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If you're not bribing, you're not trying. A misquote of retired baseball player Mark Grace...

If you're not bribing, you're not trying. A misquote of retired baseball player Mark Grace suddenly seems appropriate with a bevy of U.S. companies now under suspicion of engaging in systemic bribing in order to land new business. A whopping 81 public companies are reportedly under investigation for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Headliners: WMT, AVP, QCOM, DE, LVS.
Comments (29)
  • auto44
    , contributor
    Comments (3149) | Send Message
     
    Bribery in countries like Mexico????????SHOCKING... I mean, who knew????????
    26 Apr 2012, 02:25 PM Reply Like
  • youngman442002
    , contributor
    Comments (5131) | Send Message
     
    If the USA enforces this stupid law.....then you can kiss a whole bunch of business goodbye...and given to other countries that have no problem with it...think China..Brazil..Russia.... on and on....
    26 Apr 2012, 02:31 PM Reply Like
  • Hawkeyes 2011
    , contributor
    Comments (316) | Send Message
     
    Do you really think that many countries arround the world follow the rules of the USA on their own soil?? Think China for a minute. They run a total "in house" system with its HUGE market for growth and control whatever they want to whenever they want to. So, if you want to play in their sandbox then you play by the rules in China (which can be ongoing moving targets). China is the biggest player but there are several others...............
    26 Apr 2012, 02:41 PM Reply Like
  • The Patriot
    , contributor
    Comments (325) | Send Message
     
    How is this any different than US foreign policy. Do as we say and you will receive $$.
    26 Apr 2012, 03:07 PM Reply Like
  • usaidwhat
    , contributor
    Comments (26) | Send Message
     
    Guess I'm just old-fashioned thinking there must be a smarter thing to do than using illegal and unethical behavior to get ahead. Reflexively defending lawbreakers and calling laws stupid? If Walmart is saavy how come they have failed and pulled back from numerous countries around the world and (as other seeking alpha authors have observed) are losing ground in China and Brazil, Clearly their ethics aren't holding them back.
    26 Apr 2012, 03:13 PM Reply Like
  • timclfc7
    , contributor
    Comments (25) | Send Message
     
    The the point is sometimes using "unethical and illegal behavior" to get ahead is culturally embedded in countries and the way in which business works. So what we may see from a culturally bias perspective in the US as illegal and wrong , others would find laughable in other countries.
    26 Apr 2012, 03:46 PM Reply Like
  • Joe Dirnfeld
    , contributor
    Comments (1128) | Send Message
     
    I cannot wait until the USA becomes a Socialist utopia. Obama
    Should lead us there. No drilling. No Mexican bribing . Please do funnel arms to the Mexican drug dealers they need to defend themselves .
    26 Apr 2012, 03:14 PM Reply Like
  • phemale60
    , contributor
    Comments (2842) | Send Message
     
    Now, now, no need for that -- enuf BS being thrown around. Heck, Ron Paul hasn't given up. There's hope yet!!!
    26 Apr 2012, 03:33 PM Reply Like
  • timclfc7
    , contributor
    Comments (25) | Send Message
     
    A socialist utopia ? This is a site based on capital and investments ,go talk about Utopia's and unrealistic economic fairy dreams somewhere else. Maybe they will put up with your ride off of everyone's paycheck mentality.
    26 Apr 2012, 03:40 PM Reply Like
  • pearls before swine
    , contributor
    Comments (276) | Send Message
     
    Bribery in the course of business overseas, where it is customary--bad.

     

    Paying for access to the politically connected thru domestic political contributions--good.

     

    "Some animals are more equal than others."
    7 Jun 2012, 08:19 PM Reply Like
  • timclfc7
    , contributor
    Comments (25) | Send Message
     
    LOL laughable, has America become that business r-tarded that they think bribery is not a culturally accepted way of life in other countries ? Russia is one of the perfect examples of the cultural acceptance of bribery. During the Soviet Union enterprise existed because of "blat" aka bribery in Russian terminology which has lasted till today think "Roman Abramovich". What makes the accusations in Mexico so absurd is that the entire system runs off of bribery, how do you think rich property owners ( the few that there are ) maintain their real estate from being seized ? They bribe officials and at the same time are extorted by the Cartels for payments based on protection. Doing business in other countries requires that the corporations adapt to their customs and to ask the opposite is a joke. Our American government itself now officially runs off of bribery what do people think Lobbyist's do ? Or capitalist investment in presidential candidates? Do we really just think these investments in presidential candidates are just because they agree with their politics? No, its because they know when they need something done they can refer back to their millions in endorsement.
    26 Apr 2012, 03:20 PM Reply Like
  • phemale60
    , contributor
    Comments (2842) | Send Message
     
    I was just thinking the same thing. "Citizens United" anybody??
    and ALEC (American Legislation Exchange Council) made up of companies favoring conservative policies helping write state laws. Recently many co's like Coca Cola and Kraft are leaving ALEC since exposed, as some laws not popular with many Americans like "Stand Your Ground." Don't really see much difference between bribery and lobbying. One is just a bit more up front!
    26 Apr 2012, 03:58 PM Reply Like
  • astrid55
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    share the idea with Hawkeyes 2011, is absolutely right.
    26 Apr 2012, 03:45 PM Reply Like
  • atlantis43
    , contributor
    Comments (34) | Send Message
     
    has anyone out there ever heard the word 'bakshish'? It's part of the Mexican constitution, as well as that of most other places.
    26 Apr 2012, 04:27 PM Reply Like
  • ConservativeOutperformer
    , contributor
    Comments (594) | Send Message
     
    It still seems as if the issue is the cover up, if there ever was one. The dollar amounts are so small (relatively) not to raise such a stink, and it seems that if there were to be a large scale investigation much more would be uncovered from both WMT and everyone else. It is the other part where people need to be concerned, because if the board knew of this and tried to hide it that will get a lot of blowback.....

     

    I'm not going to engage in lengthy political discussions on this site, because that's not what this is for. However, it seemed EXTREMELY odd to me that the "reporting" done in the NYT article had virtually no other examples of this sort of behavior in Mexico.... If one of these 'investigators' had done just a tiny bit of critical thinking it might have made sense to ask "Gee, could anyone else be doing this as well?" I understand WMT is the largest private employer in Mexico, but $32m is such a paltry sum. I have a feeling that if anyone were to dig just a touch deeper they might find numbers in the Siemens range..... Even if the story is about the cover up, it would be prudent to investigate all parties doing business there and then eliminate those which are not covering it up. I suppose at the same time, however, you can't cherry pick who comes forward and offers information up.

     

    It's probably safe to say that this is still very early in the process and as more information becomes available better conclusions can be made.....

     

    P.S. The most hysterical part of all this is the Mexico government acting like they are going to do something.
    26 Apr 2012, 05:25 PM Reply Like
  • youngman442002
    , contributor
    Comments (5131) | Send Message
     
    Its not the coverup or the Bribes themselves..its Obama and his UNION friends that hate WalMart....period...its the destruction of non union jobs...
    Yes bribes are common all over the world including the USA...Politicians demanding..oops I mean asking for donations to their campaigns is no different...
    26 Apr 2012, 05:37 PM Reply Like
  • kitchenboy
    , contributor
    Comments (29) | Send Message
     
    Who cares what WMT does in other countries. If american companies trying to expand abroad cannot follow what other countries are doing in that host country, we will be left out. Let the foreign countries police themselves and we police ourselves.
    26 Apr 2012, 06:33 PM Reply Like
  • Night train
    , contributor
    Comments (21) | Send Message
     
    I got caught in a speed trap in Mexico. The officer then showed me what it would cost if I paid at the jail. Then he brings out another sheet, and shows me his discount pricing. I pay and leave. No ticket, no traffic school, no insurance worries. The same goes for starting a business in most foreign countries. We need to get off our moral high horse!
    26 Apr 2012, 06:54 PM Reply Like
  • C Michael Croston
    , contributor
    Comments (196) | Send Message
     
    Why bribery, why now? So that the Administration can "extort" hundreds of millions in settlements and fines. Take Apple. Say, that trillion dollar market cap may never happen if Uncle O decides they warrant an investigation of the allegations of some whistle-blower. There are over 100 companies under current investigation. Sell on the rumor, buy on the news.
    26 Apr 2012, 08:09 PM Reply Like
  • Machiavelli999
    , contributor
    Comments (829) | Send Message
     
    Unreal. This administration never disappoints in finding new ways to awe me in their stupidity. They could single handedly bring down globalization and world trade with their enforcement of this stupid law.

     

    Our companies are forced to pay bribes to be able to conduct business in these other countries. Why are they being held accountable for this??

     

    This is mind numbingly stupid.
    27 Apr 2012, 02:05 AM Reply Like
  • phemale60
    , contributor
    Comments (2842) | Send Message
     
    If the administration ignored bribery/laws their opponents would use that against them, calling them corrupt as those committing the bribery! Judging how they've been opposed on everything and anything these past few years why give flame throwers even more ammunition? They are all fighting to claim high moral ground, and we the investors will reap the results. No biggie!
    27 Apr 2012, 08:25 AM Reply Like
  • timclfc7
    , contributor
    Comments (25) | Send Message
     
    no that's just not how it is and not how international business works.
    27 Apr 2012, 03:28 PM Reply Like
  • phemale60
    , contributor
    Comments (2842) | Send Message
     
    Machiavelli:
    "This administration never disappoints in finding new ways to awe me in their stupidity. They could single handedly bring down globalization and world trade with their enforcement of this stupid law."

     

    Overblown as usual. Like I said, there are those who will lambaste the administration no matter what they do, so they may as well stand by and support the law. It is action much easier to defend!
    27 Apr 2012, 10:09 PM Reply Like
  • Machiavelli999
    , contributor
    Comments (829) | Send Message
     
    I am not even sure what you are trying to say here phemale60? Let me explain to you real quick what happens here. US companies try to setup shop in foreign countries. Once it is clear that they will do so, the local officials try to harass them until they get paid off with bribes. It is terrible and unfair. Unfortunately, the US companies have no other choice but to pay off the bribes. Still, this is fine, because the profits they make still make the enterprise worth while.

     

    BUT then they find out that the US Government will prosecute them for paying off the bribes they have been forced to pay. Unreal is the best word to describe this.
    28 Apr 2012, 03:55 AM Reply Like
  • phemale60
    , contributor
    Comments (2842) | Send Message
     
    I dislike partisan speculating on how the administration will act, not what they've done. This administration knows how other countries operate and so far only "investigating" --- and I am sure don't want to "bring down globalization and world trade" Maybe we can use some muscle (bribery) to convince some of these companies to bring jobs back to the U.S.!! Since speculation is the order of the day, I hope that is their aim!
    29 Apr 2012, 12:21 PM Reply Like
  • Machiavelli999
    , contributor
    Comments (829) | Send Message
     
    phemale60,

     

    I am sure that they don't intend to bring down globalization and world trade. They don't intend to do anything. I do not believe that they are malicious. They just do not think about the consequences of their actions.

     

    They also have a very naive and idealogical view of things. What I think that they think about this, is that by enforcing this law, it will force companies to refuse to pay these bribes and they hope that this will mean at the corrupt local officials in the 3rd world countries will stop demanding these bribes. I doubt that this is what will happen. Most likely, the US companies will just be kicked out more and more from the developing countries.
    29 Apr 2012, 03:05 PM Reply Like
  • phemale60
    , contributor
    Comments (2842) | Send Message
     
    We have to do something as the bribery has already been exposed in these countries. If these investigations actually result in anything truly negative I will be surprised. I know Las Vegas Sands is going nowhere, as well as Walmart, Deere, etc. These companies provide too many jobs in these countries for them to throw them out. To do nothing would make the U.S.A. look bought and sold by corporations--- oh my, we are. ;-)

     

    Perhaps we should change our policies to allow greasing palms to be totally legal instead of pretending we're better than that while expected to look the other way.
    5 May 2012, 01:43 PM Reply Like
  • TFCAB
    , contributor
    Comments (1986) | Send Message
     
    investigating bribery abroad while our debt is 100% of GDP and heading higher. What a joke.................n... better to do with their time i guess.
    1 May 2012, 03:54 PM Reply Like
  • jhpmurphyvn
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
     
    I live and work in a country in which bribery occurs at every level of society. Bribery and (what we see as) corruption is culturally embedded and will never be eliminated. Period. In my adopted country few people are paid a salary that adequately compensates them. Therefore the need to supplement their salary prevails. It is sheer naivete to expect a high-level government official to be satisfied with the equivalent of a $600/month income.

     

    I personally believe that Western nation's laws that prohibit bribery are naive and unhelpful. And worst of all, these laws interfere with the forces that would bring about ending corruption. Economies in which corruption prevails are invariably less efficient.

     

    Bribery adds a significant margin to the cost of doing business, and this cost is difficult to quantify. This cost drives up the price for goods and services, and ultimately will diminish demand for products originating in the offending nation. For emerging economies, corruption is particularly devastating, as it siphons money from vital infrastructure developments. National highways and roadways are planned and constructed, but are often technically obsolete before they are finished as standards are reduced (New roadways/bridges in my adopted country have incredibly narrow lanes, and do not accomodate pedestrians or bicycles.)

     

    Ultimately, nations in which bribery is common place will be vanquished in the international market place for goods and services. Necessity, not Western nation scolding, will force the political leadership of these nations to bring eliminate corruption, or suffer the indignity of being removed by angry citizens.
    8 Jun 2012, 02:59 AM Reply Like
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