SCANDALS: The American Way?

As they have expanded round the world, U.S.-based multinational corporations have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into dozens of foreign countries. In some of these, outright bribery or thinly disguised payoffs to politicians are the accepted way of getting just about anything done—from obtaining routine licenses to killing unfavorable tax legislation. "There is no universal ethical absolute," says Gulf Oil Corp. Chairman Bob Dorsey. "What is immoral to some is perfectly correct to others." The willingness of American corporations to go along with this system has now exploded into a spreading scandal, and the bad publicity has...

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