Joyce L. Arnold, Liberally Independent, Queer Talk, equality activist, writer.
Subtitle of this post: Why OWS Remains Active and Important
A press release from Labaton Sucharow LLP, July 10, 2012, Financial Services Professionals Feel Unethical Behavior May Be a Necessary Evil and Have Knowledge of Workplace Misconduct is not surprising in its conclusions, but no less disturbing even if no one is shocked.
Labaton Sucharow LLP today announced the results of its survey of 500 financial services professionals across the United States and United Kingdom. Conducted by Populus in June, Wall Street, Fleet Street and Main Street: Corporate Integrity at a Crossroads reveals startling data on corporate ethics, the regulatory landscape, and individuals’ willingness to blow the whistle on wrongdoing. The survey is being released in conjunction with the launch of the firm’s SEC Whistleblower Eligibility Calculator, an innovative web-based tool to enable users to assess their eligibility for the SEC Whistleblower Program.
According to the survey, 24 percent of respondents reported a belief that financial services professionals may need to engage in unethical or illegal conduct in order to be successful, while 26 percent of respondents indicated that they had observed or had firsthand knowledge of wrongdoing in the workplace. Particularly troubling, 16 percent of respondents reported that they would commit a crime—insider trading—if they could get away with it.
The report includes the question, “Are Whistleblowers the Answer?” and discusses the SEC Whistleblower Program.
While Labaton Sucharow’s survey found that 94 percent of respondents would report wrongdoing given the protections and incentives such as those offered by the SEC Whistleblower Program, only 44 percent of respondents were aware of this important investor protection program.
Scepticism and uncertainty about employers’ handling of claims of misconduct persist. One in five of the professionals surveyed weren’t sure of, or had serious doubts about, how their employers would handle a report of wrongdoing. In addition, in the U.S., gender was a factor in attitudes toward retaliation; 22 percent of female respondents believe that they would be retaliated against if they reported wrongdoing in the workplace, compared with 12 percent of male respondents.
About the subtitle to this post, “Why OWS Remains Active and Important” – there are multiple actions occurring regularly, and ongoing planning, learning, evolving, nationally and internationally. No, you won’t read about it unless you look for it, or maybe see a local action in local coverage. I continue to focus on this because I continue to think such efforts are absolutely essential. In my opinion, the results of the Labaton Sucharow survey are just one more indication that “essential” is not an exaggeration. Add to that the distractions of presidential year election games, and the continued need for a call to pay attention to Wall Street, and what it represents, seems clear.
American Autumn: an Occudoc was recently released. Via OWS News:
Shot on the front lines and meeting spaces of the Occupy movement in NYC, Boston, and Washington, DC from the earliest days through the end of January 2012, American Autumn: an Occudoc is an inside looking out view of the occupy movement.
With interviews and insight from key organizers, thinkers and activists including Medea Benjamin, David Degraw, Dr. Margaret Flowers, Lee Camp, Naomi Klein, Nathan Schneider, Ashley Sanders, Vlad Teichberg, Sgt. Shamar Thomas, Dr. Cornel West, Kevin Zeese and many more, writer/ director Dennis Trainor Jr weaves commentary and a fearless style that often puts the viewer right between police and protesters.
From the film, two comments. First,
Todd Gitlin: ‘Most people have a practical streak, and they want to be able to believe that this kind of activity should deliver results. And so that’s the burden on a movement, to show that.’
It’s a very heavy, but vital, “burden.” And as always, it’s an up-mountain battle, among others reasons, because 1) “showing” results is directly related to how much and what kind of coverage is given; 2) short attention spans; and 3) the fact that a movement’s evolution is generally messy and on public display.
Second comment, from an Occupier:
‘We had our chance for reform, and that was Barack Obama. That was our last chance for reform. Now, Occupy Wall Street, this is a revolution … .’
Relate this perspective to the survey above. Whatever your point of view, whatever your conclusions, there is a connection between talk of “revolution” and “financial services professionals” thinking unethical or even illegal behavior is required to do their job.
(We Need a Revolution photo via Occupii)