Trust Digest 16 (August 10, 2013)


Obama Pledges Greater Transparency in Surveillance Programs
President Barack Obama announced plans on Friday to limit sweeping U.S. government surveillance programs that have come under criticism since leaks by a former spy agency contractor, saying the United States "can and must be more transparent."
Key Words: Surveillance, Transparency
Trust Issue: Transparency


BofA Sued by U.S. Over Mortgage Securities: Justice Department Alleges Bank Understated Risks in 2008 Sale
The U.S. government charged Tuesday that Bank of America Corp. defrauded investors when it sold $850 million worth of mortgage-backed securities, a new hurdle in the bank's quest to persuade investors its legal troubles are in the past.
Key Words: Bank of America, SEC Investigations, Mortgage Securities
Trust Issues: Responsibility, Accountability


'London Whale' Unlikely to Face Charges: SEC Wants J.P. Morgan to Admit Wrongdoing in Any 'London Whale' Settlement

Bruno Iksil, the former trader known as the "London whale," is unlikely to face charges related to bets that backfired into losses of more than $6 billion for J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., according to people close to the matter.
Key Words: London Whale, Bruno Iksil, SEC Investigations
Trust Issues: Responsibility, Accountability, Transparency


Corporate Person in the News: Mark Wilson, Chief Executive, Aviva
It was a tough crowd. The shareholders in Aviva who gathered to hear Mark Wilson explain how he planned to revive the insurance company’s fortunes had just seen their incomes slashed by his decision to cut its dividend, writes Alistair Gray. Yet the new chief executive’s speech at the annual meeting, which he delivered without notes, charmed some of Aviva’s most ardent critics.
Key Word: Leadership
Trust Issues: Leadership, Communication


Timeline: China’s Investigations
Foreign-owned companies have been in the Chinese regulators’ spotlight this year with high-profile probes into infant formula and drug pricing. An interactive timeline.
Key Words: Regulation, Ethics
Trust Issues: Transparency, Ethics, Accountability


The Trial of Fabrice Tourre - Collective Guilt: The Verdict Against a Former Trader Exposes Goldman Sachs
Were Fabrice Tourre merely an ordinary defendant in a case brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), it would be time to forget his name. But on August 1st a jury in a Manhattan federal court found him liable on six counts of securities fraud undefined including one of “aiding and abetting” his former employer, Goldman Sachs. This means that a jury has found that the world’s most successful investment bank has done something wrong undefined and that the case may be far from over.
Key Words: Rogue Trader, Fraud
Trust Issues: Transparency, Ethics, Accountability


Many D.C. Think Tanks Now Players in Partisan Wars
Not long ago, Washington’s think tanks constituted a rarefied world of policy-minded scholars supported by healthy endowments and quietly sought solutions to some of the nation’s biggest challenges. But now Congress and the executive branch are served a limitless feast of supposedly independent research from hundreds of nonprofit institutions that are pursuing fiercely partisan agendas and are funded by undisclosed corporations, wealthy individuals, or both.
Key Words: Think Tanks, Lobbying
Trust Issues: Integrity, Ethics, Transparency


How To Nudge Us To Do The Right Thing More Often
Since most of us are passive about making decisions, opt out systems can nudge us to act smarter, yet are hotly-contested.  Some nudges are devious and others are more like a shove. Between the opt-in or opt-out methods is a middle approach that more people would probably find fair.  The mandated choice.  That’s when the system requires individuals to make a choice. For example, citizens in Illinois, when renewing their driver’s license are required to choose whether or not they want to be an organ donor?” Consequently the state now has a 60 percent donor signup rate as compared with the national rate of 38 percent. What other behavior could an organization improve, using an opt-out option?
Key Words: Opt-out, Consent
Trust Issues: Integrity, Ethics, Transparency


Hero or Villain? The Strange Case of HSBC Whistleblower Hervé Falciani

Hervé Falciani says he is proud of his role in exposing secret Swiss accounts, even though he says he continues to receive death threats and is under protection by French government bodyguards. “I’m willing to take risks, to expose a problem and put in place the structures to fight it,” he says. And he predicts that more explosive disclosures will come from the investigations he triggered. “We’re just at the beginning,” he says.
Key Word: Whistleblower
Trust Issues: Integrity, Ethics


Marketers Underestimate Consumers’ Liking for CSR
Marketers are underestimating the importance of purpose-driven marketing and corporate social responsibility to their consumers, according to new research presented at the World Federation of Advertisers’ annual conference last week in Brussels.
Key Word: Corporate Social Responsibility
Trust Issues: Responsibility, Benevolent Concern, Ethics, Integrity


Obama Fraud Task Force Takes on the Big Banks
The criminal investigation of JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s mortgage-backed securities practice is evidence a U.S. Justice Department task force set up to investigate causes of the financial crisis is finally getting some traction against banks blamed for ruining the economy.
Key Word: Fraud
Trust Issues: Responsibility, Accountability


ICSI Welcomes Passage of Companies Bill 2012 by Parliament
Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) President S. N. Ananthasubramanian has hailed the passage of Companies Bill, 2012 passed by the Parliament, and said that the new law promises improved corporate governance norms, enhanced disclosures and transparency, facilitation of responsible entrepreneurship, increased accountability of company managements and auditors, protection of interest of investors particularly small and minority investors, better shareholder democracy, facilitation of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and stricter enforcement processes.
Key Words: Corporate Social Responsibility, Regulation
Trust Issue: Accountability


Mood of the Nation Survey Says People Still Care About Brands' Ethics
Do brands have a role to play in improving people's well-being or have people become so cynical of brand communications that nothing companies do can have an impact? Havas Media's Meaningful Brands research, for instance, shows that Europeans believe that only 5% of brands make their lives notably better and wouldn't be bothered if 93% of brands disappeared entirely.
Key Words: Communications, Ethics
Trust Issues: Responsibility, Ethics


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