What alternative(s) does a company charged with criminal activity have? Don’t they have to settle?
“Takata Ramps Up Settlement Talks,” The Wall Street Journal, September 29, 2016 B1. Air bag manufacturer facing possible wire fraud charges based on “misleading statements and concealed information.” Here, the company is alleged to have hidden information about the fact that their product kills people.
You’re the prosecutor. Why should you settle without putting a bunch of people in jail and getting massive fines? Beyond the cost of product recall and the $70 million fine already. Apart from the savings in trail costs, and factoring in the chance of losing such a case, shouldn’t the amount of fines be just short of confiscatory? Does the Yates memo actually mean anything? Should senior execs get jailed? Should their compensation be clawed back? If not, why not? VW’s diesel claims didn’t kill people (immediately). Wells Fargo’s CEO didn’t really hurt anyone.
Filed under Accuracy, Board, Business Case, Compliance, Compliance, Compliance, Compliance Verification, Controls, Corporation, Directors, Duty, Duty of Care, Employees, Governance, Information, Internal controls, Management, New Implications, Oversight, Oversight, Risk, Value
So often, when corporations do something wrong, it’s the shareholders who pay. The shareholder pay the fines for corporate misconduct. While sometimes management gets moved out, seldom do they pay a financial penalty to the shareholders, who have been injured by the failure of management to prevent the wrongdoing.
So it was gratifying to see the story on page 1. “Wells Claws Back CEO Pay,” The Wall Street Journal, September 28, 2016 A1. The CEO of Wells Fargo forfeited $41 million in compensation, after the bank paid a $185 million fine for the illegal creation of unauthorized client accounts.
Now, there’s a business case with legs.
Testifying before C0ngress is hard, I guess. When asked how much profit the manufacturer made on each set of EpiPens, the CEO said $100. Turns out, that number assumes a tax rate of 37.5%, which the manufacturer doesn’t actually pay. “Mylan Backs Off On EpiPen Estimate,” The Wall Street Journal, September 27, 2016 A1.
I guess Congress should have asked,” What’s your pre-tax profit margin on EpiPens?” One would think the folks who write the Tax Code would be more precise. Or maybe not.
Is this within the information governance realm? What risk is there in the imprecision of language, or confusion, in communication?
Two articles in today’s post, both related to hospitals.
The first is, “For Hospitals, a Lot of Information Goes a Long Way,” The Wall Street Journal, September 26, 2016 R3. The more non-medical information hospitals have on you, the better they can predict outcomes. Marriage of Big Med and Big Data. Or at least they’re dating.
The second is,“Wrong-Patient Errors Called Common,” The Wall Street Journal, September 26, 2016 A2. Getting mundane bits of information wrong, like patient’s name, diet restrictions, and medications, can be deadly.
What’s the value of better information governance in the medical setting?
Filed under Accuracy, Controls, Corporation, Data quality, Duty, Duty of Care, Employees, Governance, Information, Internal controls, Reliance, Risk, Value
“Doubts Rise on Digital Ads,” The Wall Street Journal, September 24, 2016 A1. Front page. Above the fold. Right before Ad Week. The timing and placement were superb; the content, less so.
Yesterday, I posted about Facebook having overstated the time viewers spent watching video ads for two years. Today’s paper tells of a Japanese ad company that admitted overcharging for internet ads. And do ad agencies get hidden rebates, that don’t go back to the companies paying for the ads?
If there’s no truth in advertising, is it worth it, either for the people who pay for it or the people who consume it?
If you’re an ad agency, does this affect your business model? If you’re a business, does it affect your digital ad spend?
Facebook has been overstating the time viewers spend watching video ads. For two years.
Allegedly, didn’t affect billing rates. But would advertisers have spent so much if the data were accurately reported? “Were” in the subjunctive – condition contrary to fact.
“Facebook Misstates Video,”The Wall Street Journal, September 23, 2016 B1.
Filed under Accuracy, Corporation, Culture, Data quality, Definition, Directors, Duty, Duty of Care, Employees, Governance, Information, Internal controls, Risk, Value
“Judge: Rolling Stone Case Can Go to Trial,” The Wall Street Journal, September 23, 2016 A6. Defamation suit by UVA official claims defamation from false gang rape story published in Rolling Stone.
Publishing false information is a problem. Newspapers/magazines have duties, too.
Is this within the remit of information governance?
Two years, two weeks – what’s the diff?
“Yahoo Data Breach Hits Millions,” The Wall Street Journal, September 23, 2016 A1. Yahoo, the subject of a proposed deal with Verizon announced July 25, apparently had a major breach of its network two years ago, affecting upwards of 500 million users. But in a proxy filing on September 9, Yahoo said it wasn’t aware of any breaches.
So which is it? Did Yahoo not know for two years about the breach? Did it not know two weeks ago? Or did it forget? $4.8 billion deal may turn on this point. When did Yahoo tell Verizon? Can you hear me now?
How many theories can you think of for individual director liability if this deal craters? Failure to protect the assets? Failure to inform shareholders? Lying to the market? Fraud?
Filed under Accuracy, Board, Communications, Compliance, Controls, Corporation, Directors, Duty, Duty of Care, Governance, Inform market, Inform shareholders, Internal controls, Investor relations, IT, Oversight, Protect assets, Protect information assets, Security
Silence is golden – but for whom?
“Investor Claims Against VW Jump,” The Wall Street Journal, September 22, 2016 B3. VW lost 45% of its market value after the US EPA claimed the company had violated the Clean Air Act by rigging diesel emissions data for vehicles sold in the US. Shareholders are not amused that VW didn’t tell them sooner about the ongoing EPA investigation or about the financial risk from using the illegal software.
More than 1,400 suits have been filed, seeking more than $9.1 billion.
The article doesn’t say whether the directors or senior management have been sued individually.
Filed under Accuracy, Board, Communications, Compliance, Compliance, Corporation, Culture, Directors, Duty, Employees, Governance, Inform shareholders, Information, Investor relations, Oversight, Value
Earlier this morning, I posted about the Wells Fargo CEO, and his responsibility/lack-of-accountability for the illegal conduct at the bank in creating customer accounts to meet performance objectives. https://infogovnuggets.com/2016/09/22/responsible-v-accountable/
But the beat goes on. Or went on.
“Wells Fargo Board Comes Under Fire,” The Wall Street Journal, September 21, 2016 C1. Some members of the Senate Banking Committee are curious as to why, for three years, the Board did nothing to the managers in charge of the business, and who had either not seen the illegal conduct, or, having seen it, had done nothing about it. Should the Board have done “something” more? Claw back salaries? Bonuses? Fire a manager or two? Clearly, adequate controls to prevent illegal conduct either were not in place or were circumvented or ignored.
Does the remedy reside with the Senate? Or with courts and shareholder derivative suits alleging negligent oversight of the corporate operations? The Board knew this was going on and sat back, apparently.
And what was the culture at the bank during this period? What is it now?
Filed under Board, Compliance, Compliance, Compliance Verification, Controls, Culture, Culture, Directors, Duty, Duty of Care, Governance, Internal controls, Oversight, Oversight