IIRC), but Airbus and a few others are still notorious for graft


So your argument is that bribery is acceptable?
 
2013-01-11 03:41:18 PM  

themasterdebater: Anyone who has worked in any level of executive management knows that e-mail is hardly the medium that CEOs use to run their business.

It's far more likely that he was CCed on the e-mail chain with a ton of RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:FW:RE - but hes culpable because he was copied?

Now if he was directly mailed this issue and did nothing, that's an entirely different issue.

/the higher up you are the more e-mail you get and the less e-mail you read...
//seen inboxes from executives with 50,000 messages sitting in there... total insanity.


So the CEO is responsible enough for Walmart's successes to make $35,000,000 a year, but has no responsibility for it's errors?
 
2013-01-11 03:42:53 PM  
img845.imageshack.us

Stories like this always crack me up - a few politicians get upset that a company is bribing officials in other countries. The only real issue here is that Mexico hasn't developed yet to the point where bribery is legal... as it is in the United States (obfuscated through a barrage of ridiculous laws based upon over-generalized principles that the proles can get behind). Undoubtedly these politicians didn't receive any Walmart money in their home country, so they go after the "illegal bribery" in Mexico.

/I loathe the charade that is politics
//okay, maybe it doesn't crack me up after all
 
2013-01-11 03:43:37 PM  
The drug lords are like, stop bribing our goverment.
 
2013-01-11 03:45:53 PM  

themasterdebater: Anyone who has worked in any level of executive management knows that e-mail is hardly the medium that CEOs use to run their business.


One fortune 50 CEO I knew had his e-mails printed out and wrote responses in a private room off his main office.  One of his blue haired admins then took all the scribbles and types them back into the system.
 
2013-01-11 03:46:24 PM  
toomuchmarisa

The only real issue here is that Mexico hasn't developed yet to the point where bribery is legal...

It's not legal down there? Tijuana cops seems to think it is.
 
2013-01-11 03:46:24 PM  
The obvious solution is to drop the U.S. laws prohibiting U.S. companies from engaging in bribery in other countries. I mean, come on - competitive disadvantage!
 
2013-01-11 03:46:28 PM  

Warlordtrooper: OptionC: The Stealth Hippopotamus: basemetal: Meh, I figure that many businesses have to grease the wheels both here and abroad to get things moving.

Would it be better if we called it fees? It's Mexico if you dont show up with a pocket full of 20s to hand out you won't even get of the airport grounds!

Which is why the FCPA is a rather bullshiat law that does nothing but reduce the competitiveness of US companies in (corrupt) foreign countries.

/Heck, in France, you used to be able to write off foreign bribes on your taxes
//the frogs changed the law in 2002 (IIRC), but Airbus and a few others are still notorious for graft

So your argument is that bribery is acceptable?


I would say that in some countries, yes, because that is how business is done. I wouldn't suggest we import the system, since it is a pretty awful way to run a country, but there is no reason to put US companies at a severe disadvantage to their Asian and European competitors who have no such qualms when bidding on contracts in countries where casual corruption is a way of life.

The quickest way to boost US exports and increase job growth in export sectors would be to repeal the FCPA immediately.
 
2013-01-11 03:46:32 PM  
I get shiat tons of emails and when I get backed up sometimes I'll skim them without reading every farking line.

I'd have to see the emails, who was on them, who was Cced, who replied to the email chain, etc before u could even make an educated guess in whether the ceo saw it.

But don't let that stop any of you guys...
 
2013-01-11 03:47:51 PM  
You know, they are right, that is going to make it very hard for them to get out of this. Corruption from the very top, is /anybody/ surprised?
 
2013-01-11 03:49:23 PM  
Strange that most of these comments seem to view bribery as an acceptable business practice.
 
2013-01-11 03:49:30 PM  

basemetal: Meh, I figure that many businesses have to grease the wheels both here and abroad to get things moving.


This

/doesn't make it right. But it's reality.
 
2013-01-11 03:50:26 PM  

rumpelstiltskin: basemetal: Meh, I figure that many businesses have to grease the wheels both here and abroad to get things moving.

As a kid I learned, you don't get punished for the things you do, you get punished for getting caught. It's not about being right or wrong, it's about being smart or stupid.


Damn straight
 
2013-01-11 03:51:02 PM  

OptionC: I would say that in some countries, yes, because that is how business is done. I wouldn't suggest we import the system, since it is a pretty awful way to run a country, but there is no reason to put US companies at a severe disadvantage to their Asian and European competitors who have no such qualms when bidding on contracts in countries where casual corruption is a way of life.


Agreed.

In some countries, wholesale murder and pillaging are acceptable. If you don't set yourself up as a demigod and extract ivory from the natives, then you put yourself at a severe disadvantage.

/ exterminate all the brutes
 
2013-01-11 03:51:49 PM  

skinink: I'm shocked, SHOCKED that Walmart Mexico officials would hand out bribes.


I know it is against US law to offer bribes in foreign countries to do business, but who holds companies to laws these days anyways? The bigger WalMart scandal was that they paid their employees in store credit, that is supervillian territory.
 
2013-01-11 03:53:57 PM  
You never go full Benghazi.

/amirite
 
2013-01-11 03:54:21 PM  

The Stealth Hippopotamus: basemetal: Meh, I figure that many businesses have to grease the wheels both here and abroad to get things moving.

Would it be better if we called it fees? It's Mexico if you dont show up with a pocket full of 20s to hand out you won't even get of the airport grounds!


What Wal-mart did in this case was go WAY beyond garden-variety "grease the wheels to get a building permit faster" bribery.   They wanted build a Wal-Mart grocery store on a particular spot that was currently an Alfalfa farm.  There was a huge public outcry,  for a a lot of reasons and after the local planning commision looked at all the factors like traffic, cultural importance , etc,  they said "fark no" and drew a map that zoned that land exclusively for agricultural use.

In Mexico zoning maps are not offical until they are published in the offical government newspaper.(like our federal register)  Somehow between the time the map was drawn, and voted on, and the time it was published it got re-drawn in Wal-mart's favor, zoning the land they wanted as commercial-something Wal-mart knew was going to happen because they had already gone ahead and bought the farm.   Then they pretty much bought the local mayor and were allowed to build the store with no site plan, no building spections, no swere permits etc

The e-mails between Wal-Mex officials and the Betonville home office detail exactly how they pulled this off
 
2013-01-11 03:55:37 PM  

The_Gallant_Gallstone: OptionC: I would say that in some countries, yes, because that is how business is done. I wouldn't suggest we import the system, since it is a pretty awful way to run a country, but there is no reason to put US companies at a severe disadvantage to their Asian and European competitors who have no such qualms when bidding on contracts in countries where casual corruption is a way of life.

Agreed.

In some countries, wholesale murder and pillaging are acceptable. If you don't set yourself up as a demigod and extract ivory from the natives, then you put yourself at a severe disadvantage.

/ exterminate all the brutes


Yes, because buying a car for a mid-level bureaucrat in Derpaderpastan in order to facilitate a multi-million dollar deal that could provide jobs to ordinary Americans is exactly the same as wholesale murder, pillaging and oppression.
 
2013-01-11 03:56:17 PM  
nsm08.casimages.com
http://nsm08.casimages.com/img/2012/12/16//12121604573915733010671259 . jpg
 
2013-01-11 03:58:19 PM  

OptionC:
Yes, because buying a car for a mid-level bureaucrat in Derpaderpastan in order to facilitate a multi-million dollar deal that could provide jobs to ordinary Americans is exactly the same as wholesale murder, pillaging and oppression.


Why is bribery a legitimate candidate for the application of cultural relativism but the use of physical force is not?
 
2013-01-11 04:01:00 PM  

Warlordtrooper: OptionC: The Stealth Hippopotamus: basemetal: Meh, I figure that many businesses have to grease the wheels both here and abroad to get things moving.

Would it be better if we called it fees? It's Mexico if you dont show up with a pocket full of 20s to hand out you won't even get of the airport grounds!

Which is why the FCPA is a rather bullshiat law that does nothing but reduce the competitiveness of US companies in (corrupt) foreign countries.

/Heck, in France, you used to be able to write off foreign bribes on your taxes
//the frogs changed the law in 2002 (IIRC), but Airbus and a few others are still notorious for graft

So your argument is that bribery is acceptable?


Its been a while sense I studied FCPA, but I believe basic greasing the wheel is acceptable. If there is a standard guy your supposed to pay when you submit form A, everyone pays him. Its no big deal. On the other hand if it gives you a competitive advantage, IE most people pay a token amount, but if you slip him a few grand you get to the front of the line, then that crosses the line and is unacceptable. Either way it all must be on the books and recorded. Its the difference between tipping your waiter and paying him to poison the other guys food.
But then again, I'm not positive I'm right. Anyone else care to chime in?
 
2013-01-11 04:02:45 PM  

Diogenes: Impression?  Like the 'impression' a hammer leaves when beaten against one's forehead.

I will say I'm getting sick having to take a mess of training modules at work every time some other company farks up.


YUP - THIS
 
2013-01-11 04:03:07 PM  
Warlordtrooper: So your argument is that bribery is acceptable?

Acceptable? Not really but they are necessary if you want to compete on the international level.
 
2013-01-11 04:04:51 PM  
sounds like somebody didn't get paid enough..
 
2013-01-11 04:05:18 PM  

The_Gallant_Gallstone: OptionC:
Yes, because buying a car for a mid-level bureaucrat in Derpaderpastan in order to facilitate a multi-million dollar deal that could provide jobs to ordinary Americans is exactly the same as wholesale murder, pillaging and oppression.

Why is bribery a legitimate candidate for the application of cultural relativism but the use of physical force is not?


Because using physical force to impose your will is pretty much universally condemned while consensual transactions between two parties is a much bigger grey area?

And what constitutes a bribe is pretty fuzzy to begin with - In some Asian cultures, buying lavish gifts for customers isn't really considered "bribery" so much as "politeness", even though in doing so you can run afoul of the FCPA.

Any other stupid questions?
 
2013-01-11 04:06:34 PM  

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Warlordtrooper: So your argument is that bribery is acceptable?

Acceptable? Not really but they are necessary if you want to compete on the international level.


Then the answer is to not do business with those countries who will not play by the rules. Sorry if that gets in the way of the Corpfapper Globalism dreams, but it is what it is. It's what you sold this country out for, after all.
 
2013-01-11 04:07:07 PM  

j__z: toomuchmarisa

The only real issue here is that Mexico hasn't developed yet to the point where bribery is legal...

It's not legal down there? Tijuana cops seems to think it is.


Reynosa cops as well.

/they had dogs to sniff out the bribes
//to make sure everyone got some
 
2013-01-11 04:23:07 PM  
FTFA: Brooke Buchanan, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman, said on Thursday that the letter that Waxman and Cummings wrote to Duke "leaves the wrong impression that our public statements are contradicted by the information they released today."

...

In the Times article, Wal-Mart spokesman Dave Tovar denied that executives in the U.S. knew anything about the alleged corruption involving construction of the store in Teotihuacan. Buchanan, the Wal-Mart spokeswoman, said Tovar's comment in the Times article was focused on events in 2004.

The emails released Thursday include an email from November 2005 from Maritza Munich, then general counsel of Wal-Mart International, to Duke and other senior Wal-Mart executives. The email informed them of charges related to bribes paid to obtain permits for a store in Mexico.


REALLY? Am I reading that right?

Because it sounds like the spokesperson's defense to "you lied about execs knowing about the bribery" is "that's a different bribery incident than the one we said execs didn't know about."
 
2013-01-11 04:23:44 PM  

OptionC: Because using physical force to impose your will is pretty much universally condemned while consensual transactions between two parties is a much bigger grey area?


So... if fraud and trickery were acceptable devices in certain cultures, their practice by U.S. companies in foreign markets should be excused on relativist grounds?

I also dispute your assertion that "physical force to impose your will is pretty much universally condemned."

OptionC: Any other stupid questions?


You probably consider yourself to be "affable," don't you?
 
2013-01-11 04:25:45 PM  
I just can't believe that politicians in ANY country would require bribes in order to get anything done.

I mean, I am just shocked.
 
2013-01-11 04:25:58 PM  
If there is one thing I learned from Prince Keldar-- bribes rule the world of business.
 
2013-01-11 04:26:30 PM  

Moroning: If there is one thing I learned from Prince Keldar-- bribes rule the world of business.


Don't wriggle your fingers at me.
 
2013-01-11 04:26:30 PM  
That is clearly against the law. Time for a trial, large fine and jail time.

/who am I kidding CREAM
 
2013-01-11 04:28:51 PM  

The_Gallant_Gallstone: So... if fraud and trickery were acceptable devices in certain cultures, their practice by U.S. companies in foreign markets should be excused on relativist grounds?


Yes.

In fact it largely is - a lot of advertising in foreign countries would be legally questionable in the US (and vice/versa). It's rather hard to think of *anything* in the world of business that is more relativist than the line between advertising and fraud, actually...
 
2013-01-11 04:31:00 PM  

OptionC: The_Gallant_Gallstone: So... if fraud and trickery were acceptable devices in certain cultures, their practice by U.S. companies in foreign markets should be excused on relativist grounds?

Yes.

In fact it largely is - a lot of advertising in foreign countries would be legally questionable in the US (and vice/versa). It's rather hard to think of *anything* in the world of business that is more relativist than the line between advertising and fraud, actually...


And people complain that the US has too strong a regulatory environment.
 
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