Monthly Archives: November 2015

Will punishing the boss help?

When a corporation allegedly commits a federal crime, the ensuing investigation often results in an arrangement of some sort (plea, deferred prosecution agreement, etc.) with the corporation, in which the corporation pays a fine.  These fines in effect penalize the shareholders at the time of the settlement, not those who were shareholders at the time of the alleged crime.  Often, senior executives of the company at the time of the alleged crime don’t get held criminally liable.

“Rules to Spur Executive Charges,” The Wall Street Journal, November 17, 2015 A4.  The Department of Justice has changed its guidelines to “‘focus on wrongdoing by individuals from the very beginning of any investigation of corporate misconduct.'”  This includes senior executives.

How much impact will this have on the C-suite, or compliance education?

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Filed under Business Case, Compliance, Duty, Employees, Management, Risk


Is there a new standard being established for the conduct of internal investigations?

“VW Seeks Whistleblowers,” The Wall Street Journal, November 13, 2015 B3.  VW offers unionized employees limited amnesty to get people to self-report information related to emissions irregularities.  Jones Day is conducting the investigation.

I assume, but have not asked, that all these reports by the employees are not subject to the attorney/client privilege.

Will other companies be encouraged to follow VW’s example and offer internal immunity in investigations? What if they don’t?   Verry interesting. (Apologies to Arte Johnson).

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Filed under Board, Business Case, Collect, Compliance, Compliance, Compliance, Compliance Verification, Directors, Discovery, Duty, Governance, Legal, Management, Privilege, Risk

Clearing out my inbox – just bullets

Catching up, after a trip to Kong Kong, visiting our kids.

“Limits Put on Bodycam Use,” The Wall Street Journal, November 12, 2015 A3.  Justice Department presses for local police to wear bodycams, except when they are working with the feds. Apparently, the feds haven’t worked through all the issues.

“Some Account Data Still Flows,” The Wall Street Journal,  November 12, 2015 C3. (see also “BofA Cut Off Finance Sites From Its Data, Nov. 10, 2015, below). Some aggregators say they’ve not had problems getting information from Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo.

“Algorithms Help Workers Pick Health Plans,” The Wall Street Journal, November 11, 2015 B7.  Companies experiment with helping their employees pick plans that are more suited to their actual usage.  Radical thought.

“EU Demands VW Details,” The Wall Street Journal, November 10, 2015 B1.  Further fallout from “‘irregularities'” in vehicle emissions tests.

“The Doctor Prescribed an App,” The Wall Street Journal, November 10, 2015  D1.  Managing your medical conditions on your smartphone.  A new way to use technology to get better information.

“BofA Cut Off Finance Sites From Its Data,” The Wall Street Journal, November 10, 2015 C1. Banks suspend access by data aggregation firms, useful to consumers.

“SEC Probes Mylan Over Land-Deal Disclosures,” The Wall Street Journal, October 31, 2015 B3.  Failure to disclose potential conflict of interest.

“LifeLock Reaches Deal to Settle Lawsuits, Reports Revenue Gains, The Wall Street Journal,  October 29, 2015 B6. Company alleged to have failed to comply with earlier settlement, failed to have a “comprehensive security program, didn’t meet record-keeping requirements and made false advertisements.”

“Big Companies Rein In Data Sprawl,” The Wall Street Journal, October 22, 2015 B4.  Merging different data sets to save costs and make information on consumers more useful.

“CFTC Sues on ‘Spoofing,'” The Wall Street Journal, October 20, 2015 C2. CFTC sues trader for bluffing.

“Violating City Deal Can Be Costly,” The Wall Street Journal, October 20, 2015 A5.  Settlement agreements in police misconduct cases have provision that cuts payments in half if recipient discusses the settlement publicly.

“Goldman to Fire Workers for Cheating,” The Wall Street Journal, October 17, 2015  B2.  Employees fired for cheating on tests of their knowledge of firm policies.

“The Asset Too Many Companies Ignore,” The Wall Street Journal,  October 14, 2015 R6. [Sorry.  Can’t find this online – Ed.] Companies don’t share with you the data they have on you.  Horrors!  Is this missing an opportunity?

“Shared Penance for Bad Accounting,” The Wall Street Journal,  October 13, 2015 B6. Proposal to claw back part of the compensation of CFO and CEO if errors are found in company accounts.

“Uber’s Probe of Breach Looks at Lyft Executive,” The Wall Street Journal, October 9, 2015 B1. Competitor accused of stealing drivers’ records from Uber.

“U.N. Says It Can’t Probe Graft Scandal,” The Wall Street Journal, October 8, 2015  A12. What does it say about the culture of the institution when the UN can’t investigate ethical violations by diplomats, as opposed to UN employees?

“Smaller Firms Worry As Big-Data Pact Dies,” The Wall Street Journal, October 8, 2015 B4.  Running ashore on the risks of the Safe Harbor.  Accord allowing some transfers of EU personal information to the US is canceled.

“Ex-Coal Boss’s Secret Recordings Take Center Stage as Trial Opens,” The Wall Street Journal, October 8, 2015 B4.  Do you record your own phone calls?  Those recordings can be used against you in a criminal trial.  Where is Rose Mary Woods when you need her?

“Senator’s Probe Targets Bank Misconduct,” The Wall Street Journal, October 8, 2015 C2.  Senator demands information about settlements between financial companies and the 15 federal agencies.


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