Wal-Mart remains under a cloud after The New York Times reported the retailers expansion in Mexico involved systematic bribes. To get a sense of how that might play out, Steve Inskeep talks to Peter Solmssen, a managing board member and general counsel for Siemens. The German engineering and electronics conglomerate was involved in its own bribery scandal.
Allegations that Wal-Mart officials in Mexico paid local authorities to speed up permits to build new stores could result in a trial and a huge financial penalty under a U.S. anti-corruption law. But legal experts who spoke to NPR have their doubts it will ever come to that.
Wal-Mart's stock price has fallen sharply this week. That comes after The New York Times reported that the retailer's rapid growth in Mexico involved systematic bribery. Stock prices have also fallen for Wal-Mart's Mexico subsidiary Walmex.
This negative reaction came, even though financial journalist Eduardo Garcia in Mexico City, says bribery is a normal part of business in Mexico.
Was anybody in the business community in Mexico surprised to hear these allegations against Wal-Mart?