I’ve been otherwise occupied, and have fallen behind. Forgive me, Faithful Reader(s).
- Breaking the company’s word
“UBS Disclosure Breached Confidentiality,” The Wall Street Journal, August 29, 2018 B12. A senior employee got suspended after a banker at UBS revealed the name of an investor who sold shares shortly after a public offering. Breached the standard confidentiality promises to clients.
Two main points: compliance extends beyond just the law and your company policies and procedures, to reach your breach of the company’s quasi-contractual undertakings (i.e., it’s word); and senior employees get punished, too (which is highly visible to other employees when the punishment gets made public).
- Cheating on expense account is still cheating
“Wells Fargo Probes Staff Expenses,” The Wall Street Journal, August 231, 2018 B1. Employees, including at least one managing director, suspended for falsifying receipts for after-hours meals.
Three points: Wells Fargo has a serious integrity problem; cheating on a expense report is still cheating (not a Records Management issue, but a Compliance with policy issue); and publicizing the suspension of managing directors has an impact on the muggles. (Note: it appears the managing director(s) only got suspended; lower-level staff got fired. RDHIP (“Rank Does Have Its Privileges).
- Cutting out the middleman
“Truckers Take On Digital Traffic,” The Wall Street Journal, September 6, 2018 B4. Trucking companies invest big time in technology to build brokerage operations to compete with third-party brokers.
Information has value to someone.
- Wells Fargo, yet again
Perennial Information, Governance, and Compliance poster child, Wells Fargo is back in the news again, this time following allegations that employees fraudulently added information on some customers’ statements. “U.S. Probes Wells Bankers,” The Wall Street Journal, September 7, 2018 B1.
Where to file this one, under “Dog Bites Man,” or something else?
- Governance or Compliance?
“Moonves Negotiates Exit at CBS,” The Wall Street Journal, September 7, 2018 A1. Departure of CEO accused of sexual harassment comes during contentious battle for corporate control.
You know it’s bad when this is the lead headline, above the fold, on page one. But is this enforcing policy for policy’s sake, or for some other purpose? Does it matter? Or does that depend on whether you’re the departing CEO or a shareholder?
- Using Information to intimidate
“Weinstein Is Investigated for Possible Fraud,” The Wall Street Journal, September 7, 2018 A2. Did Harvey use a secretive Israeli investigator and a white-shoe Wall Street law firm to dig up dirt on people accusing Harvey of bad deeds? Is this wire fraud, or piling on?
If the information is truthful, what’s the harm in getting and using it? Doesn’t there have to be “something else” to be a crime? Is using it to “encourage” a witness not to testify an evil motive?
“Booker’s ‘Spartacus’ Moment Thwarted,” The Wall Street Journal, September 8, 2018 A4. Senator says he will risk his Senate seat to publish confidential documents. Turns out the documents weren’t confidential.
A crime require both an mens rea (evil intent) and a bad act. But what does it say about one’s ethics when one thinks he is violating the applicable rules? Or is lying? Is it one or the other? Is this Governance, or Compliance, or Information? Or some combination?
- What do you do with a drunken sailor?
“Exits, Musk Interview Sting Tesla,” The Wall Street Journal, September 8, 2018 A1. CEO apparently smokes marijuana during live interview.
What impact does your CEO’s commission of a crime on live TV have on the share price? What impact on the rank and file employees? What is the culture on Compliance at Tesla? What does it say about the executives who left?
“Another NFL Problem: Fake Fans Lobbying the FCC,” The Wall Street Journal, September 8, 2018 A1. People use fake names to lobby a federal agency.
Is this against the law? You have the absolute right to petition your government. Do you have to use your name to do it? The Journal says, however, “Submitting fraudulent statements or representations to the federal government is a felony.” If it obviously not your name, is it still a felony, since no one was confused?
Interesting, as the information isn’t information, in the sense of being accurate; but it still is the opinion of an entity. What are the Compliance ramifications? How do you govern against this? Pass another law?
“States Ramp Up Legal Scrutiny of Tech,” The Wall Street Journal, September 10, 2018 A3. Are major tech companies banding together to suppress conservative viewpoints?
Assuming for purposes of discussion that this is true, is it wrong? What if it were the suppression of the speech from some other category, such as blacks, or Catholics, or students? Why isn’t the Federal Government asking these questions? Is this a states’ rights issue? Some Governance, some Compliance, and some Information.
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