azspot:


Truthout
@9 months ago with 240 notes
#mcdonalds #corporations #wealth #poverty 
@10 months ago with 422 notes
#oil #corporations #capitalism 

"CORPORATION, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility."

Author Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary (via cognitivedissonance)

(via other-stuff)

@1 year ago with 144 notes
#corporations 

The CEO of Walmart makes $16,826 an hour. 

stfuconservatives:

thisisjamesj:

Employees make around $13,650 a year.

But remember: we can’t pay employees any more because it would hurt business. But we can’t pay the CEO any less because then they won’t work hard enough, and it would hurt business.

(Source: seamusiteverwas, via other-stuff)

@1 year ago with 2353 notes
#walmart #corporations #wealth #inequality 

Welfare for the Medical-Industrial Complex 

So why does Obamacare run through the private sector? Raw political necessity: this was the only way that it could get past the insurance industry’s power. OK, that was how it had to be.

But you should really be outraged at the efforts of some states to ensure that the Medicaid expansion is done not via direct government insurance but run through the insurance industry. What you need to understand is that this is a double giveaway, both to the insurers and to the health care industry, because private insurers don’t have the government’s bargaining power. It is, bluntly, purely a matter of corporate welfare for the medical-industrial complex.

(Source: azspot)

@1 year ago with 33 notes
#welfare #corporations 

Gas Association busted for falsifying signatures on a petition. Surprised? 

climateadaptation:

Gas drillers were caught lying to public officials. About 66% of the signatures were falsified. Company blames a PR firm, which, it seems, specializes in fudging petitions.

The drillers used the petition to lobby a local government in Colorado to pass fracking laws. Shit is fracked up and bullshit.

Pro-fracking petition with fake signatures embarrasses gas association

A full two-thirds of those denied signing or endorsing a petition opposing a ban on fracking in Fort Collins. Not only was the petition a big fat lie, it was a laughably amateur effort to deceive the city’s lawmakers. From the Coloradoan:

Cali Rastrelli’s name is signed at the bottom of a petition submitted to the council. At the top, the petition says in bold letters, “Vote NO on the Fort Collins fracking ban.”

“Big Bill Pizza” is written in the blank where the signer could enter their business or organization.

“I haven’t signed any petition in the last month,” said Rastrelli, a Colorado State University student who lives in student housing. “I didn’t put my name on this.”

By the end of last week, the association was acknowledging that “mistakes were made.” A subsequent internal audit “identified numerous areas for improvement.” Now association officials are trying to retract the petition. And they are failing.
More at Grist

(via other-stuff)

@1 year ago with 137 notes
#big oil #fracking #propaganda #corporations 

"Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power."

Benito Mussolini

The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, in a groundbreaking scoop that should once more shame major US media outlets (why are nonprofits now some of the only entities in America left breaking major civil liberties news?), filed this request. The document – reproduced here in an easily searchable format – shows a terrifying network of coordinated DHS, FBI, police, regional fusion center, and private-sector activity so completely merged into one another that the monstrous whole is, in fact, one entity: in some cases, bearing a single name, the Domestic Security Alliance Council. And it reveals this merged entity to have one centrally planned, locally executed mission. The documents, in short, show the cops and DHS working for and with banks to target, arrest, and politically disable peaceful American citizens.

[Read More]

(via pieceinthepuzzlehumanity)

(via theflaminglabia)

@1 year ago with 75 notes
#fascism #corporations 
@1 year ago with 226 notes
#corporations #wealth #economics 
cognitivedissonance:

paxamericana:

McDonald’s Advises Hungry Employees to ‘Break Food Into Little Pieces’

And to sell their Christmas gifts on eBay and Craigslist.
@9 months ago with 2894 notes
#mcdonalds #corporations #poverty #capitalism 
commodifiedsouls:

melodysmuse:

Handouts to big corporations.

This was from 1996, y’all. When most people didn’t even think/care about this.

commodifiedsouls:

melodysmuse:

Handouts to big corporations.

This was from 1996, y’all. When most people didn’t even think/care about this.

(via ixc3)

@10 months ago with 959 notes
#corporations #welfare 

"Of the world’s 100 largest economies, half are corporations. Walmart is bigger than Greece; Philip Morris is larger than Chile; Chrysler and Nestle are about the same size as Pakistan and Hungary, respectively. The six largest corporations in the world have revenues greater than the 30 countries containing half of the world’s population."

Karen Brodkin, global capitalism: what’s race got to do with it? (via some-velvet-morning)

(via qsalms)

@1 year ago with 3793 notes
#wealth #corporations #economics #inequality 

"Corporate America has generated its own royalty. What is different about 2012 from five or ten or fifty years ago is that people are now cognizant of it. The most interesting right-wing movement in the United States is the nascent Tea Party. While I disagree with them vehemently (as a left-libertarian, and also as one who favors science over emotional argument) I will give them credit for this: at their intellectual core (and, yes, there is one) they are aggressively anti-corporate. Post-2008, Americans get that the Corporate System is not a meritocracy, not rational, and not even real capitalism. It’s designed to provide the best of two systems (socialism and capitalism) for a well-connected social and increasingly hereditary elite, regardless of merit, and the worst of both systems for everyone else. For themselves, they create an economic arrangement in which they can derive enormous personal benefit from random variables that exist in the economy, but at the same time build a jealously guard a private social-welfare system that ensures they stay rich, well-positioned, and well-connected even if they fail. For the rest, they provide mostly downside, displacement, and discomfort. A perfect metaphor for this is air travel. Well-connected people get discounted or free air travel, special lounges in the airport, and access to comfortable private aviation. The rest of us get Soviet-style service and capitalistic price volatility: the worst from both systems."

@1 year ago with 42 notes
#corporations #wealth #capitalism 
thepeoplesrecord:

Cambodian workers on hunger strike against Walmart & H&MFebruary 28, 2013
Self-organized garment workers at a Walmart and H&M supplier factory in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, have been camping in front of their shuttered factory for almost two months to prevent their bosses from taking out the sewing machinery.
Now the workers have escalated to blocking roads, and will launch a hunger strike February 27—all to push Walmart and H&M to pay them the back wages they are owed. Their cause is drawing support from workers at another Walmart subcontractor on the other side of the world.
“We decided to go on hunger strike to show that we not just any workers,” said one of the leaders, Sorn Sothy, 26, who works in the warehousing part of the Cambodian factory. “We are strong, committed, and united.”
The workers were informed in September that their factory, Kingsland Garment Co., Ltd., would temporarily close until January. Under Cambodian labor law, they would be paid 50 percent of their wages during this time, and brought back to work in January.
But in December, the paychecks stopped coming. The company union told the workers that the company was bankrupt and the owner had fled the country.
The garment workers are owed around $200,000 collectively—less than what Walmart makes in profits every six minutes.
Since their boss-run union wouldn’t fight back, 200 workers organized themselves and began protesting outside the factory gates January 1. In the middle of the night January 3, they noticed company staff attempting to remove the sewing machines from the factory.
“We decided to start sleeping outside of the factory to prevent management from taking the machinery out,” said Yorn Sok Leng, 30, who has worked at the factory for two years.
With the help of a worker center, the Community Legal Education Centre (CLEC), the workers occupied the outside of the factory—setting up tarps, a sleeping area, and a kitchen.
Source

thepeoplesrecord:

Cambodian workers on hunger strike against Walmart & H&M
February 28, 2013

Self-organized garment workers at a Walmart and H&M supplier factory in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, have been camping in front of their shuttered factory for almost two months to prevent their bosses from taking out the sewing machinery.

Now the workers have escalated to blocking roads, and will launch a hunger strike February 27—all to push Walmart and H&M to pay them the back wages they are owed. Their cause is drawing support from workers at another Walmart subcontractor on the other side of the world.

“We decided to go on hunger strike to show that we not just any workers,” said one of the leaders, Sorn Sothy, 26, who works in the warehousing part of the Cambodian factory. “We are strong, committed, and united.”

The workers were informed in September that their factory, Kingsland Garment Co., Ltd., would temporarily close until January. Under Cambodian labor law, they would be paid 50 percent of their wages during this time, and brought back to work in January.

But in December, the paychecks stopped coming. The company union told the workers that the company was bankrupt and the owner had fled the country.

The garment workers are owed around $200,000 collectively—less than what Walmart makes in profits every six minutes.

Since their boss-run union wouldn’t fight back, 200 workers organized themselves and began protesting outside the factory gates January 1. In the middle of the night January 3, they noticed company staff attempting to remove the sewing machines from the factory.

“We decided to start sleeping outside of the factory to prevent management from taking the machinery out,” said Yorn Sok Leng, 30, who has worked at the factory for two years.

With the help of a worker center, the Community Legal Education Centre (CLEC), the workers occupied the outside of the factory—setting up tarps, a sleeping area, and a kitchen.

Source

(Source: thepeoplesrecord, via avoca2-deactivated20130719)

@1 year ago with 6891 notes
#walmart #corporations 

(Source: oneheadtoanother, via other-stuff)

@1 year ago with 833 notes
#bernie sanders #wealth #corporations 
thepeoplesrecord:


Walmart bribed its way around Mexico’s environmental rulesDecember 19, 2012
Wal-Mart Stores (WMT.N) may be facing sizable fines related to allegations of widespread bribery at its Mexican affiliate, after a second report from the New York Times provided more details about the scope of the alleged misconduct.
Experts said the latest report, published online late on Monday, is significant because it appears to show that the alleged bribes were a substantial part of its business methods, and more than routine payments to speed up approvals, which are allowed under U.S. law.
The newspaper said the world’s largest retailer opened some 19 stores by using hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to get what local laws otherwise prohibited.
On Monday, Wal-Mart said the allegations in the Times report have been part of the investigation of potential FCPA violations the company began conducting more than a year ago. Wal-Mart declined to provide additional comment on Tuesday.
In April the newspaper reported that Wal-Mart had stifled an internal probe of bribery at its Mexican affiliate Walmex (WALMEXV.MX), but gave the impression that many of the bribes paid may have been used to facilitate approval processes already in motion.
“I think the Times story, if it is true, changes the perception of the Wal-Mart matter from being about facilitating payments to something larger than that,” said Danforth Newcomb, an expert on the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act who defends such cases at the law firm Shearman & Sterling.
The latest story describes, for example, $765,000 in bribes that helped Walmex build a refrigerated distribution center in an environmentally fragile area where electricity was scarce and smaller developers were turned away. It also describes in detail how Walmex allegedly paid $52,000 to change a zoning map so it could open a store near the ancient pyramids in Teotihuacan.
It is difficult to put a ballpark figure on any settlement, especially because the U.S. investigation of Wal-Mart is in early stages, but experts said it could rival other major FCPA cases.
In the largest FCPA case to date, Siemens (SIEGn.DE) paid $800 million to resolve allegations of widespread bribery in 2008. In other sizable cases, KBR (KBR.N) and its former parent Halliburton (HAL.N) paid $579 million in 2009, and BAE Systems (BAES.L) paid $400 million in 2010.
The company is cooperating with the U.S. Justice Department and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on the matter.
Representatives of the SEC and DOJ declined to comment.
Shares of Wal-Mart rose 30 cents to close at $69.50 on the New York Stock Exchange.
Potential fines
The Justice Department usually calculates fines in foreign bribery cases either by levying a per-violation fine or a penalty tied to the profits a company earned through the alleged bribery. Related SEC settlements usually also involve disgorging profits earned due to the bribery.
Including Walmex’s profits at stores throughout Mexico could prove a sizable fine. It is unclear how many of the roughly 2,000 locations in Mexico could be included.
In 2011, Walmex posted gross profit of nearly 83.7 billion pesos ($6.58 billion).
In 2004, the year in which it allegedly pushed for zoning to open the store near the ancient pyramids, Walmex’s gross profit was 28.84 billion pesos ($2.27 billion). The 2011 results include Central America.
When calculating potential fines, prosecutors take into account how widespread the conduct was and whether senior management knew about it or was involved in any way. Wal-Mart has said it is investigating allegations related to its operations in Brazil, India, and China.
“Wal-Mart de Mexico didn’t stumble into a bit of bribery. If the allegations are correct, it used systematic bribery as part of its business strategy as a way to grow,” said Richard Cassin, an FCPA expert and author of a popular FCPA blog.
The company’s costs to conduct the entire investigation - which already stand at $100 million - could be larger than its eventual fines, lawyers said.
Wal-Mart has also been proactive with other measures that could blunt some demands from authorities. When settling FCPA cases, companies are usually required to make some management changes and overhaul their compliance programs.
In October the company said it reorganized its compliance department and created a new global chief compliance officer position as part of an overhaul of its anti-corruption efforts.
The company has spent some $35 million to update its anti-corruption program and has named a new chief compliance officer for Wal-Mart International and a new vice president of global investigations, which are both new positions for the company. It also named a new chief compliance officer for Walmex, and created a new global FCPA compliance officer position.
Source
Surprise, surprise. Walmart is terrible.
Also, just a daily reminder that the Walton family of Walmart owns more wealth than the bottom 40 percent of America.

thepeoplesrecord:

Walmart bribed its way around Mexico’s environmental rules
December 19, 2012

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT.N) may be facing sizable fines related to allegations of widespread bribery at its Mexican affiliate, after a second report from the New York Times provided more details about the scope of the alleged misconduct.

Experts said the latest report, published online late on Monday, is significant because it appears to show that the alleged bribes were a substantial part of its business methods, and more than routine payments to speed up approvals, which are allowed under U.S. law.

The newspaper said the world’s largest retailer opened some 19 stores by using hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to get what local laws otherwise prohibited.

On Monday, Wal-Mart said the allegations in the Times report have been part of the investigation of potential FCPA violations the company began conducting more than a year ago. Wal-Mart declined to provide additional comment on Tuesday.

In April the newspaper reported that Wal-Mart had stifled an internal probe of bribery at its Mexican affiliate Walmex (WALMEXV.MX), but gave the impression that many of the bribes paid may have been used to facilitate approval processes already in motion.

“I think the Times story, if it is true, changes the perception of the Wal-Mart matter from being about facilitating payments to something larger than that,” said Danforth Newcomb, an expert on the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act who defends such cases at the law firm Shearman & Sterling.

The latest story describes, for example, $765,000 in bribes that helped Walmex build a refrigerated distribution center in an environmentally fragile area where electricity was scarce and smaller developers were turned away. It also describes in detail how Walmex allegedly paid $52,000 to change a zoning map so it could open a store near the ancient pyramids in Teotihuacan.

It is difficult to put a ballpark figure on any settlement, especially because the U.S. investigation of Wal-Mart is in early stages, but experts said it could rival other major FCPA cases.

In the largest FCPA case to date, Siemens (SIEGn.DE) paid $800 million to resolve allegations of widespread bribery in 2008. In other sizable cases, KBR (KBR.N) and its former parent Halliburton (HAL.N) paid $579 million in 2009, and BAE Systems (BAES.L) paid $400 million in 2010.

The company is cooperating with the U.S. Justice Department and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on the matter.

Representatives of the SEC and DOJ declined to comment.

Shares of Wal-Mart rose 30 cents to close at $69.50 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Potential fines

The Justice Department usually calculates fines in foreign bribery cases either by levying a per-violation fine or a penalty tied to the profits a company earned through the alleged bribery. Related SEC settlements usually also involve disgorging profits earned due to the bribery.

Including Walmex’s profits at stores throughout Mexico could prove a sizable fine. It is unclear how many of the roughly 2,000 locations in Mexico could be included.

In 2011, Walmex posted gross profit of nearly 83.7 billion pesos ($6.58 billion).

In 2004, the year in which it allegedly pushed for zoning to open the store near the ancient pyramids, Walmex’s gross profit was 28.84 billion pesos ($2.27 billion). The 2011 results include Central America.

When calculating potential fines, prosecutors take into account how widespread the conduct was and whether senior management knew about it or was involved in any way. Wal-Mart has said it is investigating allegations related to its operations in Brazil, India, and China.

“Wal-Mart de Mexico didn’t stumble into a bit of bribery. If the allegations are correct, it used systematic bribery as part of its business strategy as a way to grow,” said Richard Cassin, an FCPA expert and author of a popular FCPA blog.

The company’s costs to conduct the entire investigation - which already stand at $100 million - could be larger than its eventual fines, lawyers said.

Wal-Mart has also been proactive with other measures that could blunt some demands from authorities. When settling FCPA cases, companies are usually required to make some management changes and overhaul their compliance programs.

In October the company said it reorganized its compliance department and created a new global chief compliance officer position as part of an overhaul of its anti-corruption efforts.

The company has spent some $35 million to update its anti-corruption program and has named a new chief compliance officer for Wal-Mart International and a new vice president of global investigations, which are both new positions for the company. It also named a new chief compliance officer for Walmex, and created a new global FCPA compliance officer position.

Source

Surprise, surprise. Walmart is terrible.

Also, just a daily reminder that the Walton family of Walmart owns more wealth than the bottom 40 percent of America.

(Source: thepeoplesrecord, via other-stuff)

@1 year ago with 253 notes
#corporations #walmart 
azspot:


Truthout
9 months ago
#mcdonalds #corporations #wealth #poverty 
cognitivedissonance:

paxamericana:

McDonald’s Advises Hungry Employees to ‘Break Food Into Little Pieces’

And to sell their Christmas gifts on eBay and Craigslist.
9 months ago
#mcdonalds #corporations #poverty #capitalism 
10 months ago
#oil #corporations #capitalism 
commodifiedsouls:

melodysmuse:

Handouts to big corporations.

This was from 1996, y’all. When most people didn’t even think/care about this.
10 months ago
#corporations #welfare 
"CORPORATION, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility."
Author Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary (via cognitivedissonance)

(via other-stuff)

1 year ago
#corporations 
"Of the world’s 100 largest economies, half are corporations. Walmart is bigger than Greece; Philip Morris is larger than Chile; Chrysler and Nestle are about the same size as Pakistan and Hungary, respectively. The six largest corporations in the world have revenues greater than the 30 countries containing half of the world’s population."
Karen Brodkin, global capitalism: what’s race got to do with it? (via some-velvet-morning)

(via qsalms)

1 year ago
#wealth #corporations #economics #inequality 
The CEO of Walmart makes $16,826 an hour.→

stfuconservatives:

thisisjamesj:

Employees make around $13,650 a year.

But remember: we can’t pay employees any more because it would hurt business. But we can’t pay the CEO any less because then they won’t work hard enough, and it would hurt business.

(Source: seamusiteverwas, via other-stuff)

1 year ago
#walmart #corporations #wealth #inequality 
"Corporate America has generated its own royalty. What is different about 2012 from five or ten or fifty years ago is that people are now cognizant of it. The most interesting right-wing movement in the United States is the nascent Tea Party. While I disagree with them vehemently (as a left-libertarian, and also as one who favors science over emotional argument) I will give them credit for this: at their intellectual core (and, yes, there is one) they are aggressively anti-corporate. Post-2008, Americans get that the Corporate System is not a meritocracy, not rational, and not even real capitalism. It’s designed to provide the best of two systems (socialism and capitalism) for a well-connected social and increasingly hereditary elite, regardless of merit, and the worst of both systems for everyone else. For themselves, they create an economic arrangement in which they can derive enormous personal benefit from random variables that exist in the economy, but at the same time build a jealously guard a private social-welfare system that ensures they stay rich, well-positioned, and well-connected even if they fail. For the rest, they provide mostly downside, displacement, and discomfort. A perfect metaphor for this is air travel. Well-connected people get discounted or free air travel, special lounges in the airport, and access to comfortable private aviation. The rest of us get Soviet-style service and capitalistic price volatility: the worst from both systems."
1 year ago
#corporations #wealth #capitalism 
Welfare for the Medical-Industrial Complex→

So why does Obamacare run through the private sector? Raw political necessity: this was the only way that it could get past the insurance industry’s power. OK, that was how it had to be.

But you should really be outraged at the efforts of some states to ensure that the Medicaid expansion is done not via direct government insurance but run through the insurance industry. What you need to understand is that this is a double giveaway, both to the insurers and to the health care industry, because private insurers don’t have the government’s bargaining power. It is, bluntly, purely a matter of corporate welfare for the medical-industrial complex.

(Source: azspot)

1 year ago
#welfare #corporations 
thepeoplesrecord:

Cambodian workers on hunger strike against Walmart & H&MFebruary 28, 2013
Self-organized garment workers at a Walmart and H&M supplier factory in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, have been camping in front of their shuttered factory for almost two months to prevent their bosses from taking out the sewing machinery.
Now the workers have escalated to blocking roads, and will launch a hunger strike February 27—all to push Walmart and H&M to pay them the back wages they are owed. Their cause is drawing support from workers at another Walmart subcontractor on the other side of the world.
“We decided to go on hunger strike to show that we not just any workers,” said one of the leaders, Sorn Sothy, 26, who works in the warehousing part of the Cambodian factory. “We are strong, committed, and united.”
The workers were informed in September that their factory, Kingsland Garment Co., Ltd., would temporarily close until January. Under Cambodian labor law, they would be paid 50 percent of their wages during this time, and brought back to work in January.
But in December, the paychecks stopped coming. The company union told the workers that the company was bankrupt and the owner had fled the country.
The garment workers are owed around $200,000 collectively—less than what Walmart makes in profits every six minutes.
Since their boss-run union wouldn’t fight back, 200 workers organized themselves and began protesting outside the factory gates January 1. In the middle of the night January 3, they noticed company staff attempting to remove the sewing machines from the factory.
“We decided to start sleeping outside of the factory to prevent management from taking the machinery out,” said Yorn Sok Leng, 30, who has worked at the factory for two years.
With the help of a worker center, the Community Legal Education Centre (CLEC), the workers occupied the outside of the factory—setting up tarps, a sleeping area, and a kitchen.
Source
1 year ago
#walmart #corporations 
Gas Association busted for falsifying signatures on a petition. Surprised?→

climateadaptation:

Gas drillers were caught lying to public officials. About 66% of the signatures were falsified. Company blames a PR firm, which, it seems, specializes in fudging petitions.

The drillers used the petition to lobby a local government in Colorado to pass fracking laws. Shit is fracked up and bullshit.

Pro-fracking petition with fake signatures embarrasses gas association

A full two-thirds of those denied signing or endorsing a petition opposing a ban on fracking in Fort Collins. Not only was the petition a big fat lie, it was a laughably amateur effort to deceive the city’s lawmakers. From the Coloradoan:

Cali Rastrelli’s name is signed at the bottom of a petition submitted to the council. At the top, the petition says in bold letters, “Vote NO on the Fort Collins fracking ban.”

“Big Bill Pizza” is written in the blank where the signer could enter their business or organization.

“I haven’t signed any petition in the last month,” said Rastrelli, a Colorado State University student who lives in student housing. “I didn’t put my name on this.”

By the end of last week, the association was acknowledging that “mistakes were made.” A subsequent internal audit “identified numerous areas for improvement.” Now association officials are trying to retract the petition. And they are failing.
More at Grist

(via other-stuff)

1 year ago
#big oil #fracking #propaganda #corporations 
1 year ago
#bernie sanders #wealth #corporations 
"Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power."

Benito Mussolini

The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, in a groundbreaking scoop that should once more shame major US media outlets (why are nonprofits now some of the only entities in America left breaking major civil liberties news?), filed this request. The document – reproduced here in an easily searchable format – shows a terrifying network of coordinated DHS, FBI, police, regional fusion center, and private-sector activity so completely merged into one another that the monstrous whole is, in fact, one entity: in some cases, bearing a single name, the Domestic Security Alliance Council. And it reveals this merged entity to have one centrally planned, locally executed mission. The documents, in short, show the cops and DHS working for and with banks to target, arrest, and politically disable peaceful American citizens.

[Read More]

(via pieceinthepuzzlehumanity)

(via theflaminglabia)

1 year ago
#fascism #corporations 
thepeoplesrecord:


Walmart bribed its way around Mexico’s environmental rulesDecember 19, 2012
Wal-Mart Stores (WMT.N) may be facing sizable fines related to allegations of widespread bribery at its Mexican affiliate, after a second report from the New York Times provided more details about the scope of the alleged misconduct.
Experts said the latest report, published online late on Monday, is significant because it appears to show that the alleged bribes were a substantial part of its business methods, and more than routine payments to speed up approvals, which are allowed under U.S. law.
The newspaper said the world’s largest retailer opened some 19 stores by using hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to get what local laws otherwise prohibited.
On Monday, Wal-Mart said the allegations in the Times report have been part of the investigation of potential FCPA violations the company began conducting more than a year ago. Wal-Mart declined to provide additional comment on Tuesday.
In April the newspaper reported that Wal-Mart had stifled an internal probe of bribery at its Mexican affiliate Walmex (WALMEXV.MX), but gave the impression that many of the bribes paid may have been used to facilitate approval processes already in motion.
“I think the Times story, if it is true, changes the perception of the Wal-Mart matter from being about facilitating payments to something larger than that,” said Danforth Newcomb, an expert on the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act who defends such cases at the law firm Shearman & Sterling.
The latest story describes, for example, $765,000 in bribes that helped Walmex build a refrigerated distribution center in an environmentally fragile area where electricity was scarce and smaller developers were turned away. It also describes in detail how Walmex allegedly paid $52,000 to change a zoning map so it could open a store near the ancient pyramids in Teotihuacan.
It is difficult to put a ballpark figure on any settlement, especially because the U.S. investigation of Wal-Mart is in early stages, but experts said it could rival other major FCPA cases.
In the largest FCPA case to date, Siemens (SIEGn.DE) paid $800 million to resolve allegations of widespread bribery in 2008. In other sizable cases, KBR (KBR.N) and its former parent Halliburton (HAL.N) paid $579 million in 2009, and BAE Systems (BAES.L) paid $400 million in 2010.
The company is cooperating with the U.S. Justice Department and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on the matter.
Representatives of the SEC and DOJ declined to comment.
Shares of Wal-Mart rose 30 cents to close at $69.50 on the New York Stock Exchange.
Potential fines
The Justice Department usually calculates fines in foreign bribery cases either by levying a per-violation fine or a penalty tied to the profits a company earned through the alleged bribery. Related SEC settlements usually also involve disgorging profits earned due to the bribery.
Including Walmex’s profits at stores throughout Mexico could prove a sizable fine. It is unclear how many of the roughly 2,000 locations in Mexico could be included.
In 2011, Walmex posted gross profit of nearly 83.7 billion pesos ($6.58 billion).
In 2004, the year in which it allegedly pushed for zoning to open the store near the ancient pyramids, Walmex’s gross profit was 28.84 billion pesos ($2.27 billion). The 2011 results include Central America.
When calculating potential fines, prosecutors take into account how widespread the conduct was and whether senior management knew about it or was involved in any way. Wal-Mart has said it is investigating allegations related to its operations in Brazil, India, and China.
“Wal-Mart de Mexico didn’t stumble into a bit of bribery. If the allegations are correct, it used systematic bribery as part of its business strategy as a way to grow,” said Richard Cassin, an FCPA expert and author of a popular FCPA blog.
The company’s costs to conduct the entire investigation - which already stand at $100 million - could be larger than its eventual fines, lawyers said.
Wal-Mart has also been proactive with other measures that could blunt some demands from authorities. When settling FCPA cases, companies are usually required to make some management changes and overhaul their compliance programs.
In October the company said it reorganized its compliance department and created a new global chief compliance officer position as part of an overhaul of its anti-corruption efforts.
The company has spent some $35 million to update its anti-corruption program and has named a new chief compliance officer for Wal-Mart International and a new vice president of global investigations, which are both new positions for the company. It also named a new chief compliance officer for Walmex, and created a new global FCPA compliance officer position.
Source
Surprise, surprise. Walmart is terrible.
Also, just a daily reminder that the Walton family of Walmart owns more wealth than the bottom 40 percent of America.
1 year ago
#corporations #walmart 
1 year ago
#corporations #wealth #economics