The Ethical Barometer

News & Events

When the Adults Steal From Kids’ Sports

Because they trust. Parents involved in youth sports tend to have social interaction as well.  Thereby, they commit the error of having no internal controls.  One person controls the funds, one person pays the bills, one person writes the checks, one person signs the checks, and before you know it, the money is gone.  And, the money is generally not taken for a good cause:  dog grooming, Walt Disney World vacations, weddings for their children, lingerie, NFL and MLB tickets, mulch, and retrieval of property from pawn shops.

They are getting caught, and in one case, the judge forced the embezzler of $200,000 from Kent Little League, to apologize in person to the 400 kids affected by the loss of 90% of the League’s money to the embezzler’s personal use of $60,000 of Little League money, including $500 to a hairdresser.  The tips for prevention: (more…)

The New York Senate’s Ethics Committee Has Not Met Since 2009: Chair Convicted

The New York State Senate’s Ethics Committee has been lying dormant since 2009. No meeting record exists since 2009.  The chair of the Committee, John L. Sampson, was convicted of embezzlement and obstruction of justice, with the prosecutor asking for an 87-month sentence. Oh, and he was suspended from the practice of law.

At the trial Dean G. Skelos, the former New York Senate majority leader, the Ethics Committee’s former chairman testified that the Ethics Committee had not authority to handle legislation.  Mr. Skelos was convicted on corruption charges.  Prosecutors could not determine which legislators took away the authority of the Ethics Committee. The chairman tried to hold public hearings, but was thwarted on that count as well. The chairman was then reassigned and the Ethics Committee lies fallow again.

You can’t make this stuff up.

Classic Quotes

“If everyone told the truth, the stock market would never move.”

Iraj Parvizi, aka Fatty, aka the Mad Punter, testifying at a trial with his three co-defendants who were all  accused of running the biggest insider trading ring in the history of the United Kingdom.  Some additional treasures from the witness stand by Fatty, “You’re making out like I’m the only liar in the stock market,” and “When I was arrested, I was thinking, ‘Why isn’t every trader in the market being arrested? Where does insider trading start, where does it stop?’”   Parvizi added that he was an ‘incurable exaggerator.”  He explained to the prosecutor, “I’ll give you an example.  You are a very, very handsome man.”  The court room, including the jurors, burst into laughter. Parvizi was acquitted after a six-week trial.    It’s the new comedy defense to insider trading.

“They are very unsophisticated– and anyone could ‘rape’ them.”

E-mail from Goldman executive in 2008 reflecting on the firm’s dealings with Libya’s sovereign-wealth fund.  Libya has filed suit against Goldman Sachs in the High Court of London, and the quote was one of many to emerge as the trial proceeds.  Another e-mail read, “You just delivered a pitch on structured leveraged loans to someone who lives in the middle of the desert with his camels.”

The allegations are that Goldman earned $222 million from the fund even as the fund lost money, and  Libya is asking for $1.2 billion in losses (more…)

Ethical Dilemmas

“Tie your flag onto your belt.” Advice from a flag football coach to his young charges.

That strategy does cut down on the other team’s ability to pull that flag off. What does the young player tell the coach? Perhaps, more relevantly, what does the parent of the young player tell the coach? Especially if the young team of belters is winning?

“Get Yourself Fired — You’ll Make More Money!”

The Barometer was strolling through the home section of a major department store.  Tempted by  Christmas potholders at 50% off, the Barometer stopped and soon planted feet firm to continue listening as three employees of this fine establishment conversed about their futures.  The ring leader was explaining to the novice employees that after the new year begins, most of them would be going to part-time status because of slow sales, the economy, health care issues, etc.  The two employees seemed crestfallen.  But, their mentor would have none of it.  “Don’t do it!” said he.  “Get yourself fired because the money you make on unemployment will be better than part-time work here and you can get 99 weeks of unemployment.  Plus, you are eligible for medical care through the government because you are unemployed.  It’s a better deal. It is so not worth it to keep working.” This fine consigliore (more…)

Trust Across America - Top 100 Thought Leaders Ethisphere - 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics

Featured Books by Marianne Jennings

Business Ethics: Case Studies and Selected Readings, 8th Edition

Business Ethics: Case Studies and Selected Readings, 8th Edition

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The Seven Signs of Ethical Collapse

Never trust the people you cheat with. They will throw you under the bus.

A Business Tale: A Story of Ethics, Choices, Success

Meet Edgar P. Benchley. Charitable people tend to call him a nerd. Others use less subtle descriptions. If you hear Edgar chatting to himself, don't be alarmed. He has an invisible friend who's kind of a cousin to Harvey from the old movie of the same name with Jimmy Stewart.

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