Ethikos and Corporate Conduct Quarterly
November/December 2002

Taking on “America’s Broker”
By Loren Singer

Merrill Lynch: The Cost Could Be Fatal; by Keith Schooley; 282 pages, Index; Lakepointe Publishing, 2002

In our time it is possible to behead a corporation, as a number of executives have learned. Disregard of the rights of their own shareholders and employees, and of the general public as well brings forth demands not only for restitution, but retribution and in some cases a call for vengeance….

…[Schooley] writes that he “declared war” on Merrill Lynch after they refused to live up to the terms of their own corporate philosophy as stated in the firm’s “Guidelines for Business Conduct” that included such statements as “Improprieties should be reported to whatever level of Management necessary to properly address the situation.” Quite single-mindedly, he took the company at its word, certain that the founder Charles Merrill would have wanted it that way.

…[This book is] a most worthwhile memoir setting down in exhaustive…detail just how corporate entities maneuver around, over and through problems with corporate ethics while continuing to profess the highest regard for their commitment to them.