July 17th, 2013
This week Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who leaked information about the National Security Agency’s data collection program, may be allowed to leave his temporary station at the Moscow International Airport, where he has been staying since he fled Hong Kong in June. Snowden’s leak has brought the concept of whistleblowing into sharp focus in our headlines lately, including the controversies over the relative benefits and costs of these individuals and programs that support them. As in the case of Snowden, the concept of whistleblowing can be controversial, and it is always painful for the entity or government who is...
July 10th, 2013
Under the standard economic theory of crime, compliance with laws is a mix of two important factors. One: the penalty that results if the offender is caught and 2: the probability of the offender getting caught in the first place. If the fine is proportional to the crime, but the probability of being caught is almost certain, few will risk it. In the same way, if the probability of being caught is low, but the penalty is very high, again few will risk it.
Gary Becker—the libertarian economist who wrote Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach, an...
December 10th, 2012
This thought-provoking documentary from Exposure looks at the British Bribery Act and overseas bribery by British companies. In particular, it focuses on extractive industry companies in Nigeria. The documentary quotes Task Force member Global Witness's Simon Taylor, and highlights the push for a Dodd-Frank 1504-style transparency law for European companies.
November 14th, 2012
Today, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released long-awaited guidance on Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement. The FCPA prohibits U.S. multinationals from bribing foreign officials in almost all cases. It is considered the keystone anti-bribery law in the world, and has been vigorously enforced over the past decade by the U.S. Department of Justice, after a spotty record of enforcement since its 1977 passage.