By Luke Balleny
A critical look at some of the good governance stories from the past week.
This story about CalPERS, the biggest U.S. public pension fund, and its intention to vote against the re-election of the Wal-Mart board, is interesting for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the Waltons - descendants of Wal-Mart founder, Sam Walton- own nearly half of Wal-Mart’s shares making the CalPERS vote largely symbolic. Secondly, while CalPERS undoubtedly has the best of intentions, I wonder what the former employees of California State think? My bet is that given that Wal-Mart shares are at a 12 year high, they’re saying “Don’t rock the boat!”
Indians must feel like they’re waiting for Godot. Forty years after India’s anti-graft Lokpal bill was first announced, yet another parliamentary session has come and gone without the bill becoming law. Last August, the passage of the Lokpal bill was regularly discussed even in British newpapers thanks to the publicity created by hunger striking anti-graft activist Anna Hazare. Now, the bill has been mothballed (at least temporarily) and not a single British newspaper gave it a paragraph.
The reputation of London’s Metropolitan police has taken a battering of late after allegations that a member of the Met’s Anti-Corruption Unit took bribes from a private investigator. To make matters even worse, the investigator was ultimately working for convicted Nigerian fraudster, James Ibori. How does that happen, and as Chandu Krishnan, the head of Transparency International – UK asked “Who will police the police?”
A partnership between private equity giant KKR and anti-graft watchdog Transparency International may become the norm as companies look to eradicate potential legal and reputation risks from their supply chain. The announcement is a public relations coup for KKR but what does TI get from the partnership? For a non-profit with limited resources, should TI be sitting in on KKR’s best practice meetings?
No, “On the Waterfront” with Marlon Brando is not being rereleased. The headline comes from Australian newspaper, The Age which reports that the Australian government has created two crime fighting taskforces to tackle a surge in organised crime on the Melbourne and Brisbane waterfronts.
There’s a stereotype that models are not particularly intelligent but like most stereotypes, there’s very little basis in fact. That being said, this model, who boasted on twitter about bribing a traffic policeman, is doing nothing to dispel the stereotype...