The Ethical Barometer

News & Events

The Real Life Billy Ray Valentine (aka Eddie Murphy), Goldman, and the Fed

Rohit Bansal, a former Goldman Sachs employee, entered a guilty plea to obtaining confidential (think secret) from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and then using that info to further his career. Goldman fired Mr. Bansal, 30, after discovering the leak, and has altered its hiring practices for former government employees.

Billy Ray Valentine and Louis Winthorpe III (aka Dan Aykroyd) arranged to get the crops report in advance of marketing trading for the orange futures (aka OJ) market. They actually swiped the advance crop report from an operative hired by the corrupt Duke brothers. Intrigue, federal crimes, and other issues aside, Billy Ray and Louis retired with the Butler to sandy white beaches after bankrupting the Dukes. Goldman is alive and well and Mr. Bansal will be going elsewhere and will know on March 9, when his sentencing takes place.

Miss Pennsylvania U.S. International Charged with Theft By Deception

Brandi Weaver-Gates was charged with theft for allegedly setting up an online fundraising scheme to raise money for her cancer treatment. The alleged scheme was elaborate. Ms. Weaver-Gates shaved her head and had her family sit in a hospital waiting area while she was undergoing treatment. But, when police investigated she could not name physicians and no hospital had a record of her having been treated. She raised $14,000, but lost her title.

Classic Quotes

“he did a lot of ban things, and wrong things, and immoral things. perhaps. He didn’t intend to steal. He misappropriated funds, that’s completely clear. But he’s not charged with that.”

Richard Verchick, attorney for hedge fund manager, Mark Malik, in opening remarks to the jury in the trial of Mr. Malik on charges of stealing almost $850,000 from investors in his Wolf Hedge Fund. Stealing and misappropriating are tricky verbs, apparently not interchangeable in a court of law. Mr. Verchick also maintains that Mr. Malik did not try to cover up his crimes; he simply was trying to avoid failure. Ah, BIG difference.

“I always thought the infraction was like a traffic citation. But what I think of Tom, it hasn’t detracted from that.”

Hall of Famer quarterback Steve Young on Tom Brady and the Deflategate scandal.

Hall of Famer Warren Moon added, “I guarantee you he had some knowledge. Those guys (handling the footballs) are not going to do it if it’s something he doesn’t like. Whatever they’re told, they get it done. But I don’t think it’s that big of an advantage.”

Phil Simms, “My God, he won the Super Bowl, and all he deals with the whole offseason is, ‘Hey, Tom, what about the footballs?’ And on top of that, people are whispering behind his back. What a terrible injustice!” Mr. Simms added, “Where do you draw the line?”

Well, how about we draw it if you break the rules? And if it doesn’t make any difference, why have the rule? Lobby to get it changed. Football types surely do stick together! Especially when it comes to a lack of ethical reasoning.

Ethical Dilemmas

“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…)

Returning Slightly Used Shoes

Even the well seasoned Dillard’s manager was taken aback by this one. A customer brought in a pair of moderately expensive dress shoes, expressing a desire to return them because they just weren’t quite right. As the manager processed the order she checked inside the box to be sure that the shoes in the box were the shoes the matched the box – past experience dictated that follow-up on returns. The shoes were the correct ones for the box, but the customer had another issue. The shoes had masking tape on the bottom – masking tape that was dirty. When the manager returned to the customer (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

Available 1/31/2014 at
Somewhere Between Ezekiel & Miss Havisham - 365 Days At The Cemetery

Somewhere Between Ezekiel & Miss Havisham - 365 Days At The Cemetery

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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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