DOJ expected to loosen up on corporate fraud
From the American Public Media radio show Marketplace:
Five years after the Enron and WorldCom frauds and subsequent meltdowns triggered a series of tougher regulations for corporate America, the pushback seems to be gaining traction. The Washington Post today reported that an anonymous Justice Department source says officials are close to relaxing guidelines on corporate criminal prosecutions. Details haven't been released yet, but the changes are expected to restrict government prosecutors' tools.
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A little over a month ago, on the occasion of the sentencing of Enron's former CEO Jeffery Skilling, I wrote:
But what bugs me about this is that anyone at all thinks this means the end of "an era of white-collar crime." That's just so fucking stupid. The GOP Congress passed only what amounted to window dressing in terms of reform after all the scandals broke, which means that, legally, the stage continues to be set for more fraud. Sure, yeah, the capitalist crowd is being more careful these days--the only reason all these guys got busted in the first place was that the conventional wisdom was such that they had all the authorities in their pockets, and would never be held accountable. Well, guess what? They still have all the authorities in their pockets and the Enron induced fear over Wall Street is only going to last another couple of years at most.I now correct myself. I should have written that the Enron induced fear on Wall Street is now over. It really does look like the woefully inadequate post-scandal "reforms" are going to be rolled back, and I bet it happens with nary a protest from the new Democratic Congress. It's back to business as usual, which means ripping off average Americans. It's nice to have been so accurate in predicting this, even if I was off by a couple of years, but all this strong dose of reality seems to be doing is depressing me.
The corporations really do rule us now.