1. Wells Fargo had some of the highest returns on equity and a soaring stock price. Top management touted the company’s lead in “cross selling”: the sale of additional products to existing customers. “Eight is Great” as in eight Wells Fargo products for every customer, was CEO John Stumpf’s mantra. In September 2016, Wells Fargo announced that it was paying $185 million in fines for the creation of over 2 million unauthorized accounts. Fully describe this case. 25 points.
2. A characteristic of the capitalistic model is a free, competitive market system. It has three necessary components. Fully describe these components. 20 points.
3. Karl Marx analyzed nineteenth century capitalism primarily as he found it in the England of his time. Fully describe three of the major claims of the Marxists. 20 points.
4. “Whistle-Blowing” is a term used for a wide range of activities that are dissimilar from a moral point of view. Sometimes the term refers to disclosures made by employees to executives in a firm, perhaps concerning improper conduct of fellow employees or supervisors who are cheating on expense accounts or engaging in petty or grand theft. Whistleblowing in these cases amounts to reporting improper activities to an appropriate person. Describe two conditions that must be met to make the act of whistle blowing to morally justifiable, although not necessarily morally obligatory. 20 points.
Essay: 15 points Jessica Warren is the assistant chief accountant at Kellner Company, a manufacturer of computer chips and cellular phones. The company presently has total sales of 20 million. It is the end of the first quarter: Jessica is hurriedly trying to prepare a trial balance so that quarterly financial statements can be prepared and released to management and the regulatory agencies. The total credits on the trial balance exceed the debits by $1,000. In order to meet the 4p.m. deadline, Jessica decides to force the debits and credits into the balance by adding the amount of the difference to the Equipment account. She chooses Equipment because it is one of the larger account balances; percentagewise, it will be the least misstated. Jessica “plugs” the difference! She believes the difference will not affect anyone’s decisions. She wished she had a few days to find the error but realizes the financial statements are already late.
Instructions: a) Who are the stakeholders? b) What are the ethical issues involved in this case? c) What are Jessica’s alternatives?