Maintaining Optimism in the Face of Reality. Occasional observations on the state of the world, society, business and politics. Usually anchored by facts, always augmented by opinion.

Total Russo-Franco-Iraqi Bribery of a Different Sort  | e-mail post

Apparently bribery is just an SOP among our friends in France and Russia. Le Monde reported last week on an investigation into French oil giant Total SA [NYSE: TOT], one of the world's largest oil companies. The French company apparently spent as much as $20 million in bribes to gain oil exploration rights in Russia and Iraq.

Since I am guessing most of my readers aren't fluent in French, these English-language accounts may be more helpful. [Moscow Times] [Globe and Mail] Oddly, despite Total's $125 billion market cap, it seems no U.S. business reporter has picked up on this story.

If you can read the Le Monde piece above, it is worth noting that it appears some of the Total bribes when to a Lebanese lawyer, Elias Youssef Firzli, who is also on the list of alleged recipients of money skimmed from the Oil-for-Food Program.

e-mail post | Link Cosmos | [Permalink]  |  | Monday, October 04, 2004
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