The Worldwide Banning of Schmiergeld: A Look at the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act on its Twentieth Birthday

Sporkin, Stanley | January 1, 1997

Many cynics viewed the United States’ attempt to ban all forms of cor- porate bribery as another example of the federal government’s taking on the role of Don Quixote and tilting at windmills. While the law may not have been taken seriously when it was first enacted, it is clear that it has assumed a prominent place among our federal criminal laws. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, the FCPA remains “the world’s toughest law against foreign bribes.”9 This article will provide background as to how the law was conceived and will discuss the law’s present and future status.