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3/31/2006
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Morgan Stanley E-Mails Reveal Dirty Little Secret
http://www.informationweek.com/blog/main/archives/2006/03/morgan_stanley.html

Gosh, it's shocking to hear about how business is done in the real world, eh? This isn't a secret, and it's not dirty. It's just business. --Mike Rothman

Your analysis of the kind of quid pro quo that Morgan Stanley's IT deals represent is incredibly myopic. There's no evidence that the services accepted by Morgan Stanley were in any way inferior or mispriced.

Are you opposed to companies that give volume discounts to their best customers? Virtually every company in the world does this. Do you think frequent flier programs are unethical? Have you taken the time to examine how your company deals with its best customers or biggest suppliers? You might find it enlightening. Morgan Stanley seems to be trying to get the most aggregate benefit for its shareholders for the business that it awards to vendors. --Steve

Since when is "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" anything new? Was this article written by a 16-year-old? It comes across as so naive. --TM

I find these comments that try to justify the behavior disturbing. What happened to doing what's right? Life shouldn't be all about winning at the cost of everyone else. If each of us would choose to do the right things in all we do, including business, then everyone would win. --TL

It's symptomatic of current-day society that people are justifying behavior that presents a conflict of interest. Why do you think that the FTC and SEC exist in the United States anyway? This behavior would (and should) be considered unethical if not illegal. --REW

The regulators are waking up to this serious industry problem and will enact regulations that require its reporting. --Withheld

Time to grow up! Reciprocity has been around since the beginning of commercial relationships, and it's about equity. If both parties can profit from the relationship, then it's highly desirable. --Al

Sorry, this isn't reciprocity. This is a group of investment bankers who own management control at the bank lining their own pockets at the expense of the shareholders. If it benefited both companies, it would be more debatable. This is out-and-out fraud, exactly the type of crap that went on at Enron, WorldCom, etc. --Name Withheld

Better Have Season Tickets
http://www.informationweek.com/blog/main/archives/2006/03/better_have_sea.html

Glad to see a common unethical practice, especially common with this vendor, being exposed for what it so clearly is. We all know that C-level deals aren't done around technology, they're done around relationships and gift-giving such as this. It's impossible for this CTO to be objective--and the vendor knows it. The real impact is, of course, on lower-level IT staffers and the business units that have to suffer less-than-optimal technology because their CTO took the vendor's all-too-available handouts. --Name Withheld

When did IT become any more sacred then any other department? This is common practice, especially in larger companies. Every sporting arena has suites that are paid for by companies, which, in turn, write off the expense for entertaining clients. This isn't new nor news. --Rhonda

This is business as usual. Execs play on the vendor's dime, then pressure us IT managers into technology buying decisions. If only I had time to go with them. --Name Withheld

I think it's absurd how SOX creates a sea of red tape for the average worker to comply with, when the real problem begins (and usually ends) in the executive suite. --Joe

Is this conduct unethical? Of course it is. This person has completely compromised the obligation to perform in the best interests of his employer. How is this any different than simply taking cash? --Robin

People are jumping to conclusions without all the facts. I've been in positions where I have multiple companies providing quotes for the same technology and service for about the same price. If all three are equal but one goes out of its way to build a relationship with you, that's the one you're going to go with. --Mike

It Could Happen To Any Of Us
http://www.informationweek.com/blog/main/archives/2006/03/what_happened_t.html

I think we should live by an even better rule. Don't do anything that you wouldn't be proud to see on the pages of The New York Times. --Bob Ski

E-mail is considered by the courts as a legal document in the same context as a written memo. Morgan isn't the first to forget this, and I doubt it will be the last. --ab

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