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Banking Ethics: What Can We Learn from the Wells Fargo Disaster?

Wells Fargo was caught red-handed when their bank employees were pressured to open as many as two million banking and credit card accounts without customers’ knowledge. The pressure was applied directly from above to the retail banking employees with threats that if they didn’t produce, they would be out of jobs.  Banking ethics are at the forefront of this scandal and not likely banking-ethics-wells-fargosomething that Wells Fargo thought much about when the actions of the retails banking folks were cranking fake sales.

In an industry marked by mistrust and misdeeds, the Wells Fargo scandal set a new low for unethical behavior and fraud.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Articles, Banking Ethics and tagged ,

Social Media Ethics: Fake Accounts Spoof Investors – 3 Lessons

Those of us who use the social media are often lulled into a sense of false security. It is only natural; cyber-space is a wide open affair used by virtually everyone and every organization.  Social Media ethics is a developing field, but one that should not be hard to get our heads around.

Social Media ScamsIn our minds (and I include myself) there is no reason for a major company to get online and lie to us. Why, we might reason, would Home Depot, Starbucks, Chevrolet or Target mislead us on the social media? And for the most part, they don’t. In fact, major organizations have entire staffs to handle all of the aspects of social media.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Articles and tagged , , , , , ,

Imprisonment for Peanut Butter Executive: Stewart Parnell

What is the price of unethical behavior? For peanut executive Stewart Parnell, it is 28 years in prison. He is 61 and he will undoubtedly die behind bars. However his intentional sale of peanut butter containing salmonella resulted in the deaths of nine people and sickened hundreds. He is a callous murderer.

Peanut Corporation of AmericaAccording to the Associated Press (September 21, 2015) entitled: “Peanut executive in salmonella case gets 28 years,” we learn:

“Stewart Parnell, the 61-year-old former owner of Peanut Corporation of America, was sentenced in Albany, Georgia, He and two co-defendants were convicted in U.S. District Court.

Jurors found Parnell knowingly sold tainted peanut butter from his Georgia plant and faked results of lab tests intended to screen for salmonella. Court officers recommended a life sentence based on reports that the outbreak cost Parnell’s customers $144 million and sickened 714 people.”

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Articles, Business and Personal Ethics, business ethics, Corporate Ethics and tagged , , , , , , ,

Medicare Fraud and DaVita Drug Waste – Is this an Ethical Problem?

In 2013, the total government Medicare outlay for patient care was about $492 billion. By the end of this year, we will be at around $524 billion. It is no small financial matter. We often wonder where all of these costs come from. The following story, involving DaVita Healthcare Partners, Inc. (the company with the dialysis centers) might give us a little indication of the origins of the costs and waste.

DaVitaIn an article for Reuters by Jonathan Stempel (May 4, 2015) entitled: “DaVita to pay $450 mln in Medicare fraud lawsuit over wasted drugs,” we get a glimpse into the unethical craziness that has become our healthcare system. Granted, a $450 million lawsuit is small potatoes compared to $492 billion, but it’s a decent start.

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VA Steps in the Right Ethical Direction: Bob McDonald “Goes to War”

Veterans in this country deserve more – and they haven’t gotten it.

Bob McDonaldThe rotten treatment of our veterans came to light after whistleblowers at the Phoenix VA came forward and informed the world that veterans were dying while awaiting treatment. We learned there were secret appointment lists that were hidden by hospital administrators and that appointment records that veterans were supposedly put on in good faith, were nothing more than window dressing. Any pretense of ethical behavior in the Phoenix VA was dashed by this scandal.

In a nation that spends billions of dollars on professional sports where athletes dress in camouflage and giant flags are unfolded to stirring patriotic tunes, the thought that men and women who fought in wars going all the way back to WWII were intentionally being denied treatment was nothing short of outrageous.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Articles, Ethics - Political, Political Ethics, politics, Veterans

The Ethics of the Knee Defender

I had a neighbor, and we’ll call her “Catherine.” She was the neighborhood busybody, and her favorite pastime was gossiping to one neighbor about another neighbor, and then going to the other neighbor – and, you guessed it, playing that neighbor against the first. When Catherine “did her job right,” the two neighbors would enter into screaming matches and indeed, one neighbor even tried to choke the other. Catherine had a small life, but it illustrates an important Knee Defenderpoint about the airlines and the infamous knee defender.

If you have flown anywhere in the past 10 years, you will note that passenger planes have become more cramped and uncomfortable. You pay more for leg room (all of four inches) in addition to paying more for just about anything the airlines consider an extra. At this point the only “free things” you can get is the miserable, recycled air and access to the filthy bathrooms.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Articles and tagged , ,

Lauren Bloom guest on Straight Talk Radio with Chuck Gallagher

There are times when those of us who speak on ethics find out paths crossing.  When in NYC for a TV show I had the opportunity to meet another guest on the show – Lauren Bloom – a lovely talented speaker on The Art of the Apology and business ethics.  Today she is my guest here on Straight Talk Radio.   A link to her site is here: LaurenBloom.com

Lauren BloomLikewise if you’d prefer listening to the show – here’s a link to the broadcast:  Lauren Bloom on Straight Talk Radio

Tired of traditional talk? People pontificating about this or that? The left or the right? Sometimes the truth is just off lost in the noise. Having learned life lessons the hard way, Chuck Gallagher, international speaker and author, cuts through the noise to share truth through transparency!

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Articles, Straight Talk Radio and tagged , , , ,

“Jesus doesn’t belong in football” – The Ethics of Religion in Sports

There is probably no more incendiary ethical mixture than religion and Division I sports. The mixture is doubly inflammable when the Division I team is team plays for a state funded university. The issue is defined in an article for Fox News by Todd Starnes (January 16, 2014) entitled: “UConn rebukes coach, says Jesus doesn’t belong in football.”  Hence the discussion about the ethics of religion in sports.

UConn EthicsThe issue began when, Ernest Jones, the team’s new coach and director of player engagement was quoted in The Hartford Courant newspaper as saying:

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Articles, Sports Ethics and tagged , , , , , , ,

When Good People Make Bad Choices – the Human Side of Ethics

“Never in my wildest dreams did I see this coming. When I first started “borrowing” from the company I had every intent of paying back what I took. Heck, I did pay some of it back…at least at the beginning!” Those were the words Mark said as he confessed that the life he was living was, for the most part, an illusion. Truth be told, Mark, for all his legitimate successes, had over time become no more than a liar and a thief. His choices created consequences that he never dreamed ethics1were possible.

Mark’s recantation of his ethical fall is all too common. People who fold their arms stating “I would never do something illegal much less unethical!” find that what triggers inappropriate behavior is a basic part of human nature. We are all subject to temptation and therefore can and do make bad choices.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Articles, Ethical Behavior, ethics, Ethics - Political, ethics training and tagged , , , , , , ,

Building a Culture of Business Ethics in Your Company – Value the Whistleblower!

Roger, a good friend and an ethical individual, was at a business conference last week with a co-worker, Sam, who decided to take a few of his subordinates out for an evening of entertainment – entertainment not sanctioned by the company. The next day, as Sam was preparing to submit his receipts for his expense whistleblowerreport, Roger noticed that he was submitting the receipts for his prior night’s activities. More importantly, Roger noticed that Sam’s description on the receipts was inaccurate. Sam flatout lied on his expense report.  This is a business ethics issue that’s all too common.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Articles and tagged , , , , ,