Trump, the Coup, and Corporate Ethics


Corporate America might be hoping that the difficult issues raised by President Trump’s attempted coup this week and the remaining days of his term will somehow pass them by. Too bad.  What Trump has unleashed isn’t something businesses will be able to avoid. In several practical ways, dealing with Trump and his minions — both…

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The Biden Administration & Compliance


Well, thank the Lord this is ending. The Trump Administration has given the United States (and the world) four years of ignorance, incompetence, immorality, greed, divisiveness, and corruption. President Trump has been a singular menace to this country and the American experiment; and also to corporations that have struggled to navigate the cultural divisions Trump…

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The Sound & Fury of Trump Regulation


Setting corporate strategy and regulatory compliance has never easy during the Trump Administration, and an article from the New York Times earlier this week demonstrates why that’s so. The article is worth a compliance officer’s time, since it’s quite possible we’re about to enter a period of even greater regulatory and political mess. The piece…

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What the Shootings Mean for Ethics & Compliance

This week Tom Fox and I dedicated our usual Compliance Into the Weeds podcast to the ethics and compliance implications of the mass shootings that happened in El Paso and Dayton last weekend. Nobody relishes analyzing something so painful for so many — but corporations are foolish to ignore what’s happening in this country, and…

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Ethics Lessons in Trump Tweets

Occasionally President Trump raises some thought-provoking points for ethics and compliance officers. Not the usual stupid stuff showcasing the ethical decay of the Trump Administration, mind you — but rather, genuinely relevant issues about corporate ethics and compliance programs, that don’t always have clear answers. Trump did that twice this week, which is two times…

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Thoughts on Workplace Violence Risks


A grimly well-timed survey landed on my desk this week, examining trends in employee background checks and “workplace security incidents.” It underlines the challenge companies face today when trying to perform employee background checks and to reduce the risk of workplace violence. The report comes from Endera, a tech firm that sells software to help…

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Salesforce Runs Into Trump Risk

Trump Risk

Another intriguing dimension to Trump Risk emerged last week, this time involving and a tart rebuke from one of the groups fighting to stop the Trump Administration from separating migrant families at the border. The story is this: In March, Salesforce signed a contract to provide staffing software and services to the U.S. Customs…

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Bad Control Environments Ruin Everything


The compliance and audit worlds like to rely on lingo such as “control environment” and “control activities” all the time. The scandal of Corporate America’s payments to Michael Cohen, personal lawyer and fixer to President Trump, reminds us what those words really mean, and why a bad control environment can sour all the control activities you…

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Oh Lord, Michael Cohen Risk Is Now a Thing


The lawyer for Stormy Daniels dropped yet another eye-popping allegation Tuesday afternoon: that some of the biggest names in Corporate America gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to Michael Cohen via the same shell company he used to give Daniels $130,000 in hush money just before the 2016 election. That gasping sound you hear is…

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Trump Tests Corporate America’s Commitment to Values

Core Values

Yet again, on a certain abstract level, corporate compliance officers owe President Trump a debt of thanks. Rarely has one chief executive given us so many lessons to learn about poor tone at the top and unethical behavior. This week’s lessons, of course, stem from the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. over the weekend.…

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