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T’s viewed as a charming practice from days gone by, but a code of conduct is an idea whose time has come again. For a historic model, look at the chivalric code of King Arthur’s day, which explicitly spelled out a knight’s duties to king, country, God, and the downtrodden. Businesses could surely use that clarity again. And, like it or not, companies are going to have to come up with codes to live and work by, if recent proposals by the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq come to pass. The idea: If corporations want to joust on the stock market, they’ll need to state their ethical and legal principles, and they’ll have to ensure that employees abide by them, too. But creating a new code is a time-consuming and costly endeavor. So let’s adapt something old. It might be a few hundred years later, but truth, loyalty, and giving the job your all are medieval values that still have a home in 2002. Here-with only a few post-Enron/WorldCom/Tyco modifications to the original (adapted from Leon Gautier’s Chivalry)-is a modern corporate code. Additions to the original chivalric code are underlined; deleted words are redacted. Companyexcept when commanded to destroy documents that are the subject of a pending SEC investigation. Company and shall not seek immunity in order to testify against it. C-level executives’ unless it is outside of the United States and has engaged in unfair trade practices that make it difficult for the Company to compete in export markets. competitor, government regulators, or business news reporters. the newest entrant in the marketkeeping in mind the pertinent provisions of U.S. and E.C. antitrust law. corporatethe U.S. or any state or foreign country in which the Company does business. 8. Thou shalt never lie, and shalt remain faithful to thy pledged word, at least when that word has been given under oath or recorded in e-mail or voicemail messages, all copies of which cannot be readily and irretrievably destroyed. to the extent allowed by federal and state campaign contribution laws, antibribery and antikickback laws, and Company conflict-of-interest policies.

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