SCANDALS: A Record of Corporate Corruption

The record of U.S. corporations indulging in bribes, kickbacks and political payoffs is already voluminous; yet it is sure to swell. The Securities and Exchange Commission is now investigating at least 54 major U.S. companies. The Internal Revenue Service is probing others. Here are the results so far:

During the Watergate investigations, a total of 17 companies confessed to making corporate contributions to help re-elect President Nixon. Why would they knowingly break the law? Some had much to gain or lose from federal action regardless of who won the election; many made corporate donations to the Democrats as well. Northrop Corp.,...