economics, period 3 March 27,2004 While American society rewards ambition and hard work, it also loves the media play surrounding ken lay, Martha Stewart, and world com’s Bernard Ebbers is as rampart as the hype over celebrity marriages, break up’s, or high -profile criminal cases. Recent financial scandals, however, is very real, very serious effect that corporate misconduct has on the lives of American employees and investors. “The loss of jobs, retirement funds and confidence in the integrity of the nations financial stars are all manifestation of basic problems.”(Santorum pg1). In this loss there is nothing love but to be angry and demand justice.
“corporate misconduct is unacceptable. It can wreck companies, destroy jobs and pensions, undermine confidence in business and stifle economic growth.” Say ICC leaders. The convergence of computing and communications technologies has changed dramatically the nature of corporate life. Digital technologies are presented through all aspects of business activity. Many stock exchanges can have trading systems which enables securities to be bought and sold on-line. People are able to communicate more effectively and at lower cost than in the past.
It has aslo meant that geographical boundaries are able to be crossed more easily which has enhanced the process of globalization of economic and social life enormously. These technologies provide so many benefits can be easily be made as a nightmare an easy road to corporate misconduct. In order to understand the nature of the crime risks that corporate face in the digital age, it is worth considering some specific instances of crimes that have been reported in rect times. “In a recent Australian prosecution the share price of an American company by posting information on the internet and send e-mail messages around the globe that contained false and misleading information about the company.”(tomazin pg2). The message contained a statement that shared value of the company would increase for the then current price of us .33 to us $3.00. The effect of the information was that company’s share on the NASDAQ double, with trading value increasing.
The offender was prosecuted by the Australian Securities and investments commission for distrubuting false and misleading information with the intention of inducing injectors to purchase the company’s stock. He pleaded guilty and was sentence two years in jail. One of the most frequent used strategies to prepare crime is the creation of false documents use to misrepresent one’s identity. In the past, forgery of documents used to provide evidence of identity was highly skilled task which criminal were able to undertake convincingly. Since, technologie this is made easy to scan an official document electronically, alter the image as it appears on a screen, and print a counterfeit using high quality laser, color printers.
For example in victoria, between August and march 1996, an offender used desk top publishing equipment to create forty-one birth certificates, forty-one student identification cars, some containing photographs, each in separate names and a counterfeit driver’s licence. These were used to open forty-two separate bank accounts through the Melbourne Metropolitan region, to pay checks into accounts as wages and make immediate withdrawal before they had cleared, to registered a business name, to obtain sells tax refund ,and to defraud various retailers. ” The offender was charged with variety of state and federal offences and sentence to five years in jail with non-parole to the commonwealth of $458,383″(zehir pg 12) In too many realms of American life, we’ve seen a dangerous drift away from fundamental values of honesty, equity, and charitable toward a single-minded devotion to maximizing profit. For example, in Hollywood, where higher ticket counts are used to rationalize mounting body counts.
” If it is legal and makes money, then we say it’s okay, even when we know it’s wrong.”(Liberman pg1). Market are moral by nature they power to maximize efficiency, variety, and quality and to minimize prices but market values does not mean it moral. As we saw with Enron- a company that literally built part of it’s false fortune on valueless markets– the drive for earnings, unchecked by other values, usually ends in disaster. Those who idealize the government’s role and suggest heaping so many new regulations on businesses may stifle the American spirits of enterprise. The Enron’s scandal cries out for governmental action , but we must acknowledge before we act that there are twin dangers- of doing too little or too much. Government has to develop better tools to fight corporate misconduct.
What makes Enron’s collapse so bad at the core in that those who broke the rules made out like well, bandits, while those who played fairly lost everything. We must clear to corporate America that the same law will govern the chief executive officer and the mail room worker, and that it will enforce with equal vigor for all. We need to make sure that credit rating companies are using the inside information they have access to more aggressively to anticipate and protect the markets, not just react to them. We need to increase the independence of wall street analyst, whose incentives too often seem to make them into stock salespeople rather than stock watchers.
“People who have 401(k) plans deserve more control over their money and more freedom to buy and sell their stocks. They shouldn’t be locked in by age restrictions or together unnecessary barriers while highly compensated executives are free to sell their stock whenever they see fit. Enron also clearly demonstrated that a corporation’s culture can be at least half the problem. Checks and balances need to be strong enough to assess the ethical consequences of corporate action on an ongoing basis. Post-Enron, the American people won’t tolerate another ,passive, amoral maze of finger pointing and blame-shifting when everyone can seem something went terribly wrong .