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In an era of reduced regulation, let’s not forget corporate integrity

Daniel Alonso | February 28, 2017

Can contemporary global businesses be counted on to do the right thing? It’s a question I’ve been asking myself with increasing frequency as the layers of corporate regulation that have defined the last decade of corporate governance face new scrutiny from the new U.S. presidential administration.

In the likely environment of reduced regulation, will businesses follow Adam Smith’s theory of economics, which held that free enterprise required people of propriety, prudence, and benevolence in order for the system to work? Or will they seize the new era of deregulation as an opportunity to cut corners and exploit new loopholes?

Corporate behavior during the last several years of intense regulation suggests that at least some companies have not been studying Smith’s theories. Volkswagen’s “dieselgate,” Mylan’s Epipen price-gouging, and most recently, a suit filed by the Los Angeles city...

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