Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) is dragging its feet when it comes to bribery allegations and investigations. Wal-Mart shared that a previously disclosed investigation into bribery at its overseas units expanded into markets including Brazil, China and India.
Well of course it did. Regardless of what you think of Wal-Mart, operating in Brazil, China and India on the scale that they are interested in requires lots of local co-operation. The ethics and morals not to mention legal structures in those parts lends itself to bribes.
At this point almost all if not all the alleged bribes were to further Wal-Mart interests. There is little to no sign of personal enrichment at the expense of Wal-Mart. So the investigation will uncover lots of morally repugnant we must hold our nose details. There will be a fine which will amount to a speeding ticket and then back to EPS and what do we need to do to make it grow.
The New York Times (NYSE:NYT) article focuses more on how Wal-Mart managed the hot potato and not on why the local culture forced it into this behaviour pattern.
Faux outrage everywhere. The Mexican lesson to other businesses is to pay the bribe. NYT claims some $32 million were paid out. Small price to achieve the growth the Mexican market gave them.
This will go away. NYT articles to the contrary.
George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective. Follow him on twitter@financialskepti
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