Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Toxic Toshiba

Corporate governance took two major hits this week, as Samsung agreed an insider-friendly merger within Korea over substantial opposition, and Toshiba in Japan admitted six years of "overstating profits" (deliberate accounting fraud of at least 1500億円 = more than US$1.2 billion).

When convenient, both Japan & Korea still play as "weak little brother" -- unseemly & absurd if evaluating multinational public corporations with global ownership. Samsung group generated at least US$325 billion in 2013 sales. Japanese blue chip Toshiba now mirrors Olympus as incapable of basic arithmetic, sneaky & corrupt. 

A few Toshiba executives agreeing to resign is ridiculous; this should attract severe criminal punishment. The deception was systematic and long term, damaging Japan's credibility.

Go to any accounting department in Japan and watch them calculate every yen, multiple times, in a horrendous bureaucracy. Dozens of dirty Toshiba employees & corporate auditors should be liable for criminal charges. They should serve time in prison alongside TEPCO executives and government regulators responsible for Fukushima's nuclear pollution.

But Japan's corruption, like the US and it's dirty financial system, will likely ignore these crimes. Thousands of people are locked-up for minor crimes, but big criminals remain free. Major US war criminals continue to travel & talk shit. It's a fucked-up world.