By Mark Meaney
As millions take to the streets in a global protest of corporate malfeasance, Dean Rich Lyons of the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, has taken the approach that ethics reform begins from within an organization.
The Occupy Wall Street movement has become a global phenomenon. From downtown Manhattan, the movement has mushroomed with remarkable speed to include 185 cities in 82 countries from Alaska to Auckland. Protests, marches and occupations have taken place across every continent garnering the support of millions of participants.
Many in the press have criticized the movement for failing to present a unified set of demands. Although the voices of the global campaign are many and diverse, they do share a single strong and consistent message: a demand for greater corporate accountability and transparency. This clear message unites the protestors.
Vikram Pandit, CEO of Citigroup, echoes the claim when he states,“their sentiments are completely understandable. Trust has been broken between financial institutions and the citizens of the U.S., and that is Wall Street’s job, to reach out to Main Street and rebuild that trust.” Pandit expresses his belief that unethical behavior among corporate executives is one of the root causes of the current global economic downturn.
There is indeed wide agreement among Tea Partiers and Wall Street Occupiers alike of the need for corporate reform to address fraud and corruption.