back to article Apple, Google and Amazon sneakier than BANKERS and OIL FIRMS

Internet superstars score far lower than banks or oil companies on a measure of corporate governance released this week by an NGO funded by the UK. The report from Transparency International ranks the cream of Silicon Valley - Google and Apple, along with Amazon.com - at the bottom of a survey of 106 global companies. Amazon …

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Look for the UK funding to be cut off

If they are dissing the sacred Google...

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Good job the UK gov wasn't listed

Else there's be a new bottom place

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What do you expect with transparency?

It's like walking into a fog bank.

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Anonymous Coward

Transparency is probably only important if you work there or want to buy their shares.

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"Transparency is probably only important if you work there or want to buy their shares"

Actually in neither case. If you work there, then total transparency is a hindrance to competition (admittedly things may be different if you're a slave in a sweat shop but note that the slaves in sweat shops usually are working for supplier companies, not the lead brand. As an investor, results count, not how much guff the company publishes - hence Berkshire Hathaway score poorly, but has been an excellent investment for many years.

The people to whom transparency counts are those trying to influence corporate behaviour, like Transparency International and NGO's.

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Transparency does matter for investors as well as results - it's handy to be able to see if you are investing in a potential Bernie Madoff before it happens. Transparency can help. I see no real reason why Buffett's group should score poorly given he is normally all over corporate good governance - not practising what he preaches perhaps?

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WTF?

Pseudopolymath

Dishonesty, ulterior motive, and treachery are their corporate DNA. They lie so pervasively to their consumers and the developmentally delayed public that they staunchly believe their own BS. They will not be scrutinized and anyhow, by who and to what end? The small fines assessed are a fractional price paid for the countless revenues that result from their insolent forays into personal privacy violations and backroom collusions. Nevertheless, the beat drums on and the 'sheople' follow lock-step. Transparency, yeah right.

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Nev
WTF?

Results from polling bankers and oil execs...

... obviously.

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Meh

I'm prepapred to turn a blind eye as long as I get healthy dividends on my portfolio.

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Turning a blind eye

I'm sure Enron investors were prepared to turn a blind eye due to it doing well as an investment. Until their lack of transparency was found to be concealing a bunch of shell corporations where losses had been hidden...

I own Apple and Berkshire Hathaway, amongst the ones they named near the bottom, so I guess I'm doing this too. Apple makes a ton of money, and much of their low score here is probably due to a maze of offshore holdings for which little public information is available, which they use to save on taxes. Just as Google, Microsoft, Cisco and pretty much all other multinational tech firms that can use transfer pricing on IP to relocate profits to low tax areas do. That's precisely why all the tech firms are clustered near the bottom. Oil companies can't do this sort of thing, as the profits you make on oil in a country you have wells can't be claimed in Ireland or Bermuda nearly so easily :)

Berkshire Hathaway scores low because it is essentially a combination of a publicly held private equity firm and hedge fund. The private equity side, rather than buying distressed companies trying to turn them around, or max out their credit in a planned bankruptcy, buys quality companies in industries like insurance and railroads betting they'll pay off big over the long term. The hedge fund, managed by Warren Buffett, doesn't take the usual overly generous 2/20 cut the rest do, but more like a 0.1/0, and us regular folks can buy into it without needing millions of dollars to do so. If private equity firms and hedge funds were rated by this organization, they'd score pretty low too, for obvious reasons. This type of investment just comes down to whether you trust the guy running it or not.

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judging the firms for their "anti-corruption" programmes…

So firms which never had corruptions problems, and never started anti-corruptions programmes, come up last…? Brilliant.

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Mushroom

BULL

"International" standards are NEITHER - just Yuppie Pervert Environmentalist delusions. There is no particular reason why people with the ability to change our world should be accountable or accessible to those of us without that ability.

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Of course Banks are transparent

As an old boss at one told me 'our only product is trust'

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IT Angle

Evil oil, good tech.

Obama hits the evil oil companies all the time for ripping off the the nation and the people and he dose not get much contributions form them. Obama praises google and other tech companies and now it appears are ripping of the people (and the nation?) AND at least has been a big supporter of Obama but not a word of how badly the tech companies are ripping of the people. Politics has its price.

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