How deep does the rabbit hole go?

22nd April 2016

Businesses are always looking for a competitive edge, however sometimes they can take it too far. They go beyond the rules, regulations and even the law. The news tries to keep up often just showing the tip of the iceberg.

In this week’s something for the weekend we’ve looked at the some of the biggest stories that went from bad to worse for companies and industries. So read on a see how deep the rabbit hole goes... (everyone loves The Matrix, right?)

  1. Emissions Scandal - We all know about this one as it continues to burn brightly. Just this morning, an internal inquiry of Daimler (Owner of Mercedes-Benz) has begun. VW have cut a deal with the US over their emissions scandal and Mitsubishi admitted to rigging data. It all started with VW last year and it keeps getting worse and worse for the car industry. This seems as though it will only calm down once every manufacturer has been investigated (or raided in Peugeot’s case). Just sit back and watch the lawsuits roll in.

  2. Oil prices – Up down up down, the price of oil has been all over the place in recent years. We all have an interest in the price of this thick black liquid gold and its price fluctuations strike fear into everyone. Back in 2006, consumers danced in the street with prices dropping below 90 pence per litre. However, from 2010 to 2014, we have endured huge prices peaking at just over £1.40 per litre. We were the innocent victims in a long term conspiracy to defraud played out by the big wigs at the top of the oil companies. The price fixing scandal continues as there are tankers sitting out in the water holding oil, just waiting for the price to go up again. We are powerless against it unless we all start walking everywhere.

  3. Phone Hacking scandal – Some news about the people who print the news. They certainly aren’t angels and yet we often believe their every word. I mean, why would they lie to us? But this wasn’t about what they printed it was about how they got the stories. The Leveson Inquiry blew the lid off the media in a whole new way, their culture, practices and ethics. They found numerous people had been victims of ‘media intrusion’ and that things obviously had to change. Unfortunately, Cameron and Clegg couldn’t agree and some of the most important recommendations were shelved as they were deemed too damaging to investigative journalism. Who knows if this story will ever hit the headlines again. I mean who would sell themselves out?

  4. Tax evasion - Evasion, avoidance, dodging; the ongoing ambition of the rich to get richer has been going on since taxation began. More recently, there was popular comedian Jimmy Carr who was revealed to be involved in a tax avoidance scheme. He ‘kept it classy’ and took everything with a grin-and-bare-it attitude which was best played out on the Channel 4 show 8 Out of 10 Cats. That was nearly 4 years ago, all of a sudden the Panama Papers hit the headlines exposing our own Prime Minister’s father. Mr Cameron has had a difficult couple of weeks being called ‘Dodgy Dave’ and feeling the only way out is complete transparency. It would be remiss to suggest that we have seen the last of this story.

As you can quite clearly see, there is often a much bigger story lurking in the shadows. I could go on with multiple quotations along the lines of, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” but I think the best thing to do is follow these wise words; “only a fool learns from his own mistakes. The wise man learns from the mistakes of others.” – Otto von Bismarck.