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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Ethical Decision Making and H&R Block


Dancer Making Points-Edgar Degas
The concept of ethical decision making applies to all fields from sports management to higher education to general business.  Even day-to-day decisions require an element of ethical decision making.  When driving home, one must decide whether to drive the speed limit or exceed it, endangering those on the road.  In the world of fine art, decisions are made all the time.  Here is a story about a decision that was made regarding Degas' Ballerina painting, "a $10 million dollar painting by Degas" (Dedman, 2010).
Safe to say that everyone in America has heard of  H & R Block, the tax company.  This pretty ballerina ended up on Mr. Henry Bloch's wall, owner of the H & R Block (Dedman, 2010).  Bloch had purchased this painting in 2005.  Although he purchased it, the Degas painting was actually stolen property. 
Christopher A. Marinello, executive director and general counsel for the Art Loss Register in London, said in an interview that buyers should do their own checks on the authenticity and good title of art."It costs less than $100 to check the ownership of a $5 million painting. People will buy a used car and they'll take it around the corner and put it up on a lift and check it out, and they'll get a Carfax report. They'll spend millions on art, and do nothing. (Dedham, 2010)
Through a bit of smoke and mirrors (an art museum in Kansas City) and an elderly former owner of the art who despised depositions (Dedham, 2010), Mr. H. Bolch ended up with Degas' painting on his wall.

Where did the decision go awry?  Read more NBC's Article 


Author: Dr. Andree Swanson


Dedman, B. (2010). The $10 million Degas ballerina, heiress Huguette Clark and the tax man. NBC News. Retrieved from http://openchannel.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/03/15/10693680-the-10-million-degas-ballerina-heiress-huguette-clark-and-the-tax-man?lite

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