Communication Ethics

Topics: Ethics, Business ethics, Morality Pages: 70 (21156 words) Published: June 19, 2013
Communication Ethics
Never suffer a thought to be harbored in your mind which you would not avow openly. When tempted to do anything in secret, ask yourself if you would do it in public. If you would not, be sure it is wrong. Letter from Thomas Jefferson to his grandson Francis Eppes, age 14, Monticello, May 21, 1816

Pick up the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times any given morning and look through sections A and C. The news is not especially encouraging: “AUCTION” BROKERS ARE CHARGED. Authorities Say Ex-Credit Suisse Employees Misled Investors. A federal grand jury in Brooklyn indicted two former Credit Suisse Group Brokers, alleging that they lied to investors about how $1 billion of their money was placed into short-term securities. The 12-page indictment describes how the brokers, Julian Tzolov and Eric Butler, allegedly misled corporate clients around the world, primarily through e-mails. The brokers made it appear as if the securities were backed by federally guaranteed students loans, when in fact they were tied to riskier mortgage products and other debt that earned the brokers higher commissions, according to the indictment.1 On other days, it’s likely to be a story like this: FORMER EXECUTIVE TO PAY $200 MILLION TO SETTLE S.E.C. FRAUD CHARGES. A former chief executive of the AremisSoft Corporation, a defunct software company, has agreed to pay $200 million to settle fraud accusations made by the Securities and Exchange Commission. That is about the amount of the unlawful profit that the commission said he made trading AremisSoft stock in 2000. The executive, Roys Poyiadjis, also agreed to a lifelong ban on running a public company. He did not admit or deny wrongdoing. The S.E.C. said the settlement, which it announced yesterday, was among the largest it has made with an individual. 59

Management Communication: A Case-Analysis Approach, Fourth Edition, by James S. O'Rourke, IV. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2010 by Pearson Education, Inc.

000200010270582216

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Chapter 3



Communication Ethics

Mr. Poyiadjis and his fellow executive, Lycourgos Kyprianou, who is still a defendant in a civil lawsuit filed by the commission, issued at least three false statements about AremisSoft’s financial condition from 1999 to 2001, the S.E.C. said.2 While the recent list of convictions ranges from Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski to Enron and WorldCom executives to Martha Stewart (good grief!), it’s not always chief executives and senior corporate officers who find themselves in ethical and legal trouble. Often, it’s a young college graduate, confronted with choices she wasn’t required to think about in college. AN EMPLOYEE ON WALL ST. IS ARRESTED. Said to Profit from Her Position of Trust. Prosecutors said yesterday that they had arrested a brokerage firm employee responsible for protecting market-sensitive information and charged her with using the information to profit from insider trading. The employee . . . , an analyst in the legal department at Morgan Stanley, DeanWitter, Discover & Company, was arrested on Monday at work and charged on Tuesday with grand larceny, possession of stolen property, scheming to defraud, commercial bribe receiving, and securities fraud, the office of District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau of Manhattan said. Investigators indicated at a news conference yesterday that they expected to make more arrests. . . . [She] is said to have sold to other unnamed parties her advance knowledge of a revamping of Georgia Pacific, and—just last week—sold proprietary information about a Morgan Stanley analyst’s forthcoming downgrade of Einstein Bagels stock. “Whenever you have a market as heated as this market is, there’s a temptation for someone with inside information to trade on it,” Mr. Morgenthau said. [The employee] is a law school graduate who, according to one investigator, earned a [substantial salary] at Morgan Stanley. She lives on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. . . .3 A...
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