Here are some headlines from Friday, December 21, 2018. They speak for themselves about the increasing prevalence of ethical lapses:
“Merrill Settles With Regulator,” Wall Street Journal, p. B10 (settlement of $6 million with FINRA for selling shares early in companies it was taking public (IPOs) early to family and friends)
“EU Probes Banks Over Suspected Collusion,” Wall Street Journal,” p. B10 — Yes, despite what happened with LIBOR rates in 2016, the EU has requested records from Deutsche, Credit Suisse, and Bank of America in an investigation into collusion on bond-market manipulation.
“McKinsey Had Dual Roles in GenOn,” Wall Street Journal, p. B10 –In an ongoing issue of conflicts with McKinsey’s role as a bankruptcy adviser, McKinsey failed to disclose to the bankruptcy court that its retirement fund held investments in hedge funds that were creditors of GenCo Energy. McKinsey was serving as an adviser in the GenCo bankruptcy and, ergo, had an interest in the outcome of who gets what in the distributions. McKinsey says its investment arm for its retirement fund is entirely separate and independent. However, just a question from the Barometer’s simple mind: Aren’t the folks working on the bankruptcy beneficiaries of their firm’s retirement fund? A judge screening McKinsey as a potential adviser in the Westmoreland Coal Co. bankruptcy said, “I don’t like being misled, and transparency and honesty are things I believe in.” We used to all believe in those things.
“German Magazine Says Reporter Made Up Facts,” Wall Street Journal, A7; and “German Reporter Made Up Stories and Now Critics Are ‘Popping the Corks,'” New York Times, p. B3. — Der Spiegel published the epic falsehoods of Claas Relotius, including made-up dialogues, characters, and story lines. In the U.S., it is called “fake news.” In Germany, it is Lugenpresse, or “Lying press.” In ethics, we call it just plain wrong. If you want composite characters and intense dialogue, write a novel, not stories for publication as news.
“After 2 Abuse Settlements, Why Is This Priest Still Saying Mass?” New York Times, p. A21. The Catholic Church is certainly all about forgiveness, even after paying two six-figure settlements to one accuser and the widow of another. Forgiveness is one thing; suggesting another line of work is the necessary next step.
Last one, and no day is complete without another #MeToo headline:
“Weinstein’s Request for Case Dismissal Is Rejected by Judge,” New York Times, p. A23.