What interests me is their (Ebbers, Kozlowski, Lay, Sullivan, etc.) mind set. Having dealt with these people most of my career it amazes me that it took so long for the "wheel" to come around. I wonder how their parents raised them that they felt that they had some inalienable right to more then their fair share. Believe me, if these people saw people starving they wouldn't go out of their way unless there was a benefit for themselves. GE's Jack Welch use to answer critics whenever they questioned his methods to increasing the share values of GE stock (mass lay-offs that caused other employees to have to take on additional workloads, etc.) by saying that he was doing it as a benefit top the shareholders, that they expected him to do those things. At this point he'd always hide behind widows and orphans who he said were the shareholders. Never mind that for every $1 increase the average shareholder received, Ole Benevolent Jack got $10. A real philanthropist Jack was. I still believe that Jack, even though he's retired, would have sold his own mother if:
- She was still alive.
- He got the right price.
I don't know if any of the prosecutors in any of the corporate scandal cases will or have proved their cases or not, but I know these guys are guilty. You'll never find any memos, letters, or other documents that they wrote that their intentions were to steal, pilfer, or scam money that wasn't theirs...but in their minds they believed they deserved. You'd have to enter a time machine and go back to actually see their attitudes, conversations, and actions to know them for what they really are. Trust me when I tell you that what came out over the Enron, Worldcomm, Global Crossing scandals wasn't anything new. This has been going on since Reagan gave corporations free reign in the 80's. It's just that these guys got too greedy. To the point where a reasonable man couldn't ignore it. The government HAD to do something...even half-heartily.
Did anyone else notice that the ONLY person that the government went after with both feet was Martha Stewart? Probably because she never donated a substantial amount of money to any politician. So she wasn't a financial threat to them if they went after her. And if you ever question your representative's lack of definitive action on then government's part regarding these corporate scandals, I will bet ANY amount of money that they will disagree with you and cite Martha Stewart as a support of their actions.
Lastly, let me make one final point pertaining to Enron. The Board of Directors were either criminally negligent or criminally stupid. And I make this point based on watching the Congressional Hearings with the board members testifying.
I hope and pray that all of those people involved in the thefts are found guilty and are given substantial prison terms. But that's not enough. To steal an idea from that World-Class Comedian, Lewis Black, they should all given electroshock treatment each and every day of their prison sentence...IF they even get any.