Friday, May 11, 2007

Corporate Crime

This is the sort of Corporate crime that sickens me - and it sickens me even more that they got away with it. Blatently so. Something no ordinary bank robber would EVER get off on allows banks to skate. Ugh. This makes me so mad.

When I say corporations need to be held to higher standards and need more transparency, this is what I'm talking about and why.


armagh444 said...

This is a perfect example of why I am not a libertarian.

But that's a whole other topic . . . one I'm actually thinking of writing about on my blog sometime this weekend.

For the moment, suffice to say that you're not the only one who is outraged by this sort of thing.

DBB said...

See, this should not be a reason to not be a libertarian - there's nothing libertarian about breaking the law or being a silent partner to fraud. Free trade only works with transparency and stiff penalties for crap like that.

hedera said...

In fact, it was behavior of this type that caused the SEC to be created originally, although Enron did take it to new and imaginative heights. Just think what they could have accomplished if they'd turned all that ingenuity to legal pursuits!

But I agree with armagh444, the reason we have the regulations that business hates so much is that business has proven, time and time again, that even WITH Big Brother peering over their shoulders all the time, you can't trust them any farther than a dog can spit.

DBB said...

That's because big government and big business are in cahoots. If government were smaller and unable to help big corporations, part of that problem would be eliminated.

You can't trust government to regulate any industry that has huge piles of cash to buy government. That's why the ultimate solution is a market solution - regulate corporations to be more open and transparent to their shareholders, hold all executives criminally accontable for deliberately hiding things like that, and then when the shareholders know what a company is doing, they won't be able to get away with it. Ultimately who Enron screwed the most was its owners, the shareholders. If they had known what was going on they never would have bought any more stock - they would have sold it, and the implosion would never have occurred. The problem was the accounting rules that allowed them to hide so much for so long.

Government can't be counted on to hold a company accountable. But shareholders always will, assuming they know what is going on. They have strong financial incentive to do so.

Stephen said...

What's the deal on Kmart? From my viewpoint, which is a dark cave, it looked like Kmart was allowed to screw most of it's stock holders, and come out with enough cash to buy Sears. I expected the SEC to come down hard on them. I still expect to see some mega trial over it. Did i miss something?