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Archive for July 11th, 2012

Cheaters prosper: survey of finance professionals

Posted by Charles II on July 11, 2012

Via La Jornada, this gem from law firm Labaton Sucharow:

Labaton Sucharow LLP today announced the results of its survey of 500 financial services professionals across the United States and United Kingdom. …

According to the survey, 24 percent of respondents reported a belief that financial services professionals may need to engage in unethical or illegal conduct in order to be successful, while 26 percent of respondents indicated that they had observed or had firsthand knowledge of wrongdoing in the workplace. Particularly troubling, 16 percent of respondents reported that they would commit a crime—insider trading—if they could get away with it.

Labaton Sucharow’s survey also revealed the following:

39 percent of respondents reported that their competitors are likely to have engaged in illegal or unethical activity in order to be successful;

30 percent of respondents feel that the SEC/SFO effectively deters, investigates and prosecutes misconduct…29 percent of respondents feel the same way about FINRA/FSA [take that, Barney Frank].

(emphasis added)

And right on cue, via Atrios and Matt Yglesias, the NYT’s Eduardo Porter:

Sixty-two percent of Americans believe corruption is widespread across corporate America.

In 2001, Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index ranked the United States as the 16th least-corrupt country. By last year, the nation had fallen to 24th place. The World Bank also reports a weakening of corruption controls in the United States since the late 1990s, so that it is falling behind most other developed nations.

As Atrios says, if you create an environment where people feel they can only get ahead by cheating, you get the sewer we are living in.

Posted in abuse of power, corruption, crimes, financial crisis | Comments Off on Cheaters prosper: survey of finance professionals

The reason for transparency in elections: Mexico 2006

Posted by Charles II on July 11, 2012

Mark Weisbrot, on a little history of why there is such suspicion on the Mexican elections:

But it got worse than that: because of public pressure, the Mexican electoral authorities did two partial recounts of the vote. The second one was done for a huge sample: they recounted 9% of the ballots. But without offering any explanation, the electoral authorities refused to release the results of the recount to the public.

From 9-13 August 2006, the Mexican electoral authorities posted thousands of pages of results on the web ,which included the recounted ballot totals. It was then possible, with hundreds of hours of work, to piece together what happened in the recount and compare it to the previous results. At the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), we did this for a large random sample (14.4%) of the recounted ballots. Among these ballots, Calderón’s margin of victory disappeared.

This may explain why the electoral authorities never told the public what the recount showed, and why the authorities refused to do a full recount – which would have been appropriate for such a close election with so many irregularities. A full recount could easily have reversed the result, or found the election to be completely indeterminate.

So, six years later, tens of millions of Mexicans believe that the election couldn’t have been clean.

I’ll bet President Romney will be surprised when tens of millions of Americans who were denied the chance to vote by corporate money being used to bribe state legislatures into passing voter suppression laws will feel they have no stake in his sham presidency. “Well, gosh,” he’ll say. “We bought it fair and square! What are they angry about?”

Posted in election theft, Mexico | Comments Off on The reason for transparency in elections: Mexico 2006

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