Thursday, August 14, 2014

Billionaire "Just Us"!

One billionaire got his bribery charge dropped by bribing the legal system, while another got to keep his good name, despite being the middleman in a longstanding bribery scheme by Alcoa.

The Guardian reported:

The Formula One boss, Bernie Ecclestone, is to make a $100m (£60m) payment to end his trial on bribery charges, a district court in Munich has confirmed.

This echoes "settlements" by The Carlyle Group and Riverstone on hiring middlemen to push pensions to invest Carlyle's way. 

The United States Justice Department only referred to Alcoa bagman as "Consultant A."  Bloomberg reported:

Not named and not charged in the case was the person who made those payments, whom the Justice Department identified in court only as “Consultant A.” 

Bloomberg believes this to be billionaire Victor Dahdaleh, a London-based businessman.

“In the Middle East, there is a concept called wasta -- ‘connectedness’ -- a trust network that these intermediaries are part of,” says Bishara, whose research focuses on Middle Eastern business ethics. “You traditionally use middlemen to avoid accountability and transparency, especially with this kind of large corporation, such as Alcoa. You use intermediaries to keep everything at arm’s length.” 

At arm's length used to mean an uninfluenced deal, struck at an ethical distance.  How does one bribe someone at arm's length?  It happens in a world redefined by the greed and power boys. 

This "Just Us" crew delegates responsibility for ethics to underlings.

"Managers (not executives) are the day-to-day interface with employees and the carriers of culture.  Unless they are effectively and properly trained, organizations will struggle to meet their top training objective of building an ethical culture.”

The buck stops nowhere, as evidenced by Consultant A.  The system, driven by money, is insular and protective of its own.