Posts filed under “Legal”
Yesterday, we looked at why bankers weren’t busted for crimes committed during the financial crisis. Political corruption, prosecutorial malfeasance, rewritten legislation and cowardice on the part of government officials were among the many reasons.
But I saved the biggest reason so many financial felons escaped justice for today: They dumped the cost of their criminal activities on you, the shareholder (never mind the taxpayer).
Corporate executives theoretically work for the owners of the company, namely, the shareholders. But there is an agency problem in that owners can’t closely manage and object to the actions of these executives. Collective owners, such as mutual funds, seem to have no interest in doing so. What we end up with is a management class that works for itself instead of on behalf of the owners of the publicly traded banks. Many of these executives committed crimes; got big bonuses for doing so; and paid huge fines using shareholder assets (i.e., company cash), helping them avoid prosecution.
As for claims, like those of white-collar crime defense attorney Mark F. Pomerantz, that “the executives running companies like Bank of America, Citigroup and JP Morgan were not committing criminal acts,” they simply implausible if not laughable. Consider a brief survey of some of the more egregious acts of wrongdoing:
“There Were No Convictions of Bankers for Good Reason” is the headline of a post by Mark F. Pomerantz, a lawyer and retired partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in the New York Times’s Room for Debate discussion: The reason that senior bankers did not face charges, even though investigators interviewed countless witnesses…Read More
The jury is out as to how much of the Burger King-Tim Horton merger is driven by the desire for tax savings. So far, the range seems to be modestly to not very much. The Los Angeles Times noted “Burger King’s overall effective tax rate in 2013 was 27.5%, according to its annual report. Tim…Read More
Spying On – and Blackmailing – Politicians, Generals, Judges, Lawyers and Citizens The newly-published revelations from Edward Snowden show that the NSA and FBI spied on an American citizen running for political office: The NSA also surveilled a U.S. citizen while he ran for political office: https://t.co/UzFya8ltmjpic.twitter.com/3jZdsYxQRG The Washington Post’s report last week also shows…Read More