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When bad behavior builds profitability

Joe Mont | August 29, 2017

We hear phrases like “crime doesn’t pay” all the time. In compliance and ethics circles there are variations intended to assure us that being a good company is good business.

Well, here is the depressing, but not surprising news. Crime does sometimes pay and the definition of “good” is often a malleable one in corporate America.

The big banks that required bailouts as they crashed the global economy in 2008? Nearly all of them have subsequently rebounded with record-setting profits.

Uber, a train wreck of corporate governance, fired its co-founder Travis Kalanick from his role as CEO. That led to a difficult search for his replacement (ultimately Dara Khosrowshahi of the online travel company Expedia).

Among the reasons for Kalanick’s ouster, flagrantly bypassing Apple’s privacy restrictions with its app and trying to cheat state regulations. Worst of all, as the New York Times put it: “For the last few months, the company has been reeling from... To get the full story, subscribe now.