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腐败合法化令政客和企业丧失人心

穆瑞澜 2016年11月02日

企业会后悔沉迷于与华盛顿政界的幕后交易。

昨天,我收到了一封电子邮件。发件人对我在《CEO日报》的开场发言里连续三天没有涉及政治话题表示了赞美,并期望我继续这样下去,否则他就要退出了。我希望我能答应他。然而,今年大选涉及的议题总是与企业的关键利益挂钩。

今天的话题是克林顿被盗窃的电子邮件的最新下落。邮件中揭示了克林顿的慈善机构、克林顿的国务院和克林顿家族的财务状况是多么紧密地联系在一起。

这一切可能都是合法的——那些把它称作“团伙犯罪”的人需要承担沉重的举证责任。此外,就如我之前写的那样,克林顿基金会显然为全球做出了许多善举。不过如今毫无疑问——如果曾经有过疑问的话——许多向基金会捐款的企业都有意借此影响政府决策。而且,这一过程中,他们也在为克林顿家族的财产添砖加瓦——或者,就如某个助手给出的形象比喻,建造了“比尔·克林顿公司”。

我这里不阐述政治结论以及政府需要何种改革,这个任务留给其他人。不过许多美国人已经有了自己的结论:政府系统已经被不正当地操纵了,而大型企业正是作弊方。这可能会导致可怕的后果——上市公司需要公众的信任才能存活和发展。为了重新建立这种信任,商业领袖需要从根本上重新思考一种办法来破坏这种资本主义游戏的合法性。

对企业来说,这里有个重要,或者说,必要的教训。2016年的大选已经证明,企业必须赢得的战役,不是在烟雾不再的密室里的那一场——在那里,现金捐款和窃窃私语往往会占得上风。值得重视的,是为了赢得人心的战役——但人心却是如今企业正在失去的。(财富中文网)

作者穆瑞澜(Alan Murray)系《财富》杂志主编。

译者:严匡正

I received an email yesterday from a man who praised me for going three straight days without touching politics in the opening essay of CEO Daily, and urged me to continue the trend – else he would cancel. I wish I could comply. But this year’s election keeps kicking up issues of critical interest to business. (Sorry, Tom. We will miss you.)

Today’s topic is the latest stash of stolen Clinton emails, which show just how intricately interwoven the Clinton charity, Clinton State Department, and Clinton family finances really were. I’ll spare you the details, but if you missed it, you can read TIME’s storyhere.

All of this may have been legal—there’s a heavy burden of proof on those who call it a “criminal enterprise.” Moreover, as I’ve written before, the Clinton foundation clearly did good work in the world. But it’s now beyond doubt—if there ever was any—that many of the companies contributing to the foundation were interested in buying influence in Washington. And they also were personally enriching the Clintons in the process—or as one aide has now memorably dubbed it, building “Bill Clinton Inc.”

I’ll leave the political conclusions and needed government reforms to others. But a sizable number of Americans have already come to their own conclusion: the system is rigged and big business is in on the rigging. The potential consequences are dire—public companies need the trust of the public to survive and thrive. To rebuild that trust, business leaders will need to radically rethink an approach that is undermining the legitimacy of capitalism.

There’s an important—or rather, essential—lesson for business here. Election 2016 has shown that the battle business must win is not the one in the no-longer-smoke-filled backrooms – where cash contributions and closeted tête-a-têtes often win the day. The important battle is the one for the public’s heart and mind—and that’s the one business is losing.

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