Many Brazilians are worried about the Brazilian justice system and the way business is being carried nowadays.
Just mention a few of the branches involved in the changes that are being implanted in Brazilian business and politics, there are CADE, MP, MPF, MT, TCU TCE, AGU and PGR.
The Brazilian legal system, unlike the American system, has so many different branches that it is confusing to laymen, the very least.
Some people believe that these branches are either competing each other or perhaps milking the investigations in order to get publicity or recognition.
Many Brazilian companies signed leniency deals, which would probably be called corporate plea bargaining agreements in the USA, and are paying high fines with interest as defined by SELIC, the Brazilian Central Bank’s interest rate.
These companies are considered judgment debtors, and they have to unfalteringly pay their debt settlements a stipulated period.
Many top executives were indicted, arraigned, tried and imprisoned. At this moment, there are also quite a few house arrest.
Most companies are owning up to their mistakes and missteps, and some had actually begun to insist ethical conduct before the federal government’s official investigations.
It is possible that the ethical framework of certain Brazilian companies will be adopted as a benchmark corporate compliance programs both in Brazil and around the world.
But in spite of this, it seems that most big companies are on some kind of black list, which impedes them from getting into the productive corporate world.
I have a feeling that when the federal government begins to operate ethically, then the state governments will, and that this new operating mode will eventually have a “trickle effect” on all social and business levels of Brazil.
Odebrecht was recently in the international headlines as the company that is scheduled to break the world record for paying bribes win government contracts.
That record was previously held by Siemens, a German engineering company, which paid 1.6 billion in bribe money to U.S. and European authorities.
Corruption is worldwide. Alcoa, the American aluminum giant, was caught using anonymous companies formed in the British Virgin Islands to transfer millions of dollars in bribe payments to secure a supply deal. The company’s demerger was almost derailed because of litigation them.
Walmart, the world’s largest retailer and America’s biggest employer, was investigated and convicted by U.S. Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission because it bribed government officials in Mexico, India, China and other developing countries. It is always entangled legally, mostly wage theft (paying under minimum wage), discrimination and environmental crimes, such as dumping hazardous waste in the U.S.A.
The Brazilin meatpacking scandal is still in the headlines, and it, too, is based on bribery, specifically money that was channeled major political parties, one of which was the current president’s party.
The head of Samsung was arrested because of corruption and influence peddling and this scandal brought the president of the South Korea.
Google is under investigation by the South Korean Trade Commission to find whether it obstructed Samsung’s development.
McDonald’s is under criminal investigation in Brazil for “fiscal and economic crimes”. Labor unions have accused both McDonald’s and Argentina-based Arcos, the corporation that owns its Latin American franchises, of paying bribes to government officials in exchange for favorable treatment from tax regulators. They are also accused of gaining unfair advantages through their real estate practices. Besides all that, government officials are looking whether McDonald’s has violated Brazilian business law by requiring all of its franchisees to purchase food from only one approved supplier. Arcos is the largest McDonald’s franchisee in the word, both in sales and in locations.
The prestigious NYC-based investment bank, Morgan Stanley, has been in and of trouble for years for misleading investors about multimillion-dollar investments, bribing a state-owned Chinese company in order to win business, and many more white-collar crimes.
It wasn’t too long ago that Volkswagen was caught after they installed software in millions of its cars in order to trick the Environmental Protection Agency’s emissions testers thinking that the cars were more environmentally friendly than they were. It is particularly noteworthy that they ran commercials that showed their engineers dressed as angels at the very time they were elaborating the fraud.
Toshiba, the multinational Japanese conglomerate, has been involved in inappropriate accounting scandals for at least the last three years, and generally claim that employees were forced to take such measures because of strict corporate culture that could not show losses. New evidence turned again this year.
Pharmaceutical companies all over the world are routinely accused of price gouging, such as the case in which the price of an HIV control drug was increased 5,000%.
And as for the athletic world which used to be an escape from big-business corruption, FIFA got caught a corruption scandal last year when it was made public that, among other things, they were taking bribes in exchange for granting broadcast rights for games and hosting rights for profitable games and events.
Remember Parmalat, the Italian company whose name we used to see on Formula One cars and dominating in our supermarkets? They got themselves involved a €14.3 billion accounting fraud and money laundering mess and now we all buy the French brand, Danone.
But corporate corruption messes can always go from bad to worse. British-owned HSBC was forced to sell their Brazilian holdings to raise money to pay a $1.9 billion criminal fine laundering Mexican drug money. Then it went from bad to worse when some American families sued the bank, claiming that the bank was responsible for the deaths of their family members because it essentially financed the cartels that killed their loved ones.
Read about Brazilian citizens involved in Swissleaks: http://oglobo.globo.com/brasil/lista-de-correntistas-do-hsbc-na-suica-tem-atores-cineastas-musicos-celebridades-brasileiras-15667748
Tattoos have been around for more than 5,000 years. Egyptians, for example, used tattoos to differentiate between peasants and slaves, a kind of social branding. But ink art, which is what some fans like to call tattooing, has really exploded in the past 25 years. But not all of us have succumbed to this fad. And many of us who don’t have a tattoo have a favorite mug. Having a tattoo or becoming attached to a mug are not dissimilar. According to research, 60% of Americans say they have an emotional attachment to a favorite mug. And about 40% said their special mug was irreplaceable, and about 1/3 of those said they would be devastated if it broke. Personally, I think that most of these people don’t have tattoos. Mugs and tattoos are both an extension of our personalities, and both express the way we would like the world to perceive us. That is not to mention, of course, that those of us who have tattoos or mugs are often irrationally attached to them.