Compliance Bits and Pieces for March 12

Harry Markopolos high school photo

Here are some compliance stories from the past week that I found interesting:

Shadowing a Swindler by Richard Tofel

His review of the Harry Markopolos book: No One Would Listen

[N]early all the whistleblowers she had met shared two qualities. First, they were onto something—that is, there was at least some truth to what they were saying. Second, they were “a little bit nuts.” … None of this behavior makes Mr. Markopolos’s case against Mr. Madoff any less convincing. Nor does it excuse the SEC. But it does provide a fuller picture of the author than the cardboard cut-out of the lonely hero we’ve been hearing about for the past 15 months. With his book, Mr. Markopolos sheds more light than he intends on just why no one would listen.

OECD Guidance On Internal Controls, Ethics and Compliance by Melissa Klein Aguilar in Compliance Week‘s The Filing Cabinet

The OECD Working Group on Bribery has issued “Good Practice Guidance on Internal Controls, Ethics and Compliance,” which calls for companies in the 38 countries that are party to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention to put in place strict internal controls and establish ethics and compliance programs as part of a strategy to combat bribery in international business deals.

Blagojevich Speaks on Ethics (And I Would Listen) by Chris MacDonald on The Business Ethics Blog

Of course, when you’re listening to someone who is accused of, or who has admitted to, significant wrongdoing, there’s no guarantee you’re hearing the truth. Some of them may be inveterate liars; others may be lying to polish their own image. So, naturally, you should take what they say with a grain of salt. But to think that there’s nothing to learn from them is a mistake.

To Improve Performance, Audit Your Employees’ Emails by Michael Schrage

Because the rhythm and rhetoric of effective email exchange is a critical success factor in business performance, mismanagement of email may in fact be a symptom of other weaknesses in your organization.

The Rise of  Client Collaboration by Jordan Furlong

Welcome to the world of client collaboration, where buyers of legal services share information with each other and where lawyers are often not needed on the voyage. The internet has enabled people with legal questions and problems to speak with and learn from each other on a massive scale, far beyond what was possible in the days before email and social networks. As a result, they are turning less frequently to their lawyers and more frequently to each other to acquire the legal information they need.

SIGTARP Quarterly Report to Congress

As important as assessing the effectiveness of TARP programs is, in the final analysis, TARP can truly only be a success if TARP is both managed well and its positive effects are enduring. The substantial costs of TARP — in money, moral hazard effects on the market, and Government credibility — will have been for naught if we do nothing to correct the fundamental problems in our financial system and end up in a similar or even greater crisis in two, or five, or ten years’ time. It is hard to see how any of the fundamental problems in the system have been addressed to date.

FCPA Enforcement in 2010: Prepare for Blastoff by Bruce Carton in Securities Docket

When Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer was recently asked to comment on enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in 2009, he minced no words: “One can say without exaggeration that this past year was probably the most dynamic single year in the more than 30 years since the FCPA was enacted.”