New Orleans Wow! A seasonal surprise!! It turns out that there were a couple of pieces of gold hidden in the hills and valleys of the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act that I had overlooked and that have international impact. Retailers are required to report annually on the origin of minerals used in products from war-torn central Africa, thereby looking to strike a blow against “conflict” resources!
According to the Wall Street Journal our buddies Wal-Mart and Target had waged a huge war of their own to try and convince the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to exempt them. As we all remember Wal-Mart was somehow successful in its battle first for and then against healthcare reform to win an exemption from the provisions of that new act based on its slim pickings health plan currently in place.
The retailers association head whined that the SEC just didn’t understand the “supply chain,” which only means that they want the rule to be caveat emptor – the buyer beware rather than having to take any responsibility for how much blood might be on their hands and later wiped off not by them as the purchaser but by the consumer way down the line. For a change the SEC held strong.
In another good play the SEC is requiring big oil to disclose how much they pay foreign governments for resource rights, hoping to bring some transparency to the global casino of bribery and corruption in the name of natural resources for developed countries at the rack and ruin of developing nations. This is also very, very good news.
What’s up these days that we find out what’s going on diplomatic work seems mainly about business and we learn about it from Wikileaks and we can’t curb Wall Street or the banks, but their reform produces international victories? We must be living in an era of the head fake and the sleight of hand, but for a change score one for us, rather than another for them!