The problems afflicting crap mecca Walmart extend beyond its persecuted work force, all the way into the corporate executive suite. A new report from an outside overseer says the famously cheap company doesn't mind burning tons of money to benefit top executives.
Institutional Shareholder Services is a firm that examines the corporate practices of companies and then advises big investors on how to vote on various company issues. ISS is far from a radical group. Its focus is simply on making sure companies are well-run. Its recommendations are closely followed by investors representing bazillions of dollars. The Wall Street Journal reports that ISS is now advising its clients that the chairman of Walmart's board needs to tossed out for being too cozy with company executives, and that the company's executive pay needs to be reined in, because it is too easy for Walmart executives to get big paydays regardless of the company's declining performance over the past year-plus.
Wal-Mart has disclosed spending more than $400 million looking into whether it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bars companies from bribing foreign officials, and compliance-related expenses.
A $400 million investigation. And ISS says that the company still hasn't revealed to shareholders who did what, and who will be liable. This, from a company unable to pay its workers a living wage, but able to turn its owners into the most disgustingly rich family in America.
Our suggestion for a new head of Walmart's corporate board: Thomas Piketty.
[Photo of three Walton family members whose wealth should be forcibly confiscated by a righteous democratic government: AP]