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Musings Around Town

  • Scared of the NSA? While the odd Congressional war on the NSA continues, you should be more concerned what Target, and all of corporate America, is doing to protect customer data security.
  • Last Thursday the U.S. government charged one of the world’s largest aluminum producers – Alcoa – with pay $100 million in bribes to government officials in Bahrain. The company agreed to pay $384 million to settle the case, making Alcoa one of the larger settlements in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement history. I suspect that the Congress will likely take a closer look at this case and, at minimum, Congressional staff briefings would be in order.
  • While on the subject of the FCPA and foreign corrupt practices, Tom Fox, Esq. penned an interesting piece on the ongoing official government corruption scandal in Turkey. If you’re an attorney or compliance professional, Tom has some solid advice for your clients: “the current political turmoil in Turkey provides an example of the diversity your compliance program and risk assessment must keep up. Just as it is important to perform due diligence on third party representatives, before execution of an appropriate contract, the real work is in managing the relationship.” In other words, fulsome and ongoing relationships are critical to the overall success of your compliance program. The process does not end just because you’ve done due diligence and signed a few forms.
  • Cuba Travel “Tip” #1: The Cuban regime made an outrageously funny decree last week, taxi cabs are now “legal”. If you own a cab, you’ll be able to keep a very small part of your hacks and the rest?  To the Communist Party coffers. This shows how out of touch the Party leaders continue to be. There is no reform in Cuba. They just made life a whole lot harder for people. Taxi drivers make more money in Cuba than doctors. They are not about to hand over money to the state.
  • The DiploPundit needs your help. Pay them a visit. I’m still wondering who these bloggers may be. While ideologically we are likely on different galaxies, it’s an informative blog. A great read on some of the happenings over at Foggy Bottom.
  • Cuba Travel Tip #2:  If you decide to take a risk with your life and visit Cuba, read the fine print found on State Department Travel Warnings. Also, remember that Americans have died in Cuba under suspicious circumstances.
  • Virginia has a new governor. And the Clinton machine Democrat has started extending olive branches to the GOP. God help us and those of us who live in the Commonwealth.
  • Congress will hold hearings on the Internet Sales Tax. It should be a short hearing, just don’t do it. If only.
  • Blaming Bush for just about all that is wrong in the world never seems to go out of style.
  • Cuba Travel Tip #3: save your money and visit another Caribbean island. For example, the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico.



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