The federal government has fined Fiat Chrysler $105 million for its failure to address vehicle defects and active recalls, and perhaps they’ve concluded that customers will respond to a cash incentive, not a cash punishment. Taking a break from desperately hugging General Motors, today the automaker announced an offer: car owners get $100 if they bring their vehicle in for repair, and an extra $1,000 or $2,000 trade-in incentive to buy a new car instead. [More]
The fallout continues over WalmartMexicoGate, a term I just made up right now that will likely never be used again. A shareholder in the nation’s largest retailer has filed a lawsuit against the company’s board of directors over the bad press tied to allegations that Walmart spent millions of dollars bribing folks in Mexico.
Drug giant Pfizer will have to squirt out $60 million in order to settle allegations from the feds that it bribed foreign companies, violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which forbids companies from making deals by paying off foreign officials.
Bidding wars for defense contracts make particularly fertile ground for corruption, and a federal employee may have gotten caught with his hand stuck in the cookie jar. Federal authorities have accused an Afghanistan-based U.S. Department of Defense employee of taking a bribe from a company there in exchange for helping to secure a government contract. The suspect was caught with a backpack stuffed with $95,000 in alleged bribe money.
Long-standing accusations of corruption in the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), the world soccer governing body, have picked up traction lately, forcing two top officials in the organization to step aside in light of accusations that they offered $40,000 bribes to two dozen officials in an attempt to buy their votes for the presidency.
After the Fiesta Bowl revealed it had misspent funds, buying extravagant, bribe-like gifts for power brokers — including strip club outings — and coercing illegal campaign contributions from staffers, Bowl Championship Series officials rattled their sabers. But despite vague threats to possibly strip the Arizona-based bowl game of its lofty BCS status, the organization has let the bowl off the hook with a stern lecture and an non-punishing punishment.
After the Securities and Exchange Commission accused IBM of bribing officials in Asian countries to secure government contracts over an 11-year period, the company agreed to pay a $10 million settlement.
Samsung Sues Journalist For Satirically Pointing Out That Its Chairman Keeps Getting Convicted Of Crimes
Did you know that the chairman of Samsung, Lee Kun-hee, was convicted in 2008 for tax evasion in South Korea? Or that he was convicted in the 90s for bribing politicians? A British journalist, Michael Breen, wrote a satirical column in a South Korean newspaper last December, and now the electronics giant is suing him for libel. If found guilty, Breen could face jail time.
Do you work in a corrupt industry? The Daily Beast took a look at data gathered by Transparency International, a “global anti-corruption think tank,” and put together a list of America’s most corrupt professions. Everyone may be hating on Wall Street right now, but the worst offenders according to the criteria used are utilities. In second and third place were Wall Street and telecommunications, and media came in fifth, well before banking, insurance, or retail.
Don’t buy grades from your kids, cautions Kiplinger—it’s a slippery slope, and confuses the issue, which should be about achievement and investing in the future rather than turning eduction into a Rewards Program that will eventually run dry or lose its appeal. [Kiplinger]
Upon being purchased an iPod by his daughter, Alaskan / octogenarian Senator Ted Stevens suddenly came around on the concept of fair use. So taking their cue from Senator Stevens’ conversion, iPaction.org has started a campaign to buy every senator who has a say in legislation affecting technology a brand new video iPod. The theory is that a brand-new iPod loaded with “public domain content, Creative Commons content, and audio messages about the importance of balanced copyright policy” is going to sway our lawmakers into a more lenient view of consumers’ media rights than the RIAA-propaganda they are currently being lobby-fed.