(as cut and pasted from a comment in the prior post)
PBS Exposed Barbara Toffler as an Unethical Ethicist
Cheating for Arthur Andersen and Enron—Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars at a Time Snatched to Feed Her Fancy Habits and Grandiose Ego
Barbara Ley Toffler: The Culture of Greed
May 2, 2003 Episode no. 635
BOB ABERNETHY, anchor: This week, 10 of the biggest banks and brokers on Wall Street agreed to pay $1.4 billion to settle charges that for their own profit, they had knowingly misled millions of investors.
Phil Jones has the story of one woman caught up in the unethical culture that brought down Enron, Arthur Andersen, and many others.
PHIL JONES: Bob, it was in the early 1990s that business ethics actually became a business unto itself. With concerns over business scandals, the U.S. Sentencing Commission, which is an independent federal agency that advises courts, basically said to corporations, "We are going to sock you with huge fines when you break federal laws dealing with white-collar crimes -- but if you have tough, formal written programs dealing with ethics and standards, the fines will be less." So businesses began to hire experts to draw up ethics codes. One of the nation's leading accounting-auditing companies saw a chance to cash in on the ethics consulting business. And before it was over, ironically, one of the nation's ethics experts had lost her own ethical compass.
BARBARA TOFFLER (Business Ethics Consultant): I remember when I walked into the building, 1995 -- the flagship office of Arthur Andersen -- and I was starting a new adventure.
JONES: Barbara Toffler's adventure came in the midst of the 1990s bubble economy. Wall Street was on a high. During this period, Toffler, a leading expert on management ethics, got a call from the Arthur Andersen auditing firm. They asked her to run an ethics consulting service for Andersen clients. Little did she realize what was happening inside the firm.
Ms. TOFFLER: Everybody was trying to grab business from somebody else. I mean, that was my daily activity -- fighting. It was like one piece of bread, and 10 of us there, "Got to get it! Got to get it!" It doesn't matter whether I like bread, whether I know what to do with the bread. But, "I've got to get it."
JONES: Toffler was making about $300,000 a year back then, living in style in New York. She was now playing in the big game -- which even included company pep rallies and clients of Arthur Andersen that one day would become notorious.
Ms. TOFFLER: We had this huge light and sound show -- fabulous -- for the "client of the future" -- our best client and the one that everyone should be going out and getting more of. And up on those screens comes the upended E -- Enron.
JONES: Barbara Toffler, who had built a career in the field of business ethics, was asked to do unethical things, and she complied.
(to Ms. Toffler): Were you told by your bosses not to be aggressive on billing and ethical matters?
Ms. TOFFLER: Not to be aggressive on billing?
Ms. TOFFLER: No. I was certainly not told I should not be aggressive. I mean, I was told, of course we were going to be aggressive.
JONES: The billing was maddening?
Ms. TOFFLER: And one of the phrases that we used to describe it was "billing our brains out."
JONES: But as Toffler has recalled her nightmare in a book called FINAL ACCOUNTING: AMBITION, GREED, AND THE FALL OF ARTHUR ANDERSEN, she claims that on at least one occasion she was coerced by a partner to overbill a client.
Ms. TOFFLER: Our piece of this particular budget was somewhere around -- stretching it -- $75,000. It wasn't that big a job. I gave him my budget. He looked at it, threw it back at me, and said, "Double it." I said, "Double it? That's it. We can't double it." "That's what you do," he said. "I want that doubled. Double it. Don't bring it back to me until it's doubled."
Ms. TOFFLER: Back I came with a $150,000 [budget]. I did.
JONES: And did you say anything?
Ms. TOFFLER: I just gave it to him. And we stretched it! We added hours. We added tasks.
JONES: However, she admits that sometimes she overbilled on her own. The game, she said, was to make a client dependent on her, especially when the client was new to the ethics business.
Ms. TOFFLER: It gave us the wonderful opportunity to say, "Well, this is what you need. And you certainly are not prepared to do this on your own, so here are the very many things that we can possibly do for you. And we'll set up weekly kinds of activities for you to do." So if this person's doing something every week, then, obviously, he has to come back to us. We have to be there. Well, suffice it to say, within a very short time, we had set up a planned program to bill this firm $250,000 a month to basically do work that their employees should've been doing. The CEO got wind of this and he basically said, "Enough, enough."
JONES: So you sort of got caught on that one.
Ms. TOFFLER: Yeah, yeah, yeah. This was somebody I know, somebody I still know. But I was enormously embarrassed. I mean, I had never ever done something like that.
JONES: But you never went to your bosses and said, "This isn't ethical."
Ms. TOFFLER: Sure, I did. But I was seen as kind of a pain in the neck. I mean, I know I was seen as a pain in the neck. My feeling was like, "There goes Barbara again."
JONES: Toffler's experiences occurred before the scandals of Enron, WorldCom, Quest Communications, and Global Crossing. But before she finally left in 1999, three years before Arthur Andersen collapsed, Toffler herself had become a victim of what she calls a new greedy culture at Arthur Andersen.
JONES: So while you were working there, what happened to your ethics?
Ms. TOFFLER: I don't want to say that I forgot everything that I was raised with, but you know, when you spend time working in an organization -- particularly one that has a strong culture -- you find yourself being drawn into that culture and beginning to behave the same way the people around you do.
JONES: Toffler argues that she never did anything that was illegal, but she's spent a lot of time thinking about how she managed to get caught in a web of unethical behavior.
(to Ms. Toffler): As you look back, why do you think you did these things?
Ms. TOFFLER: I did them for many reasons. One, I was making very good money, living a very comfortable life, and I didn't want to give that up. Two, I had brought several young people into the firm, creating opportunities for them to start to build their career. And I felt that if I left, or if I created too much of a disturbance, I might be harming them. Three, I always thought of myself as a competent person, somebody who could be successful in most environments that I had been in. I'd been a professor at Harvard. I had a very successful, honest, ethical consulting firm. I couldn't believe that I couldn't be successful at Arthur Andersen. Oh, I felt -- well, of course, I felt like I was failing. I felt like I couldn't play the game the way they did.
Ms. TOFFLER: If I am given a target, and the only way I can achieve that target is by doing something that's ethically questionable, or even illegal, but my boss is unrelenting and I have got to do it -- most people are not morally courageous. And many people will say, "Look, I've got kids in school. I've got aging parents. I've got a mortgage. I've got all kinds of commitments. Who am I to be so cavalier to say, 'I'm sorry. I will not work under these conditions,' and walk out?"
also- see another one: http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/dml/engine.php?action=viewMedia&genreFilter=8&listPlace=8&mediaIndex=148&rootCategory=1&source=category&typeFilter=0