Siemens Managers calmly explained away the corruption concerns of angry shareholders at their annual meeting yesterday while the Siemens stock price excitedly went through the roof. CEO Klaus Kleinfeld and his predecessor Heinrich von Pierer seemed to have no trouble defusing what had appeared to be a volatile situation brought about by the collapse of Siemens’ former mobile phone division BenQ and widespread bribery and embezzlement charges within the company.

Both were “disturbed” that the anti-corruption measures put into place by von Pierer have proven to be, well, less than optimal. And they will most certainly intensify their efforts in the near future blah-blah usw. (and so forth). And when it came to the sold-down-the-river-to-Taiwan-and-now-bankrupt BenQ, von Pierer insisted that Siemens “had done everything that could be expected of it” to help. This brilliant dash of levity got the whole assembly chuckling and knee-slapping in no time and he pretty much had him in his hand for the rest of the evening.

Unconfirmed reports have failed to confirm if Siemens will now be hiring ex-Schröder buddy and convicted bribery expert (and pimp) Peter Hartz to help them learn not to make the same mistakes he obviously did when bribing and extorting. In the future, I mean. Ex- personnel boss at VW and immortalized as namesake for the highly-popular Hartz IV social reform legislation in Germany, Hartz was given a two year suspended prison sentence yesterday after cutting a deal with prosecutors. He sanctioned illegal payments to the company’s work council to have them do his bidding and, well, “organized” girls and stuff on the side.

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