business

Ghosn held $260,000 Rio party billed to Renault-Nissan, documents show

26 Comments
By ERIC PIERMONT

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© 2019 AFP

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26 Comments
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I don’t know I guess it can come up in one of two way here possibly. This was a personal thing he expensed to Nissan inappropriately. Or it was Nissan related and possibly goes foul of anti bribery laws. Either outcome doesn’t look good for this guy.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Deep corruption, period.

-3 ( +10 / -13 )

None of this, however, means that Mr. Ghosn should be denied elemental legal protections, or bail. As the weeks have passed and Mr. Ghosn’s requests for bail have been rejected, that is exactly what the Japanese legal system seems to be doing.

– New York Times Editorial Board, 21 February 2019

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Before rushing to judgement, it's important to remember that this could have been an instance of wining and dining prospective or existing customers. As Ghosn's lawyer said, the Lebanese post office does require a large fleet of vehicles (anyone know if those are Nissan?)

You could say it is similar to how Japanese managers take their clients out for drinks (to dubious places), but nobody is up in arms about that.

If the $250k that was spent on this event generated sales that were 10 times that, it would have been worth it to do.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Ginza, central Tokyo entertaintment was built on routine corporate functions

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Doesnt such costs need approvals? I doubt he can just simply expense a 250000 bill.

And such disputes should be settled internally why is the government helping to settle and internal expense disputes with little sign of corruption.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

"Nissan's Brazilian subsidiary later sent a bill of $257,872 ...... to the Renault-Nissan holding company based in the Netherlands."

That itself says it all: quite obviously they paid that money so some person at the holding company should be held responsible, if at all!

8 ( +8 / -0 )

So, based on what I know about Ghosn, the idea that he would use the company to pay for extravagant expenditures, including those that may actually be personal expenses, does not and would not surprise me.

However, a few points worth making:

-- Business expenses, even those that are questionable in nature, are NOT criminal matters. As @Kag noted, if the company had issues with it, they could deal with it internally. They could fire him and they could file a civil suit to reclaim lost monies, etc.

-- As for the idea that these expenses are outrageous, given the nature of them and the amounts involved, I find it laughable that a Japanese company is going to act indignant. Japanese executives spend HUGE amounts of money on the company's dime all the time. Year after year.

@nedotjp is exactly right! Ginza is built on the business entertainment accounts of Japanese executives. Akasaka was the same for all of the politicians. And the amounts that are dropped in one night are staggering. And with very questionable benefit to the company.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

@zones2surf I agree. Neither criminal nor outrageous. I don't understand the point of this article other than trying to paint Ghosn as a luxurious guy. Although $260,000 is not luxurious at all given how high profile people attended that party. It it was $10,000,000 then maybe, but certainly not $260,000.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Stephen Givens made a similar argument regarding the Nissan-Juffali transfer:

The more commercially-likely scenario is more innocuous, one in which Ghosn asked a friendly business counterparty to assume an essentially riskless contingent liability as a favor in the context of a long-term business relationship. This represents the kind of mutual exchange between companies with long-term relationships practiced daily by the Japanese corporate establishment.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

So what? Companies spend this kind of money all the time on seemingly superfluous expenses. Whoever is leaking this internal stuff is desperately trying to discredit Ghosn.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Another hit piece? Is there any actual illegality alleged? Is he liable for taxes on part of the amount?

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/21/opinion/carlos-ghosn-nissan-japan.htmlaction=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I don't see a difference between this and what other countries' businesses and executives (including Japan's) do routinely. Entertaining clients/customers is a routine business expense.

I can only see this as an attempt to promote the "Ghosn is dirty and greedy, so he must be guilty" narrative.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Very interesting. And what is Ghosn's side of the story.

Oh! I forgot. This is Japan. Ghosn is not allowed to defend himself at the moment. He must stay virtually incommunicado in his cell indefinitely, denied bail while public opinion (and judges) get swayed by this "revelation" which could be no more than hearsay.

(I've even seen this said in Japanese courts "I've heard of .....").

Justice by hearsay. Oh dear Japan.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Japanese executives spend HUGE amounts of money on the company's dime all the time. Year after year.

Japanese executives don't spend company money for their weddings unless maybe company owners.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Somebody had to approve it. If they did, it’s legitimate.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Sounds more like a bribe.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

RIDICULOUS , what does Nissan expects ???.Nissan is making a long term relationship in business. Does Nissan wants Carlos to pay out of his own pocket and Nissan gets the business ???.In this case, I suggest to Carlos, make his own car company with his skills and enjoy himself at it. What a joke from the small minds of Nissan. International and global Japanese business ???. I hope saikawa is getting his business at shinbashi yakitori shop under the train station for getting his connections with the international bankers.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Very sad as if they don't know the job of salesman and marketing. High profile guest is nissan investment with future returns in terms of units sales. No wonder mr. Carlos revive the Nissan from almost dead corporation.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Free Ghosn!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

So Nissan wants Ghosn to look guilty for doing this, but then when Tsunekazu Takeda doles of $2 million to Black Tidings, it's just the cost of doing business?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Sigh this is pathetic.. EVERY event is tax deductible in Japan or abroad, you ask for a 領収書 business receipt for everything here.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

So....how are these documents being leaked? Only possible sources are the police of Nissan. They both must be getting pretty desperate to be doing this kind of thing.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This article does not demonstrate any wrongdoing whatsoever. This expense, which must be approved by the accounting departments, is essential to relationship building and maintaining global influence. This type of activity performed by senior executives is at the core of corporate deal making and opening major new markets to a global firm. Any reasonable business person would know this. To assume the people you invite shouldn’t be your friends is ridiculous. Of course they are your friends — friends who can open major channels to the car company, provide the company access to critical financing, and lobby governments on behalf of the automobile conglomerate. That is why Renault-Nissan approved this expense and why it should continue to do so in the future, less the company becomes irrelevant in the highly competitive auto industry. Japan of all places knows this well. Japanese executives spend substantial amounts of corporate money to entertain friends and business associates who can influence deals. It seems some in Japan do not think of Nissan as a global company and, therefore, view such expenses incurred outside of Japan as corrupt. Don’t be fooled by this biased article.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Such stupid and narrow way of thinking is only possible in low level Japanese salary man square mentality.So, Nissan is saying U can only sell to yr enemies and that is Nissan way of Business ???. All people who have a normal business thinking, now fully understood , What kind of people, is working in current Nissan board, Surely , not the educated internationally business brains. It's management team namely saikawa shows us, what level , they are at. What a misfortune for Nissan & Japan Inc. No hope for any future for Nissan Japan. The current team are just low mean hearted small level men.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Wow now over 3 months in prison for Ghosn and no end in sight. At least it will be getting a little warmer in his cell. I wonder how many foreign executives have turned down chances to work in Japan because of all of this. Ghosn has had no chance to respond to a long list of allegations. Prison is for people found guilty of crimes. This guy actually saved and created a lot of jobs and made his company money. Sure he was creative in the way he paid himself but nobody in the company stopped him. This is more of a civil matter than criminal.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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