Wal-Mart and executives should not be above the law in Mexico City allegations

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  • tenx Santa Clara, UT
    April 26, 2012 6:04 a.m.

    @CLM. But much, much less than our competitors in Japan, Germany and all the other countries that are beating our socks off in international business.

  • CLM Draper, UT
    April 25, 2012 10:30 a.m.

    To point out that bribery is de rigueur in Mexico addresses only half the problem. Big American corporations are as corrupt as they need to, as evidenced by Walmart's actions. And the politicians they put in office are complicit. Walmart, in the cliche of our times, is "too big to fail"; it IS our economy, it will be protected. A slap on the hand, a laughable fine, the public reminding itself that bribery is common practice...and Walmart's free to conquer the retail world again in any way it chooses.

    The best outcome we can hope for is that the embarrassment generated by "Walmex" will make other places it wants to conquer, especially India, hesitate to cooperate for fear of their own bribe-laden infrastructures being exposed.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    April 25, 2012 10:23 a.m.

    Every company has to decide whether it will put aside ethics in order to chase the dollar. Wal-Mart has told the world that nothing is as important to it than money. It will corrupt officials and let its officials become corrupt to chase that money.

    If a company will bribe governments, who's to say that it won't bribe suppliers? Who's to say that it will honestly with anyone?

    When a company has proven that it is dishonest, then honest people have to ask why they should do business with Wal-Mart.

  • tenx Santa Clara, UT
    April 25, 2012 8:56 a.m.

    38 years ago I had some US businessmen visit me in my office in Teheran, Iran. They had just come from a seminar given by the State Dept. in Washington where they were told that in order to do business in the middle east they had to pay certain "agent fees" (bribes). They wanted to know if that was correct and I told them it was and proceeded to tell how much was expected in each of the countries in that part of the world. Not much later Pres. Carter flip-flopped and started sending US executives, who followed this advice, to jail. Needless to say, contracts won by US firms plummeted. The Japanese and Germans toasted this policy with champagne and caviar. Are "agent fees" necessary in Mexico? Duh!!! Play or stay home.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 25, 2012 8:27 a.m.

    Does anyone believe that any of these employees will go to jail?

    I sure don't.

    The stock will take a hit, millions of shareholders will lose money but those that made the decisions will not be touched.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    April 25, 2012 7:25 a.m.

    Re: "Whatever one's view of Wal-Mart, surely the company and its critics can agree that its executives have to follow the law."

    Agreed. But most actual Mexican law, law affecting real people every day, is unwritten. And paying bribes to assure government neutrality in business transactions has become the law in Mexico.

    This issue is strictly about money -- who got it and who didn't. Wal-Mart's actual "crime" was bribing the wrong officials, and not bribing the right ones.

    As anyone doing business in Mexico can attest, its government is powerless to help business, but has immense power to hinder it. Bribes to government officials have become the only path to secure, not help, but government neutrality.

    This neutrality is often abused, as needless damage and carnage from poorly constructed buildings during every Mexican earthquake attests, but responsible companies are no more able to operate without bribing government officials than irresponsible companies.

    This too-powerful, easily corruptible government is the liberal solution to everything.

    God save us from liberal "solutions!"