Friday, November 05, 2010


When will the Justice Department realize that bribery is just the cost of doing business in many other countries. The only thing USDJ is accomplishing is to let companies that have no presence in the U.S. get the business American companies would otherwise get. Uncle Sam is not going to stop the worldwide practice of business bribery.

Besides that, bribery is not uncommon in the U.S. The pharmaceutical companies ply doctors with gifts. Salesmen often take their clients out to eat, to play golf, to strip clubs and sometimes even - hold your breath - furnish them with prostitutes. And what do you think all those lobbyists in Washington do?
By Richard Connelly
Houston Press Hair Balls
November 4, 2010
Be prepared to lose all faith in -- well, if not humanity, per se, at least capitalism and government officials in Nigeria.

It appears -- are you sitting down? -- that bribery is sometimes used when American companies try to do business in Russia, Nigeria, Angola and Kazakhstan. Yes, a country that ends in "stan" has people who take bribes.

The U.S. Attorney's Office here in Houston announced today that a bunch of companies will be paying more than $156 million in fines because of all the bribes they paid to "git r done" in various locales around the world.

The court documents are here, but the bare, shocking truth is that many bureaucrats' families in Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan will be going hungry, or at the very least slumming down to store brands instead of imports.

The Swiss company Panalpina World Transport got the biggest hit in terms of fines, but others Royal Dutch Shell, Transocean, Tidewater Marine, Noble Corporation and Pride International.

The full line-up of bribe-taking countries: Angola, Azerbaijan, Brazil, India, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, Turkmenistan and Venezuela.

We are glad to report that the bribery problem is now apparently solved in all these places.

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