Uncle Charlie's not amused

rogerkirk rogerkirk@mail.ttlc.net
Sat Feb 7 00:46:39 EST 2004

Someone wrote:
>>>"General Tire was maintaining slush funds for such uses as improper overseas payments and questionable campaign contributions," Time later reported (8/24/87), and "allegedly filed false and misleading financial statements." Of particular concern was RKO's lack of candor in reporting these wrongdoings to the FCC.<<

"Sid Schweiger" replied
>The lack-of-candor issue aside (and that will get virtually any >broadcast license yanked rather quickly), the government completely 
>ignored the fact that such "improper payments" are a necessary cost of 
>doing business in numerous countries.  To put it bluntly, you don't 
>move things along without greasing the right palms.  Chances are 
>General Tire had an accountant who didn't know how to hide such things 
>from the government, and got caught, but for the governemnt to apply 
>American standards to other countries is just plain dumb.

AT one company I worked for, there was a policy prohibiting employees from bribing government officials and influential people at vendors, but there was a specific exclusion referred to as "Facilitating Payments" made to appropriate foreighn officials to expedite shipping, approvals, etc. I believe it hinged on whether the payments were specifically prohibited in the country in question.  If not prohibited, then it was agreed that they would be considered proper and legal.

IIRC, General Tire also had certain broadcast license renewals contingent on the outcome of investigations into  alleged "irregularities" in supplying tires to the State Police in one or more states.  Anybody recall that issue?

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