RULE OF LAW: Major German companies including auto maker Daimler and engineering giant Siemens have written to lawmakers urging them to ratify an international anti-corruption treaty, warning that failure to do so risks harming the reputation of German firms abroad.

LAWAKERS OR LAWBREAKERS?: One of the hurdles to ratification is the absence of clear legislation in Germany that would punish bribery of lawmakers, according to the letter sent in June but only publicized Wednesday. "Honest parliamentarians have nothing to fear from tighter rules," the CEOs wrote in their letter.

WE'VE CHANGED: German companies have paid heavy fines for bribery, including those involved in the newest campaign. Siemens paid penalties totaling over $1 billion in Germany and the United States. Daimler agreed in 2010 on $185 million in civil and criminal payments to U.S. authorities over bribes paid to win sales in various countries.