These are some of the compliance-related stories that caught my attention.
While many companies which operate under anti-bribery laws such as the UK Bribery Act or anti-corruption laws such as the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), have compliance programs in place to review business relationships, I have found that one of the areas which most non-banking companies do not sufficiently focus on is anti-money laundering (AML).
Fracking, conflicts of interest and adverse inferences by Jeff Kaplan in the Conflicts of Interest Blog
Take the example of “fracking,” an area of considerable complexity, and my own attempts – as a citizen who wants to be reasonably informed – to understand it. Initially, I was skeptical about the wisdom of the fracking but the more I read the more it seemed, on balance, like a good idea (assuming strong environmental safety measures are put in place and that the embrace of fracking does not diminish the development and deployment of renewable energy sources).
Cheating in Online Courses by Dan Areily
A recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education suggests that students cheat more in online than in face-to-face classes. The article tells the story of Bob Smith (not his real name, obviously) who was a student in an online science course. Bob logged in once a week for half an hour in order to take a quiz. He didn’t read a word of his textbook, didn’t participate in discussions, and still got an A. Bob pulled this off, he explained, with the help of a collaborative cheating effort. Interestingly, Bob is enrolled at a public university in the U.S., and claims to work diligently in all his other (classroom) courses. He doesn’t cheat in those courses, he explains, but with a busy work and school schedule, the easy A is too tempting to pass up.
Companies like Best Buy often talk about key vendor relationships and business affiliations. The reality is, of course, that companies don’t have relationships – people do. Business relationships generally come down to a person at Company A working with a counterpart at Company B to achieve some set of shared goals. In order for that relationship to be healthy and profitable for both parties, there must always be an atmosphere of trust, mutual respect and independence.
For this reason, Best Buy maintains a strict Gifts, Business Courtesies and Vendor Relationships policy that is designed to protect Best Buy and vendor alike from the sort of temptations that can arise when relationships go bad. The vast majority of the time these relationships are healthy, respectful and profitable for both parties. Every now and then, however, bad judgment leads someone to cross the line and abuse a relationship for personal gain.