Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Those Ripples Build a Current

Each time a man stands up for an ideal,
or acts to improve the lot of others,
or strikes out against injustice,
he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope;
and crossing each other from a million
different centers of energy and daring,
those ripples build a current which
can sweep down the mightiest walls
of oppression and resistance.

~ Robert F. Kennedy, 1966

Of Note: Corruption consumes about $1 trillion dollars a year. That amount of money circulated in legitimate ways could change the world in very short order. Governments are taking note of the amount siphoned off illegally, particularly as their own belts have tightened due to the financial meltdown. The United States through the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act has been going after the bad guys for years but has recently joined forces with other international agencies to get deadly serious about the matter. Corporate corruption through payment of bribery is a current intensified focus. Huge fines are being levied as well as prosecution of executives. In response, corporations have implemented elaborate compliance programs to assure that workers do not bribe foreign officials. On the horizon is the Dodd-Frank whistleblower provision, which will pay for information leading to arrest and conviction of persons involved in corrupt corporate practices. Although they have been reluctant to do this before, it is believed that this will spur companies to come clean about their unsavory past of paying bribes and kickbacks. Next under the spotlight will be the investigation of Sovereign Trust Funds, where lavish spending has a long history, and the investigation of foreign corrupt officials by their own governments. Thankfully, the train is finally moving down the track. In its rail cars will be the trillions now available for the people rather than stolen by kleptocrats and other criminals, including the bankers, accountants and attorneys, who have been complicit in protecting them.

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