These talks create a great opportunity for me to help students understand ethical issues and importance while gaining insight into what future business leaders face in their current professional settings.
It was an absolute pleasure to speak to the graduating class of the Executive MBA program at the University of Texas at Dallas recently.
Paxton, who was first elected as Texas Attorney General in 2015, is the top law enforcement officer in Texas. He is responsible for over 4,000 employees and 117 offices around the state, and may finally see some accountability thanks to Texas Whistleblower Act.
The Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX), passed in 2002 after the failures of Enron and Worldcom, specifically addressed internal controls and oversight responsibilities for all publicly-traded companies, including banks. SOX mandates that management must establish and maintain “effective” internal controls and must publish a separate “Internal Controls Report” certifying the effectiveness of its internal controls and certifying that there is no fraud.
The class discussed the case about my experience at Citigroup “Write to Rubin? – Pressure on Underwriting Standards at Citigroup,” focusing on whether or not there were viable alternatives to my writing my email warning Robert Rubin (who was named Chairman of the Citigroup Board of Directors the following day) about the massive fraud I had discovered involving the underwriting and selling of mortgage loans.
students fully recognized the need for ethical behavior and decision-making and the absolute importance of maintaining their personal ethics in their careers. This recognition, truly, is the only way our country can reverse the continued ethical decline we have witnessed.
n the Q&A session at the conclusion of my talk, a student asked me about the possibility of another financial crisis, and I told the class that there was no doubt in my mind that our country would be going into another financial crisis, although I could not predict the timing or circumstances involved.
Little did I know at the time that the second and third largest bank failures in our country’s history would be announced that weekend!
Unethical and illegal behavior in both our corporate and government arenas caused our last financial crisis and will, inevitably, cause future financial crises which will harm millions more. Our only hope to change the dangerous direction our country is taking is for individuals who witness illegal and unethical behavior to effectively report that behavior.
This holiday season, I think of the past year and of those who have supported my efforts to inspire a more ethical world. I hope that this year has been just as memorable for you, your friends, and your loved ones as it has for me. Have a peaceful holiday season and a prosperous new… [Read More]
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