These are some of the compliance related stories that recently caught my attention.
On the lighter side there has been a bit attention focused on a presidential appointment. Jack Lew, President Obama’s reported pick to replace outgoing Treasury secretary Tim Geithner, has drawn some unusual scrutiny because of his signature. Jack Lew’s Terrible Signature May Grace Dollar Bills Now by Kevin Roose
A lesser-known but extremely pertinent fact about Lew is that he has the world’s worst signature. And pretty soon, that signature could be on every single one of your dollar bills.
If Lew is confirmed as Treasury secretary, his signature will occupy the lower-right-hand spot on U.S. paper currency. And that signature, which was widely mocked when it surfaced on a September 2011 memorandum, is legitimately crazy.
I thought of Fu Manchu and his infamous drip, drip, drip water torture when I read the latest news about the ongoing Wal-Mart Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) investigation. Yesterday, I read three articles about the most recent revelations in Wal-Mart’s ongoing PR nightmare. Renee Dudley, reporting in Bloomberg, in an article entitled “Wal-Mart CEO Knew of Mexico Bribery, Congressmen Say”, wrote that “Democratic Representatives Henry Waxman of California and Elijah Cummings of Maryland said today in a statement that documents obtained by their staffs show that Duke and senior Wal-Mart officials were informed about allegations of corruption regarding a store in Teotihuacan.”
Year In Review Roundups by the FCPA Professor
Viewing FCPA enforcement in the aggregate is of course also useful and informative and this post begins by aggregating the previous DOJ and SEC FCPA enforcement facts and figures from 2012. After providing various aggregate facts and figures, this post concludes with a roundup of other year in reviews.
‘They Owe It to Me’: FBI Identifies Top Email Phrases Used by Fraudsters by Bruce Carton in Compliance Week
According to research conducted by Ernst & Young in collaboration with the FBI, these phrases are among the top terms used by employees in emails discussing fraud. E&Y has developed software that companies can use to monitor employees’ emails for these phrases and approximately 3,000 other words and phrases that are commonly used in emails by people committing fraud.
Getting Comfortable With an Uncertain World by Matt Kelly in Compliance Week
If you’re going to read one book at the start of this year to improve your understanding of the world and the compliance professional’s role in it, read The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver. It’s been on the best seller list since its debut last September, and I finally opened a copy the other day. Before I finished even Chapter 1, I could see why the book has been so popular, and why it can be so useful for those of us who make a living in the corporate compliance world.