I found them to be extremely dishonest and, by reason of sheer size, very aware of the fact that they are able to virtually exist above the law. What I mean by that is that they have no problem whatsoever throwing their weight and money around to cause so much damage that you'd rather take the abuse and the loss instead of fighting them.
In our case, they had one of their top three US executives blatantly lie in court. I could not believe it. This guy repeatedly lied under oath and his attorney (a Samsung attorney) did the same.
Could we have won? Absolutely. It would have required a million dollars cash (on top of the damage they caused my business) and probably two years of being buried under an intense legal campaign designed to cause damage at every possible turn.
Here's an example of what they did: They filed for a broad TRO (temporary restraining order) to keep us from talking to any of their competitors at a time when they breached a contract and discontinued components we designed into a line of products over a period of about ten months of work. Components the top Samsung executives in the US helped select and vouch for.
The TRO covered getting within a certain radius of a trade show attended by Samsung as well as every single one of their competitors. The radius was such that we couldn't even park a car within walking distance of the convention center, much less come in and go talk to alternative component sources. A few weeks later the judge who oversaw the TRO chewed-out the Samsung attorney for resorting to such a nasty destructive approach. Still, the damage was done. You'd have to fly all over Asia to see the people we could have seen in a couple of days at the conference.
So, yeah, I've seen one side of this beast and it's nasty. Nearly killed my manufacturing company. I don't generally think of large corporations as evil but in this case I could be convinced to make an exception.
The founder died as this was happening, and I was quickly warned by some decent insiders that I should cease all contact with my benefactor and get away ASAP. The sons of the founder were going to fight for power and, as the Koreans say, "when whales fight, the shrimp's back gets broken". In a clash between the most powerful men in a military dictatorship, little people could have tragic "accidents", and so what? I took their advice.
The same family controls that company today. The guy just arrested is the nephew of my old "benefactor". The country is no longer a dictatorship, but the powerful people at the top haven't necessarily changed their ways. Every few years, there are accusations that the top Samsung people are guilty of bribery or similar manipulations. Hard to believe, right? They'll get charged, then the charges are dropped. They'll be convicted, then pardoned by the President. These are power struggles by people who are all above the law but not necessarily above one another. If you do business with them at the small, overseas, trivial level, this may not matter, but you should be aware that behind them you have a system that plays by older rules.
My father had textile factories in South America. During the days of military regime it wasn't uncommon for him to receive visits from "the general" and a truck full of soldiers with automatic rifles. I was way too young to understand it, that's why I put it in quote. For all I know it could have been a mid-rank idiot but to me he looked like the general.
As my father tells tells the story, as power transitioned someone advised him to "evaporate". Since he had business in the US as well it wasn't that hard to pull-up anchor and legally emigrate for the last time. His businesses were usurped by whoever gained power and that was that. A lifetime of work gone "puff" virtually overnight.
These are aspects of life people in the US are not tuned into. We have a very linear environment when compared to some of what is daily life in other parts of the world.
Something similar exists now in Russia and Venezuela, I imagine.
Why is it morally ok? Because earth is a place of sin anyway and goal is to work towards going to heaven. This is done by performing religious duties. So 'rule of law' is either an inconvenience or irrelevant towards main goal of life.
Heh. If you're smart enough, you can "morally" justify anything I guess. People living in the "mortal plane" do need to accept the laws that govern that plane though...or work to change them if they are not acceptable.
Lee Chang Hee and Lee Meng Hee were the other two sons of the founder, but they had already been written off long before 1980s, and had no part in Samsung operations by then. So I'm not sure if either them of was your benefactor. Now I'm curious.
But if you don't want to talk about it that's fine. I am just nosey.
This is an interesting thought. Thanks. Good post.
Small innovators are the victims of this country's convoluted civil law system many times each day. I 100% believe that we are decades behind in technological progress because of the perverse combination of corporate shills in Congress, massively pro-corporate media preventing salient discussion on these points from entering the public dialogue (preferring instead to inflame people on identity politics or intractable social issues), and a lot of judges with a strong bias to believe anything a recognizable entity says when it's competing against a less-recognizable entity.
Samsung used to take care of its employees well, paying great bonus, and giving its strong performers a piece of (or whole) sub-contracting business as retirement gift.
Those were the old days.
Now, all you hear are their brutal and sleazy business dealings a real shame considering they are 100x wealthier than when they were at the most generous.
What's more important, wealth or your reputation?
In the 60s, his grandfather got slapped on the wrist for major tax evasion charges.
In 2000s, his father basically got off scot-free for tax evasion and having $4 billion in political slush fund.
And just like his Dad and Grandfather, he also 'almost' got away with bribery charge, when presiding judge unexpectedly kibosh-ed the case a few weeks ago, much to chagrin of special prosecutors that brought charges against him.
National wide outrage ensued, and then the appeal followed. Now he is in the slammer awaiting trial.
People are so pissed off, even if his hands were completely clean, they may have to put him away. (figure of speech)
I know someone who does private Pilates training at homes of ultra rich families in Seoul.
Because of the fall outs from this scandal, she is saying that all her clients are cutting activities and laying low.
Older generation of Koreans in general have more lax attitudes about political abuses by the wealthy families because they also indirectly benefited from the cozy conglomerate & government relationships, and saw Korean rise from abject poverty.
No so with the younger generations born after the 60s. They've basically had it with the current soul-crushing system, and are desperately hoping for radical reform. And in doing so, they're willing to watch their world burn.
This is an interesting note to end on. Do you think what is happening now, which I see as the least bit of accountability being seen for the first time in a chronically corrupt system, is people "watch(ing) their world burn"? This is something our country desperately needs to rise above the legacy of dictatorship and corporate profiteering.
I don't think their world is burning. With all the turmoils going on in parts of the globe, world-burning would be a hyperbolic characterization.
I do feel that it's been on a slow roast for the past 20 years, with temperature steadily rising each year. At some point, the situation becomes intolerable for critical mass, and people will jump out without looking; some not caring if it is straight into frying pan. I think we are there now.
I've never seen this level of frustration since the late 80s.
Due to the wildly overleveraged nature of capital it's not an idle threat: these entities may be in a position to go 'well then, if we suffer the slightest penalty we will trigger global/countrywide economic disaster' with some credibility. The overall economic system is anything but healthy, so the threat is legitimate. However, there comes a time people don't even care anymore, they just want to see something resembling justice. That point seemingly approaches.
That's when we're supposed to step in and end their terrorist selves.
The patrimony that currently exists in elite Korean society must end to enable Koreans to better tackle the problems of 21st century.
(Wow, that's a lot of "'s"'s...)
 For those who don't follow South Korean news closely: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chung_Yoo-ra
She's currently in a jail in Denmark, fighting extradition requested by Korean prosecutors. In addition to tripping Lee, she also got multiple professors in Ewha Womans University arrested for corruption. (Yay?)
And her and her mother are accused of laundering $1 billion. At only 20 years old, it'd be fascinating to hear her philosophy/perception of business and life.
> 능력없으면 니네부몰원망해 (...) 돈도 실력이야
(If you aren't capable, resent your parents. Money is ability.)
On one hand, it's a bit unfair to dig FB postings of clueless youngsters. On the other hand... wow.
I despair of finding ways to reach there, however.
It's similar to another practice I've noticed: Other countries will arrest and imprison heads of state and other high officials, including Israel and France. It's hard to imagine that happening in the United States: Has a President or cabinet-level official ever been arrested?
In what seems like a corrupt practice to me, in the U.S. they get off with a slap on the wrist. For example, Nixon was pardoned for the sake of the nation. Why is it that other nations can handle it?
Jeffrey Skilling, former Enron CEO is serving 24 years.
However, there is a strong argument to be made that ever since Enron, the SEC has been defanged.
Taking a brief look at their list of accomplishments, it seems that these days, they just levy fines, instead of jailing criminals.  (Contrast the punishments for the financial crisis, vs low-level insider trading. The companies involved in the former pay fines, the people involved in the latter go to jail.)
Former, it's bribery. Latter, some insane level of securities fraud / book cooking.
Judges would come down harder on the latter.
But it's an interesting question.
Basically this is equivalent a major U.S. company like Boeing or Disney indirectly bribing close friends of Trump to gain political favor.
Oh, and while she was working at NBC she also got her PhD in international relations from Oxford. That's not really relevant to your claim, I just found it very impressive.
Regarding Chelsea Clinton: in reading her various writings from the email leaks, she strikes me as both highly intelligent and insightful (speaking as no fan of her parents).
The simple fact is that children of political power centers get special favor because those interests want access to the parents
And coming from a family with money makes it a lot easier to spend years in school without working.
Elite schools exist to help the ruling class maintain their position from generation to generation.
So what explains her lucrative employment at NBC and McKinsey at eye-popping salary for someone did done nothing, but go to school and sit pretty as a daughter of influential politicians?
I dunno, on one hand I really respect that level of commitment to learning, especially at an entire immediate family level.
What sorta boggles my mind is Hillary's complete fuck up of the election. And maybe this is because either:
A. She's still a novice compared to how far the right wing will go to bury her (I guess they hate her more than no other - a driven woman)
B. Her hubris is bigger than Trump's (doubtful)
My wife was really bummed she lost. She even took pics with my 3yr old daughter on a 'historic' day.
We'll see a woman president soon I think and hopefully she's more in touch than Hillary was. Who knows, maybe Chelsea (altho I think the Clinton name is prob done in the whitehouse).
Obama's record breaking turnout does not represent "the voting base that normally shows up for Dems".
There's definitely a line between unfairly misusing your name and not being allowed to profit from it, but nonetheless.
Because you have not shown any evidence that NBC is treated favourable by the Clintons for this favour.
More substantively, Trump has businesses around the world which he's refused to put at arms-length. It's almost impossible for him not to be accused of gaining personal benefit from political decisions, as there's no way of disproving or dissociating the results.
For example, until just a few years ago, many countries (Germany being the one I know specifically) allowed corporations to deducted bribes paid abroad from their taxes. That was changed only under pressure from the US.
There's a lot to complain about regarding the willingness of US courts to assume jurisdiction, the willingness of the US government to dictate international norms etc. But it seems that in this regard, it worked out well because the US legal system was always going to be ahead of /some/ competitors, so it became advantageous for US corporations (and, by extension, the government) to root out corruption: it was the one game they had no chance of winning.
One recent example is VW, and another recent development may be a strengthening of similar mechanisms in the EU, which may in due course be very helpful, even for the US.
It seems that nowadays the problem in the US isn't vast conspiracies where bags of money are secretly handed to politicians. It's that there's so much activity that in any other country of similar level of development, or any other time in the US, would have been regarded as a major corruption – but is now somehow regarded as not just completely legal but also morally sound.
I mean: there are (many) companies who give to both presidential candidates each election. There is simply no logical reason to do that except the expectation of getting access. (For donations to parties, I could at least imagine some argument about how donations allow them to do meaningful work on the local level etc. Can't say the same about the presidential level).
That said, it does happen - Ted Stevens (Alaska Senator) and Bob McDonnell (Virgina Governor) were convicted of corruption only to see it overturned. And pretty much every governor of Illinois ends up in prison.
The Iran Contra people probably helped initiate our present quagmire in the Middle East during Bush II's term:
Elliott Abrams served as served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director on the National Security Council for Near East and North African Affairs and then Deputy National Security Advisor for Global Democracy Strategy during Bush II's term.
John Marlan Poindexter got a job on Bush II's DARPA.
Duane Clarridge got involved as Ben Carson's foreign policy advisor during his presidential run. So these people are still tied to the White House to this day.
African countries have traditionally been very good at demonstrating this, unfortunately. Almost any leader of government south of the Sahel and north of South Africa from independence to about 10 years ago could have been thrown into a dark abyss without second thought and even Amnesty International would have just muttered a "Wait, they deserve a fair tr.. oh! never mind!".
But because that actually was happened more often than not, each one of them clung to power for as long as possible – which in some cases was (and is!) surprisingly long: Mugabe is at it since 1987.
In many cases, these dictators actually started out somewhat promising. Mugabe, for example, came to power against a backdrop or actual injustices, which he actually did something about (although what he did resulted in disaster). But spend enough years with absolute power, surrounded by yes-men, but constantly fearing the yes-I-have-knife-man and it starts to do strange things to your psyche.
It's not the only mechanism – there are enough examples in other countries of politicians overstaying their welcome. And it doesn't quite apply as neatly to anyone but the very top. But it's part of it.
Which is why it was so encouraging to see how the crisis in The Gambia was solved a month ago. You didn't even hear about it? Well, a decade earlier, you wouldn't have heard the end of the bloody war currently ravaging the west African country of... Part of the solution was guaranteed protection for the outgoing guy (+family and his mysteriously large wealth).
> IT's a tight rope to walk, but there's a system to the madness in regards to presidents: if you punish them to the degree that (parts of) the public demand, you'll almost certainly make it a losing proposition for any of them to ever resign.
I'm not sure that applies in the U.S. 1) We're talking about prosecution under the law, not by popular demand, and 2) being in office doesn't protect them from (most) prosecution, and they can be impeached.
They don't even trust someone from their regime not to fuck them up if they retire.
Nixon was already shamed but it would have served the country no good to have it go further and be dragged out for years and become a distracting spectacle. Plus his reasoning was sound, a pardon is a presumption of guilt and acceptance of it. In a way President Obama gifted Chelsea Manning by only commuting her sentence. The use of pardons and commutations has all sorts of hidden meanings
Lots of criminals are shamed; that never relieves them from trial and punishment.
> it would have served the country no good
I disagree. It sets a precedent that the powerful are above punishment and reduces deterrence. Now Presidents know that they can do almost anything and not be tried for it.
>the Senate committee decided early on not to pursue the President, not only because he was too old and lacked the mental ability to fully understand what happened, and had too little time left in office, but because the Senators "honestly thought that the country didn't need another Watergate. They were urgently hoping to avoid a crisis.
What I mean by that, is Samsung is so big it's like a feudal kingdom. There aren't clear lines between the government, other aspects of life, and samsung. That means any sort of power stuggle has to involve all those different aspects. The head of samsung stands in the way of ambitious people in the whole society, not just ambitious people in that company.
Compare that with the USA. If there is a power struggle in a company you don't have to attack the head person with such intensity to advance yourself. It's even possible to advance by moving to another company in the same industry.
So an arrest in one country isn't really equivalent to an arrest in another country, because what that arrest actually means can be quite different.
The short answer is: for conviction, no.
We'll see with Trump since he cares about hiding these connections even less than Bush did. He would probably even say they make America more winning.
But hasn't it long been held/believed that Samsung has had a rather dominant political position from behind the scenes in South Korea?
But naturally they must have enemies within the system. And as a country modernizes, it becomes harder and harder to maintain that tight control. So perhaps the enemies are striking as hard as they can to dethrone Samsung. One consideration is whether the enemies are also Cheabols though.
Moreover, virtually all of them are connected to each other (and to most powerful politicians) via marriages. In a sense, they are one big (corrupt and powerful) family.
This isn't describing a difference -- Mafia families have the same interest. Omerta and all that.
The Koreans are a weaker country heavily reliant on the presence of the US' external peace keeping force to deter aggression from their neighbors. There's a significant amount of pressure even by US firms for Samsung to abandon their primitive tribal familial structures within their corporations.
They should get their control back and try to explore better paths to success with the same zeal else the catastrophic foreign pressure (who I also think is the reason behind this) might cause Implosion in the SK-Samsung or chaebols. Japan has this Enterprise Keidanren for damage control over this recent Toshiba's scandal causing a spiral downfall.
Also most countries split opinions based off the younger vs old generations cause tiny fractures which in some cases lead to devastating losses..
In reality, he'll be out once the whole situation simmers down and people forget.
This has how it has always worked. Chaebol CEOs are untouchable and they are fully aware of their position in society and abuse it to maximize their interests.
I'm not even remotely surprised by the anecdotal experiences of dealing with Samsung. Don't forget about SNES cartridges that used to be sold in Korea.
Samsung is a large competitor in many industries and that on its own benefits even those who are not their customers.
Interesting, in the US we had two Bushes and recently narrowly avoided a second Clinton. In Canada they are on their second Trudeau. How many other republics/democracies is this happening to?
>"came as a shock to most liberal people"
The dynasty thing seems to cross political lines in North America.
I think that 'regressive' is a better word for that type of gender stereotyping.